Having created a serious buzz on the UK music scene as part of the Suncycle Crew collective and working with the likes of Twista and Lethal B, Gappy Ranks released his debut solo album, ‘Put The Stereo On’ to critical acclaim. The set boasts twelve original tracks with production provided by the renowned Peckings Label. Since then Gappy has been unstoppable and the demands for his live appearances have been overwhelming!
For ‘Put The Stereo On’ Gappy set out to pay homage to the foundation that Reggae music built whilst bringing to the genre a direction he sees as the future of Reggae music. The album opens with ‘Mountain Top’, the first track to rise on the underground circuit followed by ‘Heaven In Her Eyes’ which blew apart the UK Reggae Charts and promptly introduced him to an international audience. On the title track, ‘Put The Stereo On’Gappy paints a vivid picture of his childhood and the music that influenced him to enter the Reggae scene. He brings the generation gap closer together with his rendition of the classic Tenor Saw tune ‘Pumpkin Belly’.
Born and raised in the inner-city town of Harlesden in North West London (unofficially known as the Reggae capital), Gappy discovered his passion for music at a very young age. Whilst attending school, he strengthened his musical skills devoting most of his time to writing. He made his studio debut with the Ruff Cutt band at the tender age of 11 and later joined the Stonebridge stars, Suncycle Crew. This experience helped him develop his understanding of the music business and the building of his musical repertoire. He has released numerous mixed tapes and collaborated with fellow UK artists Kray Twinz, MC Lethal B, US Rapper Twista amongst others. When recording ‘Put The Stereo On’ Gappy was granted access to classic Reggae riddims like theTreasure Isle riddim featured on ‘Happiest Day Of My Life’. ‘Thy Shall Love’ delivers a powerful sound and uplifting message of loving yourself and others. For the closing track, ‘Soul Rebel’ (cover of the Bob Marley & the Wailers anthem), Gappy is accompanied by legendary UK Reggae artist Nereus Joseph.
Catch Gappy as he rises up the higher ranks of Reggae music and fully represents as one of the UK’s finest…
His name speaks for itself! One of the busiest artists in the newly evolved worldwide Reggae Dancehall scene, sending out a signal to all other artists that when Busy gets busy on a riddim, there is no one quite like him. He’s a leading light of the contemporary yet poetic Rapper style artists emerging out of Jamaica since 2004 when King Jammy’s protégés Ward 21 made their presence felt in Reggae music with the immediately infectious anthem ‘Bloodstain’.
Busy (real name Reanno Gordon) had stepped onto the scene back in 2005 with his first hit single ‘Step Out’ which was easily one the most popular songs of the year, not just in Dancehall circles. This track crossed boundaries and won many fans for the yet unknown artist. The music video that followed resulted in Busy gaining an even larger fan-base and visual presence. That early momentum hasn’t slowed as Busy maintains to live up to his intriguing stage name, given to him because of his unique ability to be in two places at once.
Raised in St. Ann’s Bay, Busy moved to the Standpipe, Papine area of Kingston as a teenager where, he honed his talent as an artist. He is renowned now as an artist who’s able to deal with changing trends, sitting comfortably on high octane party tracks like ‘Wine Pon Di Edge’ and ‘Tic Toc’ to the highly acclaimed and conscious ‘Unknown Number’, ‘Jail’ and ‘These Are The Days’. The two latter tracks have propelled Busy into becoming one of the key mouthpieces for today’s disgruntled youth, not just in Jamaica but, further afield in the UK’s inner city areas, parts of the US, Canada and beyond. ‘Tic Toc’ has more of a commercial Hip-hop/Pop appeal designed more for the dance floors of Miami or Atlanta than the purist dance halls of Kingston but, that is by no means a bad thing as, for me, this track best illustrates Busy’s diversity, lyrical content and mind blowing delivery.
Collaborations have come thick and fast with the cream of the Reggae scene from musical royalty Marcia Griffiths, Morgan Heritage and Mykal Rose to Dancehall favourites Bounti Killa, Demarco and Mavado. Often compared to Vybz Kartel, for his exceptional lyrical prowess, the debate continues between ardent fans as to ‘who is actually the better artist?’ From my own experience and a relatively large circle, the opinion is varied but, more importantly, it’s split right down the middle which, is testament to how quickly Busy has generated respect in the industry. His story is similar to those often told by many of this generation’s artists who have honed their talents through the guidance and tutelage of one of Dancehall’s greats, ‘the mighty’ Bounti Killa as part of the infamous ‘Alliance’ crew. Over the last eight years, Bounti has brought us the talents of Scare Dem Crew, Elephant Man, Wayne Marshall, Bling Dawg, Vybz Kartel and Mavado.
Busy is amazingly still only in his early twenties with a back catalogue most artists would savour. He has released two studio albums to date, ‘Step Out’ (2006), ‘Loaded’ in 2008 and more recently D.O.B. in 2010. Busy’s range and artistry was once again proven on the highly anticipated and well received sophomore effort which, since its release, has not only been on heavy rotation in my car but, across airwaves around the globe. With all his attributes in tow, he has the potential to be one the all time greats of Reggae Dancehall…. younger fans might say ‘he already is!’ You decide..... Asha
Confident, hard-working and always in demand is Michelle Downer, known the world over as D’Angel. Born and raised in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, she maintains a constant presence on the dance hall scene both locally and internationally. An astute business woman, a resolute
artist and a devoted mother, D’Angel is the epitome of a true Caribbean woman who’s focused on fulfilling her life’s dream of becoming one of the top artists in the dance halls globally. She continues to break down barriers and is a true role model for numerous young women. From childhood, those close to D’Angel knew that she was destined to be on stage because her family and friends were her audience as she practiced her vocals entertaining them. In time, she performed at school parties and concerts.
However, like most of life’s journeys, there is sometimes a detour and this was the case for her musical voyage. She drifted from her music pursuits and entered the world of glitz, glamour and couture when she took on a modelling career in the early ‘90s. Strutting catwalks and landing alluring photo shoots for US brands such as Rocawear only prepared her for the brighter spotlight that awaited in the music arena. The promising A-List lifestyle and popularity were not enough though to keep D’Angel away from Jamaica and in 2002, she returned home and immediately capitalized on her entrepreneurial skills by opening ‘Angel’s’, a unisex fashion boutique.
D’Angel felt like something vital was missing from her life despite a modelling career and a fashion boutique in the bag; it was her ultimate dream and love of music. So, she began to pursue her musical career by writing songs and doing studio sessions. Her first solo effort, ‘Hottie Girls’ was released in 2004, produced by Kevin Blake. ‘Blow’ subsequently followed, produced by Cordel ‘Scatta’ Burrell and in 2005, the break-through single ‘Downtown Girl… Livin Uptown’ danced its way to #1 on local charts under the banner of her own label, Champagne International Records. In 2006, D’Angel dominated local and international media with her celebrity marriage to Dancehall mogul, Beenie Man. Both collaborated on the single ‘One Man’ which, conquered local radio stations, car stereos and dancehall sessions. D’Angel later released several singles including ‘Woman Power’ that petitioned the strength of a woman and implored society to give women the respect and opportunity they deserved.
D’Angel took her vivacity and energy to various stage shows globally. Her spicy lyrics and charismatic performances landed her numerous music nominations and awards. In 2006 and 2007, she was voted as one of the female DJs of the year and grabbed ‘Best Dressed Female Artist’ for those years. Despite the media-hyped personal problems she suffered in 2007, D’Angel reaffirmed her position as a ‘dancehall diva’ with the release of the mega single ‘Blaze’, produced by Arif Cooper, Fresh Ear Productions. The ground-breaking video quickly rose to top spot on various cable channel charts. In early 2008, D’Angel’s status was boosted when she performed at the IRAWMA Awards in New York and received a nod for ‘Best Female Deejay’. In addition, a plethora of singles dented the airwaves including ‘Caan Stall’. The potent single, ‘Stronger’ hit #1 in Jamaica and peaked at #5 in New York and Florida whilst the video stopped no shorter than #1 on all forums and swiftly became another anthem for women with relationship problems.
Armed with the success of the single ‘Stronger’, D’Angel added several accolades to her portfolio in 2008. This includes a Business Management scholarship; RE-TV’s School Tour most requested artist; Digicel’s People’s Choice Award; a guest appearance on Royal Palm Estate, Jamaica’s most watched soap opera; Spokeswoman for Wray & Nephew’s G-Force; motivational speaker at various local schools and Stone Love’s ‘Female Deejay’. She also became the proud recipient of the ‘2008 Sing-jay’ gong at the 2009 EME Awards; performed and presented at the IRAWMA Awards and was nominated as ‘Best Female Deejay’. She has endorsed many charity events and appeared at several kids’ fashion pageants. D’Angel continues to strive for excellence in everything she does. She represents Jamaica as a Music Ambassador and graces all the major shows on the island such as Reggae Sumfest. The future glows brightly for Michelle Downer as she brings her style of Dancehall/Bashment music to the world.
Scotroy Clarke (aka Fresh P) was born and grew up in Falmouth in the parish of Trelawney in Jamaica. He has been on the music scene from as young as 12 years old when he performed in Talent Competitions such as Teen Splash, his School Fete and local events in his neighbourhood. As a young boy, he was always interested in becoming a Reggae artist and would listen to Dancehall Sound System mix tapes from the likes of Stone Love, Black Kat, Kilamanjaro and King Addis. Dancehall artists that had an influence on him are Bounti Killa, Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Elephant Man and Harry Toddler - all of whom had played a major role in the development of the early hardcore Dancehall scene that started back in the ‘90s with Stage Clashes. When he arrived in the UK, he linked up with Sound Systems such as Saxon and King Glamma; radio DJs like Allan Brando, Mr Speng and Natty B.
Fresh P describes himself as a ‘rising star’ and has been advised by many ‘to just keep going and going, day after day and the results will come’. His first official recordings was done for the King Jammys record label in Kingston, Jamaica where he recorded two tracks under the guidance of studio engineer, Baby G. Reggae Dancehall (Bashment) with an added twist of the UK’s Funky House is the style that best expresses the type of music that Fresh P creates. He has adopted a flexible approach to his craft which gives him the potential to take Dancehall/Bashment music to a wider audience. Blessed with his own unique style, he’s an artist that is versatile and adjustable. He is comfortable performing in front of large audiences as well as small crowds. As a Support Act, he has taken to the stage with local and international artists including Harry Toddler from Scare Dem Crew, touring major cities in the UK. He has also supported House & Garage act Wiley, Roots & Culture acts like Fantan Mojah and Gyptian plus UK Bashment artists L.O.C. and Savana.
Fresh P has travelled to as far as the African Continent; a tour of Ghana where he did live TV & Radio shows and performed in Clubs, at Pool and Beach Parties from Lebonie Beach to Accra and Labadie as a Support Act to Ghanaian artists Reggi Rockstone and DJ Mensah. Back in the UK, he has worked with The Honeyz (for JP Records) and has done tracks for Wiley on his Eski Beat. In 2006, Fresh P put out his first UK release; a 7” (45) single (promoted on a ‘white label’) entitled ‘Candy’ riding on the Applause Riddim. This tune did very well on the UK circuit as well as internationally and even reached the top 10 in the Japanese charts. Following the success of the single, he released his debut album titled ‘Fresh Time’ on his own label, Futrulous. This set was distributed by CD Baby in the US and is still available to download from portals like I-Tunes, Napster and other download sites.
After launching his own record label, Futrulous Music, Fresh P developed his producing skills and started to produce for both UK and international artists. The first release on the label featured Dancehall/Bashment acts such as Voice Mail, Lexxus, Harry Toddler, General B, Famous Face, Wrangside, Lady Posh, Lukie, Mr. Splert and G Blackz - all on the ‘Bash Riddim’, out in stores in the UK and available for download. Fresh P has also just released his long awaited new single on an EP titled ‘Never Back Down’, distributed digitally. He’s always busy on the ‘live stage show circuit’ and you can catch him performing with the Lion Face Family (Don Andre and others) on international tours like Dancehall supremo Movado’s ‘Brighter Days UK Tour’ featuring Serani and Bugle.