Bunny Wailer, last member alive of the historical musical group ‘The Wailers’ is dead few days ago in Kingston. The lost of the beloved singer is so hard to accept for the whole reggae community around the Globe. It seems as an era is ending up now… But we know his legacy will live eternally.
Armed with a philosophy that says, ‘music is life and is not to be taken lightly’, entertainer Black Ice is a brilliant singer among Jamaica’s many musical new generation soldiers, one of those who believe music can make positive change as the art form can transcend the human experience.
During his early years, he said that music was always an integral part of his upbringing. He has always loved listening to all genres of music but said that he was most influenced by the musical legends Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Peter Tosh and Marvin Gaye.
He describes his music as being positive, uplifting, inspiring yet edgy and real. Black Ice believes his inspiration comes from a higher calling.
Currently he’s promoting his latest single, “Red A Red.” Released late April 2018, the track, he said, implores its listeners to be conscious of their surroundings and the world they live in.
“It’s a song about the road I walked and encountering what the system has to offer. It urges mankind to keep their eyes wide open, to see behind the illusions and unveil the truth”; Black Ice believes this single will not only educate and inspire but earn him a new set of fans worldwide. Its available on radio soon to be digitally released to iTunes, Spotify and CdBaby. He will have a cd distribution as well.
It is the title song of his new 4 song EP entitled “Red-a-Red, “which is being distributed in Jamaica. It will include his other hits “Hotta Fyah,”
“We’re Lovers” is the songstress soulful duet with the jamaican recording artist Sophia Brown.
Black Ice’s partnership with Kendall Curlett, “I’ll be Home for the Holidays,” is simply a classic Reggae Christmas song https://youtu.be/aW92pIB-x_0and will continue to be released annually. He is currently writing new songs and working on the video for the songs, “Shotokan Warrior” and “Crossfire”.
Kingston, JA: Singer Richie Stephens and his 17-member Ska Nation Band will headline this year’s Grand Gala, the premier entertainment event for the celebration of Jamaica’s 56th Independence at the National Stadium in Kingston on August 6, 2018.
The entertainment event will be attended by a number of Jamaican dignitaries, including Governor General Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange; Speaker of the House Pearnel Charles; Chief Justice Zaila McCalla; Jamaica Defence Force, Chief of Staff Major General Rocky Meade; Police Commissioner George Quallo; and Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams.
“To be invited to perform at Grand Gala for the people of Jamaica ranks as one of our biggest and most important assignments since the group was formed two years ago” Stephens disclosed.
The ‘Life Your Life” singer, who has travelled the world and performed as a brand Ambassador for the Jamaica Tourist Board, (JTB) spoke about the significance of this assignment.
“Ska is big internationally, especially in places like Japan, parts of the USA and Italy but we don’t celebrate it in Jamaica anymore. This is an opportunity to educate the youths of Jamaica about Ska and let them know that this beautiful music originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady, reggae and dancehall music. In fact Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff, all started out playing ska as teenagers. Ska is the mother of reggae. Without Ska there would be no reggae” he explained.
Stephens said his passion for ska was developed as a youngster.
“My dad was the person who introduced me to Ska. He was one of the baddest ska dancers in town,” he confessed.
Ska Nation Band member Papa Leu, who is from Salento, Italy spoke about performing at Grand Gala.
“This assignment has historical and cultural significance” Leu confessed.
“We in Italy love Ska music. We are elated that the government of Jamaica has given us this platform to showcase music that was originally created in Jamaica. It is my dream that this performance set the stage for some sort of cultural exchange between Italy and Jamaica” Leu reasoned.
Rankin Lele of Ska Nation and Adriatic Sound in Italy spoke about the opportunity to perform in Jamaica again, having performed at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay last summer.
“Performing at Sumfest last year was a life changing experience. In everything we have done since we always represent Jamaica. We feel we are unofficial ambassadors of this beautiful county that gave us this great music Ska” he noted.
In 2016, Stephens & The Ska Nation Band released their debut studio album titled “Internationally.” “Root of the Music” – the title track and lead single from their second full-length album will be released in August. The lyrics bear testament to the many genres Jamaica has gifted the world, while the musical arrangement seamlessly blends these styles together.