WELL, IT looks like summer, and fingers crossed it stays like this for a lot longer. So, with summer being ever present, I thought this week I should write about what I think is gonna be hot for the summer and about to officially BrukOut.
Last year, we had a long list of contenders for the summer song – Ding Dong with Fling Yuh Shoulda, Chronixx and Likes – but for me the winner was Aidonia’s Yeah Yeah. So far this year, I’m not feeling the same energy. Is it because I’m looking too early for one? But one of the songs that is edging for that top position comes from the musical hub of entertainment in Kingston which is the Frenz For Real studio.
Laa Lee’s Watz On Sale is a fun catchy song, which is a cross between the energy of RDX and the comical delivery of Red Rat. If you have not heard as yet, I promise you will be singing about Cornflakes.
Last year was Aidonia’s best year hands down. Twelve months on and his protégé Govana has shown his teacher that he has observed and seems to be learning well. He has had the streets over the last six months, with a slew of big songs.
Bake Bean kicked of his run at the beginning of the year and the traction has continued. One and Move is his current banger on Good Good Productions’ Do It Riddim. This looks like the record that will carry him through the summer with a very funny video now added to the campaign. Go and check it out on his Vevo channel. I mentioned riddims, so let’s talk about them.
Laa Lee’s Watz on Sale is fun and catchy
This is usually a battle ground just like the summer song. Again, there isn’t a clear favourite and outright leader, as yet. What I am currently feeling right now is the Do It Riddim and Chimney Records’ Rice Grain Riddim.
Both production houses have a long-standing history with taking the summer riddim. This will be an interesting race. Stay tuned for that.
An area that we have been spoiled in is quality albums. Three that have really connected with me are Kabaka Pyramid with Kontraband. The Bebble Rock team linked up with Damian Marley to produce this classic. Starting out hard from the intro you are hit with the title track Kontraband that features the Gong himself. Heavily laced with hip hop swag and lyrics from both to match.
Protoje’s A Matter of Time feels like a continuation from his superb Ancient Future album. Protoje links up with producer Winta James for more hard digital reggae. Standout track for me has to be Flames with Chronixx. It sounds like Wu Tang Clan in Jamaica with Protoje lyrically on fire.
Alborosie’s Unbreakable is a faultless piece of work. Well produced, well-recorded and well-mixed. For this project Alborosie linked up with the Wailers United band.
From getting the download link, I’ve had this on repeat. You can hear The Wailers sound all through this album but with touches of Italian spice sprinkled on top.
Let’s talk summer hotspots now. This is a bit of a sore area for me as it seems my diary won’t allow me to visit any of these locations this year. If you are luckier than me and heading to Jamrock then you have to check out Reggae Sumfest, which is Jamaica’s premiere festival. The line up includes over a week’s worth of celebrations and looks incredible.
The main shows are headed by the likes of Popcaan, Damian Marley, Spice, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest and everyone else they can fit on the impressive stage.
In addition, you also have the added party nights where you can catch the likes of our very own Steff London performing or Irish and Chin staging their 20th Anniversary of World Clash.
Govana is Aidonia’s protégé
If you are going to be in that region at the beginning of August, I highly recommend Dream Weekend. If you’re a party animal but the thought of Ibiza doesn’t tickle your fancy and you want more culture, this is the event for you.
I had the Dream experience last year and it left an incredible mark on me. It’s a long weekend of day and night parties with DJs and ravers from all over the world congregating in Negril.
The highlight for me was the Wet n Wild party which lived up to its name. Very sad not to be returning this year (I don’t wanna talk about it).
Another summer party destination that has to get a mention is Barbados and Crop Over. I have to make a promise to myself that 2019 sees me in Barbados or Trinidad to experience carnival in its own backyard.
I’ve had invites from the likes of Machel, Bunji and Kes so next year you will see me there if life spare, as my grandmother would say.
Whatever summer 2018 has in store for us, I hope it’s more than the social media madness that keeps popping up everyday. I want more music and fun vibes rather than the mix up, mix up.
You know my summer is always a busy one and you can catch me on the road keeping up some trouble on some stage. Log on to seanib.com to see where I’ll be at during this incredible weather…