With one foot in 2015 and the other in the next year, it’s time to draw the line and see what 2015 had to offer in terms of music. Since we always try to keep our articles as objective as possible while we deliver you the latest news in Reggae music industry with all its sub genres and side genres, we break this rule once a year to share Our Personal 20 Favourite Tracks in 2015 – transparent, heartfelt, frank. The order is absolutely random, though. Here we go:
1. Inner Circle feat. Chronixx, Jacob Miller – Tenement Yard (News Carrying Dread)
2015 has been a prolific year in terms of collaboration. One of the best kicked off together with the new year, in January, with a top-notch revamp of the timeless tune “Tenement Yard”. Inner Circle‘s members even said that Chronixx has something of Jacob Miller in him, what do you think?
2. The Gideon – Roots Rock
The Gideon are the twins of J.O.E Family, omnipresent at the roots sessions in Jamaica, like Dub School, Vinyl Thursdays or Kingston Dub Club. Europe is catching up on their vibe too, as they’ve been recently on the old continent for a quick tour that included La Tempesta Dub Festival in Italy.
3. Mellow Mood feat. Forelock & Hempress Sativa – Inna Jamaica pt. 2
Talking about twins, Europe has it’s pair of young, gifted and.. blood-related artists too. In April, Mellow Mood released the twin album of “Twinz” (2014), with a lead single that welcomes you to the beautiful island of Jamaica. Take your time with this one:
4. Ras Demo – Sekkle Up The Score
In UK, Maximum Sound focuses its effort on quality over quantity. “The Armour Riddim” hit the stores in late October with a set of banger versions from different artists. Iba Mahr, I-Octane, Tarrus Riley killed the riddim, and so did Ras Demo with “Sekkle Up The Score”. Look out for this artist!
5. Randy Valentine – Love Advocate
From the sister label of Maximum sound now, Pull Up My Selecta!, we’ve got some sweet reggae music this year. Sweet in the sense that it’s not as militant as the one above, but one that uplifts your spirit. Randy Valentine had the riddim at his fingertips delivering a contagious heart-melting version with “Love Advocate”. If you haven’t listen it yet, this is our last warning for you before you get trapped in those melodies:
6. Nattali Rize & Notis feat. Zuggu Dan – Rebel Love
In the same love note, here it is one for all the rebels out there. The connection between Nattali (former Blue King Brown lead singer) and the Notis duo was spontaneous, immediate, on the same wavelength. Thus the title of their collaborative EP, “New Era Frequency”. “Rebel Love” brought at the forefront an artist whom you would usually notice behind the guitar in Protoje‘s concerts – Zuggu. Hopefully next year we will get to hear more of him on the mic!
7. Protoje feat. Jesse Royal and Sevana – Sudden Flight
Since we are in Protoje‘s camp, everybody knows by now he’s got a new album out there, “Ancient Future”, the third one to date. We would have named the whole album but since it’s a ‘singles top’, we will leave “Sudden Flight” to do the job here – pure niceness! Jesse Royal and Sevana couldn’t make this any better!
8. King Mas – As I Rise
As we take off on this musical exodus, let us introduce you an uprising talent out of US – King Mas. He’s got various good tracks this year like “Pree Dem Ah Pree” (Hungry Dayz Reload Riddim, LTL Records) or “Reflection” (Smart Riddim, Royal Order Music). Our top choice goes to “As I Rise” (Ganja Morning Riddim, Green Lion Crew), the track that had us karaoke-ing for the longest time.
9. Romain Virgo feat. Assassin aka. Agent Sasco – Fade Away
Now that we are lifted, let us run remarkable featuring one more time. Romain Virgo had his new EP launch in October, an 8-tracks piece of work delivered by VP Records. This featuring with Agent Sasco is set to be a timeless hit.
10. Third World – YimMasGan
11. The Skints feat. Horseman – In the Night
The Skints have a solid fanbase in UK and, with their third album release “FM”, their popularity increased on the other side of the ocean, all the way to US through the support of Easy Star Records and Rootfire.
12. Jahmiel – Gain The World
Jahmiel is one of the young talents that need more exposure in this industry. His thing is a balanced blend of Dancehall, Hip Hop and Reggae, but what differentiates him is his attitude and the ability to handle that lyrical gun. Look out for him, sooner or later he will Gain The World.
13. Dexta Daps – Shabba Mada Pot
Dexta Daps has been all over the place this year managing to breakthrough step by step, with every new hit single released. “7 Eleven”, “Slavery”, “Wine For Me”, you name it. All of them made an impact of his career. Next Dancehall star to take over the world charts! The track below speaks for itself:
14. Aidonia – Nuh Boring Gyal
If Roots Empresses had a full plate of or reggae love songs to swing, the Dancehall Queens had no time to get bored. 80% of the modern dancehall is about twerking ladies so how could they have any rest this year? Aidonia smashed the dancehall with, undoubtedly, his best track in 2015 – “Nuh Boring Gyal”. Ladies, do you agree?
15. Vybz Kartel – Dancehall
Since we talk about Dancehall, we can’t left aside the Worl’ Boss, who is making magic from behind bars. “Dancehall A Mi Everything..” rocked every dance possible during the year. The track is featured on Kartel’s new album “Viking (Vybz Is King)” released by TJ Records and Adidjahiem Records. Run it again if Dancehall has a spot in your heart:
16. Popcaan – Rup Rup (Bad Inna Real Life)
Former member of Kartel’s clan, Popcaan, now Bad himself in his own thing, did an excellent job in 2015. We had a hard time picking just one of the uncountable good tracks dropped this year – “Rup Rup”.
17. Naâman feat. Massy The Creator and Triple TR8 – Garden of Destiny
If you don’t know this track yet, you better buy the new Naâman album – “Rays Of Resistance”. As stated in the album review, “Garden Of Destiny” still holds the top spot in this album from our point of view, but “Those Rays” (feat. Nemir) or “Karma” are not to be left aside either. Skillful first project labeled Big Scoop Records in cooperation with 1001 Productions and Soulbeats Records. Must listen!
In the absence of the official track, we give you an acoustic set for “Those Rays”:
18. Rassi Hardknocks feat. Micah Shemaiah, Exile Di Brave, Jahkime & Simonese – Africa Awaits
Now from the Garden of EDB Clan, one track gave us goose bumps. From Stepwise Records and Natty Vibes Sound to Rassi’s album – “Great Songs”, and straight to your speakers, “Africa Awaits” featuring Rassi Hardknocks, Micah Shemaiah, Exile di Brave, Jahkime and Simonese. And gosh, how on point is Shemaiah on this one. Check it:
19. Chronixx – Majesty
Just few days ago, Chronixx released three new songs in one day: “Spanish Town Rockin'”, “Sell My Gun” and “Majesty”, all produced by his bredda, Teflon of Zincfence Records. A mixtape with Federation Sound is in the works, but we won’t have to wait too long till it drops. “Majesty” seems to have reached plenty hearts though, and we agree with all those 41k listeners that hit play:
20. Kabaka Pyramid – Well Done
The year looks real good so far, many tracks could have fall into this top. We say well done to all the artists with a conscious message to deliver, and will finalize this listing with our unanimous favorite track of the year – “Well Done” by Kabaka P., produced by Damian Marley.
This song had a wide resounding not only in Jamaica (which is the direct subject in the lyrics) but across many places in the world, since the political class looks just the same everywhere. Luckily, we have music like this to get us through. Well done, Kabaka, and thank you!