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L3MAGAZINE.COM IS NOT JUST A MUSIC MAGAZINE IT’S LIFE, LOVE & LYRICS

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WELCOME

REMEMBERING DONNA SUMMERS

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L3MAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 2012

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L 3 M A G A Z I N E . C O M | J U LY 2 0 1 2

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February 2014 CEO AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | CREATIVE DIRECTOR | MARKETING DIRECTOR | PUBLISHER |

NO.30 NATASHA VON CASTLE JUNIOR RODIGAN ROHAN BECKFORD L3 GROUP OF COMPANIES

MANAGING EDITOR AND LIFESTYLE EDITOR ALLIE DUKER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AND CARIBBEAN AFFAIRS EDITOR TRICIA ‘ZJ SPARKS’ SPENCE CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AND MUSIC EDITOR TRE CARN TRAVEL EDITOR STACIA VON CASTLE MUSIC REVIEW EDITOR JENNIFER MENSTER SENIOR WRITERS HEIKE DEMPSTER SONG RIVER KAY CUNNINGHAM MARCUS WELLER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Portial Clarke | Mimi Mamichula | Damon Gatling | Ayeola George | Zakada Milton Jimmy Tambou | Rico Vibes | Andre Gomez | Ali Motamed | Pia Jordine


WELCOME

REMEMBERING DONNA SUMMERS

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Greetings;

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One of my highlights to the month of March is speaking at the Workshop on Women’s Empowerment Conference hosted by Africa to America LLC, and being held at the United Nations. This is a ‘big’ deal to me because the conference gives additional life to my belief that if women are empowered then societies around the world will be stronger.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

The website www.becauseiamagirl.ca says that “studies show that when you invest in girls, the whole world benefits. If a girl has enough to eat, a safe environment, and an education, she’ll work to raise the standard of living for herself, her family and her community. And in time, she can even strengthen the economy of her entire country.” I am determined to be a part of this difference! When we come together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish, and the accomplishment is what fuels greater. Greater in Mozambique is greater in Moscow, is greater in Manhattan is greater in Morocco and all points in between. Women are the backbone of society. Our past weakened state is no more … welcome to our strong future filled with accomplishment!. connect with me on Twitter @NatashaVonC

Natasha Von Castle


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C O N T E N T S 06 LIFE 08 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 23 ART 38 ON THE SCENE 44 GAMING 48 BEAUTY 54 FOOD 59 MODEL OF THE MONTH 60 LOVE 62 CHARTS 68 REVIEWS 88 LYRICS 90 I-OCTANE 100 OSSIE 110 JOINTPOP 120 LAZY K


Summer Reggae in NY

Roberts is not the only music executive heaping praises on Chronixx. Having been featured in the January, 2013 issue of L3 Magazine, fans responded overwhelmingly to the artists music and image. Also, in a recent Billboard Magazine interview, Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell said Chronixx’s music, is “completely fresh, uplifting and very pure.” Chronixx comes to the sizzling one day Reggae and R&B festival with superb credentials. He has an impressive catalogue of smash hits including “Behind Curtain,” “Tell Mi Now,” “Here Comes Trouble,” “African Heritage” and his patriotic Jamaican anthem “Smile Jamaica” that has placed him on Reggae’s frontline. For more information, log on to www.groovininthepark.com

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

“Chronixx is the hottest Reggae artistes on the circuit right now and we are extremely pleased to present him for the first time to music fans in New York at our outdoor festival this year” said Christopher Roberts, founder and CEO of Groovin Inc. “He is talented, exciting to watch on stage and lyrically out of this world!” Roberts continued. 

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Chronixx will make his outdoor concert debut at New York City’s flagship Reggae, Rhythm and Blues summer concert Groovin’ In The Park on Sunday, June 29 in Queen’s, New York. 

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CHRONIXX IN THE PARK


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ISSUES

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CITY OF VAUGHN 2nd ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL Hosted by Michelle Beilhartz, from Season 1 of the Bachelor Canada, the 2nd Annual Vaughan Film Festival will be launched on Monday March 3rd to media and invited guests. VFF Co-Founders Mark Pagliaroli and Antonio Ienco will roll out this year’s film line-up and events taking place during the festival.  The winners of two special initiatives sponsored by the festival in the Vaughan community will also be announced.  In attendance this year will be Mayor of Vaughan and member of the Vaughan Film Festival Advisory Board, The Honorable Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Festival sponsors, and members of the film community. VFF is proud to announce the return of award winning actress Fatima Ptacek to this years’ fest.  Ms. Ptacek starred as Sophie, in Shawn Christensen’s Oscar winning short film “Curfew,” first screened at the Vaughan Film Festival, 2013.  Ms. Ptacek will be attending events throughout the festival.  Vaughan Film Festival runs from April 2nd - 4th, 2014 at the Cineplex Colossus Vaughn Cinemas.  VFF’S goal is to give aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their talent and interact with other members of the film community.  The festival is especially proud to provide a platform that opens doors to allow entry for young filmmakers in and around the Vaughan community.  Please join us as we introduce Vaughan Film Festival 2014.


Congratulations Busy Signal and Major Lazor on reaching 45 Million Views on YouTube for the music video “ Watch out For This (Bumaye)”

Watch it here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zCoCa6b6cU


Online Radio Station Grows

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ALPHA BOYS SCHOOL Joshua Chamberlaine

Alpha Boys School Radio is a curated experience of Jamaican hits and hard to find gems. They all share the common thread of having an Alpha student producing or performing on the song. Since starting online at www.alphaboysschoolradio.com, Alpha Boys School Radio has attracted the support of Jamaican and international tastemakers, from Sean Paul to UB40, David Rodigan to Delfayo Marsalis. Both the Tosh family and the Marley family have spread the word to their friends and family as well as Alpha grads like Winston ‘Yellowman’ Foster. “The support of the music industry has been fantastic,” said radio station General Manager, Rob Connelly. “We’ve watched listenership rise month after month based on the quality of the programming and the support of the Alpha community. We are very excited to take the next step and introduce radio operations and promotions training to current Alpha students.” The Alpha Boys’ School Radio Studio and Media Lab fundraiser on Kickstarter.com will create important, real-world training and employment opportunities in media production, promotion and presentation. In return for their pledges, donors can receive rewards contributed in part by Toots & The Maytals, Yellowman and the founders of the International Reggae Poster Contest (Michael Thompson aka Freestylee: Artist Without Borders and Maria Papaefstathiou).

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

Focusing on its ‘all Alpha, all the time’ format, Alpha Boys School Radio is now launching into the next phase, a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com (http://kck.st/1fihNfD) to build the Alpha Boys’ School Radio Studio and Media Lab on the campus at Alpha Boys School. The studio campaign follows on the successful execution of live broadcasting of The Skatalites performance in the United States and launch of the free mobile applications for Android and iOS phones. Online, on your phone and soon live and direct from Kingston, Alpha Boys School Radio is your musical passport to Jamaica!

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Alpha Boys School, the non-profit residential school in Kingston, Jamaica, recently announced its online streaming radio station, www.alphaboysschoolradio.com which has reached the milestone of passing 60,000 unique listeners per month after 5 months of operations.


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ALISON HINDS

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Appointed Goodwill Ambassador Barbadian Business Woman, and internationally acclaimed recording artist Alison Hinds has been appointed the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) Goodwill Ambassador.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

Appointment to this prestigious post came on the heels of the nomination of Ms. Hinds by the BPW Barbados club, lead by President Marrianne Burnham, who believes that this a tremendous opportunity for Barbados and the Caribbean region on a whole.  Speaking about the prestigious appointment, Hinds says she was shocked when she received the correspondence, but is very humbled and ready to execute her duties in this her new chapter.

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In her letter of appointment President of the BPW International Freda Miriklis said, “We have identified in you, qualities that contribute to BPW International’s efforts in raising awareness of the aims, objectives and key priorities of the organization; to convey messages about its activities and to extend its public outreach. Miriklis who first met Hinds at BPW Barbados’ Women’s Economic Empowerment conference in Barbados last September, said Hinds possesses ‘the personality and dignity required for such high level representative capacity and has the ability to promote the values of BPW internationally.’


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ART ART WITH LEGOS

EKOW NIMAKO Photography By: Janick Laurent and Michelle Clarke Using thousands of lego blocks (and hundreds of hours), Ghanaian-Canadian artist Ekow Nimako creates futuristic sculptures of African masks and other black iconography. Opened at the Daniel Spectrum Gallery at Regent Park Arts Centre, the exhibit was a part of the TD Then and Now series. About his art, Ekow says “when constructing faces, creatures, or other living structures out of LEGO®, creative play becomes this very natural, alter-biological process for me where creation appears to occur on the molecular level. These tiny plastic pieces act as literal building blocks for what are to become complex structures that despite their inanimateness venture to breathe life into their environment. The sculptures presented in Building Black investigate the notion of “blackness” with the very deliberate intention of exposing the cultural beauties and controversies that denote the black experience. Whatever the pretext, black is always controversial. Whether as a color, persona, or racial signifier, there is some aspect of the word that either consciously or subconsciously refers to otherness, often pejoratively. It is little wonder black is synonymous with an ethnic group that continues to be the most universally distinct and oppressed – consequently, it is this very distinction that intrigues me, offends me, includes me, secludes me, identifies me, welcomes me, targets me, and stereotypes me on a regular basis. The significance of using LEGO® as a sculptural medium is paramount, too, since the light, general perception of the popular brand is not one that elicits any particular notions of blackness. It is this sort of cultural polarity I find interesting and feel is very evident in my work.” For more information on upcoming exhibits visit www.EkowNimako.com


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U2 & MANDELLA Ordinary Love SCOTT FEINBERG

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It will come as a surprise to many that the four members of U2 -- Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar) and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion), who were nominated for the best original song Oscar for “Ordinary Love” in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom -- have been writing and performing music about South Africa since the late 1970s, when they were still in their teens. I learned much during a fascinating and candid conversation with the Irish rockers in New York. “At a very early stage, we realized that there was more to music than just rocking out and that we could actually -- maybe -- make a small difference,” Mullen said. Therefore, when the quartet -- which The Edge describes as “the essential high school band that just kept going” -- learned about Nelson Mandela and Apartheid, they decided to take action, playing a gig to protest the institutional segregation and discrimination taking place half a world away. Why did they care? “We really related to what was going on in South Africa,” Bono said. “Irish people are very aware of how the currents of politics -- indeed, global politics -- can affect their own life. For example, it’s well known that our interest in developing economies around the world is because not long ago we were one. And we’re interested in the fight against extreme poverty because we were on the other side of that. And we also understand famine -- it cost our country half its population.”


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After studying and traveling to Africa throughout the 1980s -- on fact-finding missions, to raise funds and awareness through music (see “The Sun City” album) and, in some cases (like Bono’s), even to go on personal honeymoons -- the members of the band rejoiced when Mandela was freed from prison in 1990 and were delighted that he wished to meet and work with them in post-Apartheid South Africa.

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The band, which was honored to know Mandela, soon became good friends with the South African leader, who saw how they could help him spread his call for peace and understanding. “He was a very sensitive fellow and, clearly, that sensitivity was what he used to dismantle Apartheid. It wasn’t just the strength; it was the sensitivity,” says Bono. The Edge adds: “We actually went with Mr. Mandela to see Robben Island when we were there, and just to see the cell that he lived in for so many years was really sobering, to realize that when he went in there he thought that he would never come out.” Last summer, Harvey Weinstein, another entertainment industry acquaintance of Mandela’s and a friend of U2’s since his days as a concert promoter in the early 1980s, approached the band and asked, on behalf of producer Anant Singh and director Justin Chadwick, if they would write an original song for inclusion in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, a big screen version of Mandela’s own autobiography. They had not released original music in years -- from 2009 to 2011 they had been traveling the world for U2 360, the highest-grossing tour in history, and were finally making headway when Weinstein called with his offer, which they couldn’t refuse. As The Edge puts it, “We had to take a deep breath because we realized it was actually gonna cause havoc in other areas of our work,” but, he says, “It was one of those things [we] just had to do, you know, because of our connection there.” Singh sent Bono copies of love letters that Mandela had written to his wife Winnie when he was imprisoned. “To read his love letters is a real treat,” the singer says. “You realize that this was a kind of extraordinary love, but actually, though extraordinary love is the subject of movies and books and novels and songs, perhaps the more important is ordinary love -- the simple things that people do... and that’s what they couldn’t do. They had this passion the size of their country, the size of their continent, but actually, when he left prison, they couldn’t figure it out on just the ordinary, domestic front.”


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The band emphasizes that Mandela’s death on Dec. 5, 2013, less than a week after U2’s single was first released to the public, does not bring an end to their relationship with South Africa. “We’ve had wonderful times in the country,” says The Edge. “It is an absolutely beautiful country. I think this is a turning point, and, in his passing, Mr. Mandela has left it up to those who have some kind of stake in his legacy to step up and really insure that all of the great work that he’s done doesn’t go to waste. And we’re certainly willing to do whatever we can.”

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Consequently, the song that Bono wrote, which “was always to be at the end [of the film], after the scene where [Mandela] stands up and he walks out and the people who had been his enemy are saluting him” -- which the singer describes as “one of the greatest moments in the last century” -- was not the uplifting number that had originally been solicited, but rather an honest imagination of what Mandela might have been thinking in that moment, entitled “Ordinary Love.” Bono explains, “He said he’d won most of his struggles -- [even] if it cost him 27 years of his life -- but he lost in love, he lost his wife, and it was of profound sadness to him. That’s what we wanted in that moment, that, as he was walking out, there was still that ache of love lost.”


ON THE SECENE

Donovan Sherwood, a graduate of Bloomfield College, is a photographer who studied graphics and design. He specializes in capturing artists who represent Hip Hop history.


FONDA RAE


GAMING


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GAMING PLANTS vs. ZOMBIES GARDEN WARFARE ALI MOTAMED Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is a very playful animated 24 player 3rd person shooter by PopCap thru EA . Different from the previous Plants vs Zombies (PvZ) games, this latest installment abandones the strategic tower defense type gameplay and puts the player in control of a plant or a zombie, facing them against other player controlled plants/zombies. The multiplayer game modes are ‘Team Vanquish’, where it’s zombies vs plants with the winner being the first team to reach 50 points. ‘Gardens and Graveyards’, with plants defending a garden and zombies trying to destroy it. Lastly there is ‘Welcome Mat’ , which is essentially beginner level ‘Team Vanquish’.


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The game mode that is the most similar to the previous tower defense PvZ games is the 4 player co-op game mode ‘Garden Ops’. In this mode you are put in a group of 4 player controlled plants and you have a garden to protect from 10 waves of A.I. Zombies that get increasingly difficult throughout the waves of the oncoming enemies.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

This game is fun creative and a great time with friends, even on the Xbox One there are many more enhancements such as the exclusive smartglass ability which allows the tower defense like gameplay to be reinforced. Very similar to the commander mode in Battlefield 4, this gives players an opportunity to take a different approach at the gameplay and instead of shooting enemies on the field they’ll be shot from above with air attacks. The xbox one version also consists of a very limited split screen gameplay. It won’t allow two players on splitscreen to play with online players and garden ops is the only playable mode when in splitscreen. The game entices players to increase their replay value because of the huge amount of awesome upgrades that can be unlocked. I assure you this game is fun and full of hilariously animated action. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is available on February 28th on the Xbox One for $40.00, Xbox 360 and PC for $30.00.


BEAUTY BEAUTY TIPS & PRODUCTS KEREEN CUNNINGHAM I love trying out new products, and what’s more intriguing than to discover a new brand that work wonders?! Last October I attended a beauty event in London ‘Makeup Show Live’ and discovered and met AJ Crimson an American Makeup Artist that also made his own makeup products. I finally got to try his foundations and finishing powder in February at an Awards show. I used AJ Crimson Dual Skin Crème foundations shade 4 and 7 together to create a perfect blending and sculpting, I then added the finishing powder to seal the foundation. The foundation was very easy to layer and easily blended. The rang comes in 8 shades, the benefits are Sheer to full coverage, HD Approved, water proof and buildable coverage, made in USA. Available for purchase online at www.ajcrimson.myshopify.com


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Other recommended products to try :

3. Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate is a brand that has been around since 1851 and very trusted. I first used this brand 8 years ago and I started with the hand cream and now have used the concentrate and I must say it feels heavenly! Easily applied and sinks in the skin within seconds, there is a noticeable decrease in the appearance of marionette lines, crows feet, and sub orbital wrinkles while improving skin texture and radiance, with continuous delivery of 10.5% pure Vitamin C. .

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

2. Dermalogica Total Eye Care Cream is priced at a reasonable cost. This is a lightweight eye cream from Dermalogica that targets puffiness and dark circles that leave tired eyes looking refreshed revived. Other benefits include SPF15 making it one of the eye creams to wear around your eyes during the day time.

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1. GINVERA Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel is a different kind of exfoliator, most times we usually use products that have fine grains but not this product, it is light weight clear liquid made with green tea and can be used daily on dry face with dry hands. Squeeze a sufficient amount and dot on forehead, checks, chin, nose and neck. Massage for approximately 1 minute rinse off with warm water or a facial cloth.


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4. Kiehl’s Ultra facial Cream is suited for normal to dry skin. This cream will give you a 24 hour moisture which is perfect for everyday hydrating. The formula has extracts of glacial glycoproteins and desert plants, this product was inspired by the beloved ultra facial moisturiser. The benefits are to protect skin from cold temperatures through imperata cylindrica, a plant to the Australian desert which possesses water retention properties in dry conditions. Kheil products are available in North America, Asia and Europe and online at www.kiehls.com

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5. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light is another new discovery for me as I was looking for a product to use with foundations that gives a dewy finish without makeup looking shinny. It’s made of 100% Pure Argan Oil, featherweight division. The benefits from this lovely product are its good for your chapped skin, dry hair, and fine lines, and will give you the hydration and repair you may be looking for. You can get a semi-matte radiant finish, no matter how oily your skin is, and say bye to the blotting papers. There are no filler oils, fake fragrances, or skin-irritating parabens in it. How I use it: Use 100% Pure Argan Oil Light as a base moisturizer. It’s also a great primer for makeup, it won’t melt, no matter how slick the dew point, to save time you can also mix it with your foundation; you will get same result. This product is available for online purchase at www.josiemarancosmetics.com Check out my website at www.makeupbykayce.com or drop me an email at info@makeupupbykayce.com


FOOD Cure The Winter Blues With A

BOB MARLEY ANDRE GOMEZ

Winter has been here way too long, and we all need something to warm up the body. My cure for the winter blues is a Bob Marley! You can have this as a drink, or a shot … I prefer a shot. In a large shot glass: 1/3 ounce grenadine 1/3 ounce rum, 151 proof 1/3 ounce crème de menthe Pour the grenadine first, then the crème de menthe and then top with rum. If you want it frozen: Make the red section (the bottom first) by combining 1oz rum, 4 oz strawberry daiquiri mix and 1 cup of ice. Combine all 3 in a blender until ice is smooth; pour into the bottom of a glass. Next is the yellow section (the middle). Take 1 oz of rum, 2-3 oz of chopped mango, 1 ½ oz of sweet and sour mix and one cup of ice. Combine in a blender and pour half on top of the red part. Using the remaining half in the blender, add ½ oz of blue curucao which will create the green section of the drink. Pour on top of the yellow and voila! Enjoy!


The Third Annual NYC

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VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVAL ALLISON DUKER

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March came in like a lamb in New York City, regardless of weather, as vegetarians and vegans descended upon the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea for the Third Annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

People of all ages and walks of life were in attendance, perusing the exhibitions booths for just about anything you could imagine. Everything on site was certified vegan: pistachio and sea salted caramel ice cream, savory gyros, spicy spreadable “cheese,” sushi, a seven-nut nut butter, and even jerk chicken. There was a little something for everyone (even if you eat meat). In addition to the two floors of food, merchandise, and other vendors, four stages hosted presenters throughout the event. Whether you were interested in learning how to be “Vegan on a Shoestring Budget” or how to make “Compassionate Crab Cakes,” the festival was a herbivore’s heaven. The two-day-long festival (Mar. 1-2) welcomed critter-friendly exhibitors, food vendors, speakers, and attendees from the Tri-State area and beyond, and benefited the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food.


DJ WORLD MAP LIFE

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The Starpower Of

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SILVER STAR SOUND Silver Star Sound is one of the UK’s most dedicated international DJ’s bringing Reggae and Dancehall to audiences far and wide. This dynamic duo has spent the past 4 years broadcasting their weekly radio show on BBC Radio 1Xtra, and currently presents their weekly radio show “Dancehall Africa” to a number of radio stations on the continent. Their show To Dih World is syndicated on over 14 radio stations, covering regions all over the UK / Europe / America / Australia and the Caribbean. Not only are they popular names on the Radio circuit they were also hosts of the “Dancehall Chart show” on MTV Base Africa for many years and are now part of MTV Base Africa’s “Dancehall riddims” video mix show. Throughout the years they have been known to deliver the best Dancehall music experience and have generated a growing fan base all over the world, performing in Sweden, Italy, America, Switzerland, Estonia, Germany, Finland and Africa and more. Connect with Silver Star via Twitter @silverstarsound


MODEL OF THE MONTH

GEGE Guilene Pierre

Photographer: Jerome Dupont Neu Era Photography


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WARD 21 Mic Magician

JAH BOUKS Call Angola

RICHIE STEPHENS Murdah

MAXI PRIEST Easy To Love

STYLO G

feat SISTER NANCY

Badd

CHAN DIZZY Informah

BUSY SIGNAL

KING ALI BABA Herbalist

RICKY TEETZ Poverty

DEMARCO Loyal

BIG KENNY

feat KYMANI & KJ MARLEY

AIDONIA One Voice

SHAGGY

SANCHEZ Him Buy Yu A Drink

CUTTY RANKS Dem A Twerk

feat DAMIAN ‘JR GONG’ MARLEY

CHINO Larger Than Life

MR STIFF Ghetto Cry

CHAM

STEPHEN MARLEY

Fighter

Bongo Nyah

feat EXCO LEVI

WICKED EVIL MAN

feat BERES HAMMOND

Fight This Feeling SEAN PAUL

Riot

feat DAMIAN ‘JR GONG’ MARLEY

Hope Chant

feat SPRAGGA BENZ & JR GONG


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sA4QGayl3Q


NEW RELEASES


L3 ENDORSED


MIXRELEASES TAPE FEATURES NEW


NEW RELEASES


Look With Your Ears Vol. 1

LOVE

Idris Elba CONTRIBUTED

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Idris Elba spins under the name DRIIS, and, unbeknownst to most, this is how he began his career in Entertainment … as a DJ. Being in the UK, Mr. Elba has been influenced by several genres of music, and today, has the ultimate House mix made available to all lover’s of House called ‘Look with Your Ears!’ The mix is exactly 1 hour, is tag light and bass heavy; the selections are 100% on point and clearly shows that DRIIS is a professional. Ready for you to download is DRIIS’s mix, Look with Your Ears at the link below. If you like what you hear, Tweet with the DJ and Actor >>> @idriselba and Like his Facebook page >>> https://www.facebook.com/idriselba

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

At a club called Kilburn Love & Liquor in London, UK, a very good DJ spun on the 1’s and 3’s. He was so good, you could only hear him for 7 Friday’s beginning in February, 2013. Now in 2014, this DJ occasionally spins at venues, but today, he has a mix to fix your bass line bliss!


LOVE

NOEL GOURDIN City Heart, Southern Soul CONTRIBUTED

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Noel Gourdin’s newest album City Heart - Southern soul is like the perfect date that turns in to the perfect love story which turns in to the perfect ending. This artists newest album is an R&B masterpiece that belongs in your collection physically (if you still rock with CD’s) and should also be on your phone, iPod, iPad, computer and every device you use to listen to music! “Do You Wanna” makes our hands clap and soul bounce while “Foxxxy” makes our neck rock to and fro thanks to the piano riff on top of the horns while the ‘bop’ and swing style of “Patience” had us hit the repeat button several times before we could move on, not to mention “Spotlight Loving!” “Can’t Wait” featuring Avery Sunshine describes the anticipation felt between new lovebirds and is the perfect song for a first date while a couple dreams of what their future looks like. Don’t get it twisted, the entire album is off the chain, but these songs are favorites! Currently available on iTunes and all digital retail outlets, this album is worth more than nine hundred and ninety nine pennies, so not only should you get the album, demand Noel Gourdin in your city and watch him perform live! connect with Noel on twitter : @NoelGourdin https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/city-heart-southern-soul/ id805767216


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NEREUS JOSEPH

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L3 MAGAZINE SALUTES UK VETERAN

CONTRIBUTED

Additional hit records would soon follow which included “Sensi Crisis,” “Special Lady,” and “Loves Gotta Take it’s Time.” With these and other songs under his belt, Nereus went on to tour extensively with icons he grew up with, Dennis Brown and Bunny Wailer to name a few. He also performed songs from Bob Marley’s catalog for Kenco Coffee and the advertisement campaign. Today, Nereus spends time making decisions on behalf of his label, Sirius Records, and also enjoys collaborations with fellow artists Dub Judah, Wazair, King Lorenzo, African Simba and more. His new album ‘Ya So Mih Deh’ features Leroy Sibbles, Anthony B and Kingjay!.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

Originally from St. Lucia, Nereus made the change to the UK at the age of 7, following the move made by his parents. While there, the artist was comforted by the sounds of Dennis Brown, and the Mighty Diamonds, so that by the age of 18, Nereus was well immersed in Reggae and formed his first band called The Coptic Roots Band who also backed him on his first single release called “Roots and Culture.”

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He has a new album out, and with that new album, Nereus Joseph is doing what he did from day one, he’s rocking fans through sweet Reggae! In Greek Mythology, Nereus was one of the gods of the sea, and was also known for his truthfulness and virtue, in music, Nereus is known for much the same thing.


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THE REGGAE JAZZ OF

CIYO BROWN CONTRIBUTED

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With his Martin Taylor designed ‘Maestro’ jazz guitar in hand, passion and Love for his land of birth in his heart, and a mission to please his audience, Ciyo Brown delivers an unmistakable fusion of Jazz with a splash of Reggae, making him one of the most sought after musicians in his genre. Music has always been a constant in his life. He learned to play the guitar at the age of 9 by his father, and participated in musical theatre, studio recordings as well as live performances. These performances have been with internationally renowned musicians such as Caron Wheeler (Soul II Soul), Ann Nesby (Sounds of Blackness), Annie Lennox, Caribbean Queen Alison Hinds, East London Gospel Choir, Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, Urban Soul Orchestra, Jim Mullen and Dave Cliff and Sly and Robbie. He counts quality time spent with George Benson as being amongst his most inspiring experiences to date, and having five album releases, “So Inviting,” “Urban Atmosphere,” “Somewhere Out There,” “Natural Mystic,” “Borderline” and “Put a Little Jazz in their Lives” under his belt, inspiration from George and other musical mentors can be enjoyed in each project. Ciyo also has two forthcoming compilations due to be released soon that continue the merger between Jazz and Reggae. There are a host of other current projects in the pipeline to include various collaborations as well as his World Music Acoustic Trio featuring Colin McNeish (double bass) and Lenny Edwards (percussion). This project delivers an eclectic mix of musical themes from around the world featuring dynamic arrangements and interpretations underpinned by instinctive and sublime musicianship from a stellar trio of outstanding musicians.


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L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014


LOVE

FADAH NOAH CONTRIBUTED

In the realm of his latest Reggae singles Fada Noah worked with producers such as the late Texpress along with Fadah Noah Music and Blue Rain Entertainment. He is defiantly a man of many moods, which was expressed in his two singles “Reggae inna jeggae” and “My kind of Girl.” These songs are catchy and it is a promising success based on the global responses, not to mention, both songs have brilliant videos to compliment them. In addition, Fadah Noah will soon release a single called Jamaica, a song that highlights the island and its rich culture. Already, Fadah Noah has earned a hugely enthusiastic response from live audiences in Portugal, the Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Denmark and Italy to name a few. His mission is to, entertain and inspire all who listen to his music. As 2014 continues, his fans can look forward to Fadah Noah to complete his album with supportive in Jamaica, Africa, Europe and London.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

Hailing from Jamaica, London based Reggae artiste Fada Noah vowed to produce an abundance of quality music on a global platform. Although he is not new on the music scene, he deems to bring high energy, soulful Reggae and an excellent management team to ensure it happens.

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As they say, nothing happens before time. If you’re not excited about refreshing Reggae you will be about Fadah Noah.


LOVE

SMOKIE CONTRIBUTED

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Some people find their calling one day while walking on the beach, others find it while in deep meditation, but for recording artist Smokie from Nassau, Bahamas, he found his calling at a concert, a DMX concert to be exact.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

It was the year 1988 that changed Valentino’s life and made him aware of his calling. DMX and his message of following your dreams and being who you want to be inspired him to be a singer and song writer and in 2001 he decided to turn music into his career. Since becoming a professional artiste Smokie has performed mainly across the Bahamas, at venues such as the Crystal Palace in Nassau as well as various night clubs. Smokie names Jah Cure as one of his biggest musical inspirations but he is also inspired by daily life and his personal experiences. Smokie calls his music “life music” because it is real, uplifting, inspiring and a reflection of the life experiences of regular people. As the loving person Smokie is he wants to share his love, thoughts and music with the world and help people everywhere to overcome the struggles they face through music. Gearing up to take his career to the next level Smokie has teamed with new management in 2013 and plans are in place to make 2014 a successful year under the guidance of manager Emmanuelle Roll and his label, Epic World Records. Smokie released his first international single, “No 2Morrow” this month followed by “My Life,” and, most recently, “Hey Mr DJ.” The Epic World Records team is currently working on Smokie’s debut album “Life of Smokie” which they plan to release in 2014.


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LOVE

NINO KHAYYAM CONTRIBUTED

Coming from Brooklyn, New York, this rappers artistic name is Nino Khayyam and he does more than just rap, he shares influence through his music. As for what inspires his music he says “I like real ‘ish’ that touches and inspires people so life overall influences me.”   His approach is described as gritty and electric with heavy doses of New York’s tough streets. He listens to greats such as Bob Marley and Malcom X both of which have assisted this artist to be both street and book smart. With his latest single “F**k Widdah Nocca” bringing heavy heat to the streets, his single has been featured on several mixtapes including the Gnarly Mixtape and the Cocaine / Caviar EP. His unrelenting grit shows what Brooklyn represents. Upcoming performances include one with Cassidy, and the artist can’t wait to represent the realness of life through his performances. Gaining momentum in his career and putting in the work, Nino Khayyam is on his way to becoming what he has always dreamed of. He loves creating music and will allow nothing to hold him back.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

Not one to look within his genre, Mahlik Nino Khayyam does just that, he looks outside of his genre aka his box.

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When you think about the things that influence you it is usually in line with your dreams and goals. If your goal is to be basketball player you’re usually influenced by someone who plays basketball. The same line of thinking goes for music rappers who look to fellow rappers, and country artists who look to other country artists; gospel artists to gospel artists etc; they are all influenced by colleagues before and after them in their field.


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L3 MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2014


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THE JOURNEY OF

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

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f ever there was an artist who did things the right way, we would have to say it’s I-Octane! His first hit record “Stab Vampire” told the world who he is, and the type of vibration he brings to music: justice and righteousness for all. Fans liked what they heard, and since then, the artist has delivered “Mama You Alone,” “Lose a Friend” and “My Life” just to name 3 of his earlier hits. 2014 has the artist releasing his 2nd studio album, and deepening his place in the ultimate book of history where Reggae and Dancehall is concerned. Making music with just as much enthusiasm today, we sat down with I-Octane to talk about his new album, music in general and life as a whole!

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NATASHA VON CASTLE

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NVC: Octane … imagine we’re doing this interview live on T.V.! It would take 5 minutes for the audience to settle down as to how excited they are! How did you create all of this?! IC: Well I have to give thanks to the Almighty. That’s first. I won’t take credit for all of this, it’s just Jah. Jah put all these things in place, and I capitalized on it. What he has done is to put both good and bad people in my life which made a lot of options come along, and those options led to where I am today. I won’t say all of this is me alone, but it’s a combination of several things, most of which is the Almighty.

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NVC: Your new album, My Journey is a celebration of Reggae! Your messages are uplifting and fit each riddim well. Tell us about the selection process in putting this together! IC: Well I feel good to hear that. These are the things that motivate me, as well as hearing it from my fans. What I did was voice a lot of songs, and then DJ Frass and Tads Records chose the songs they think work best. All together I voiced about 20 songs, they made their selections, then we came together and I listened to their selections and it worked. There were some songs that were close, but didn’t quite make where we wanted to go with the project. Also, we thought and conceptualized the album outside of the box. My Journey, as in the album, is more orientated to the English market. That market doesn’t necessarily understand patois to the fullest, so we definitely wanted to tap in to that. So this album is definitely a spiritually vibrational album that everyone can understand, especially the English speaking fans! NVC: Hence you performing more Reggae as opposed to Dancehall or even Crossover which you are so good at doing! IC: Exactly! Reggae reaches all people, no matter the background or circumstance. NVC: The song “Million Miles” sounds like part lamentation and part determination regarding your journey thus far. Is that an accurate description? IC: Yes very accurate. I want the fans to get a copy … they won’t be disappointed. Most of the stories are personal experience plus a certain vibration that is developed around us daily. I don’t write the songs to be selfish; this is a third eye vision of not just my story, but stories that the world can relate to. Songs like “Million Miles” shows that people have grown so much, and still don’t feel appreciated so what I’m saying in that song is don’t live your life looking for other people to accept you, just accept yourself. That will motivate you so if the acceptance doesn’t come, your opinion will push you to live your life to the fullest and to move on mentally. Million Miles is like that; accept yourself.


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L3 MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2013


The album is a spiritual album, and my new name for 2014 is The Balancer. NVC: The song “Love You Like I Do” (track 6 on the album) is a reflection of you being in Love?! IC: I’m always in love. I love Mommy, I love my music, I love my family, I love people; I’m in love in terms of relationships … in and out. Love is the message. Love is what helps me to alleviate myself from stress and to carry on. Love is what I use to conquer a lot of things in terms of not carrying personal feelings in music; if you don’t, everything is going to affect you. Music is very touchy environment. If you carry personal feelings it will affect you.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

NVC: Were you surprised at the level of appreciation that song received?! IC: Well, as we say, music is like that for me. When I voiced that song, it was a fun thing … we were having fun in the studio. I have to say big up to Seanizzle (award winning producer) and Troyton Records. I actually free-styled that song; seriously! From beginning to end, we were just having a lot of fun, and at the end, they said ‘yes, this is the song.’ So I said ‘what?! We can’t put out a chune like this!’ But they said we have to, and now, that is one of the biggest songs. If I don’t perform that song, I’ll be in trouble! So music is like that for me. It’s fun. There is a time when I’m serious, when I’m a warrior, when I’m focused on the ladies, when I’m ready to party … but this song was for fun!

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NVC: The song “Gyal ah Gimme Bun” is a true story?! IC: (I-Octane laughs) No!

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NVC: Do the pressures of making hit songs get easier the deeper you walk on your journey? IC: Well I create hit songs daily, give thanks to Jah. What is unique is I create hit songs strictly for the Jamaican market, and I create hit songs solely for Europe, America etc, but, as you get older and grow as a person, it becomes more about substance. It’s the same topics that are recycled. There is nothing new under the sun as they say. I’m not the first person to sing Reggae, but there is something new in terms of how I express myself which is different to Tom and Mary. There are also new melodies, but the topics are not new. So saying that, it does get harder, it’s now more about the substance of the messages in the songs which are not new, but my expression is new to the people.


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NVC: Has there been a definite moment when you said “it’s music or nothing?” IC: Currently … as in right now. The only thing I put above music is Life and the Almighty. When I say life I mean on a wider scale; I mean the people in my life. The Almighty comes first, then life, then music. Music is the soundtrack of my life. Music is what has brought me to the forefront so that people can know me. Music has helped me to travel worldwide and experience new cultures; it has kept me away from crime and violence, and it made me become a mentor for the less fortunate youths. It’s done a lot for me. My life is music.

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NVC: You and DJ Frass … you’re like the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of Basketball. Tell us about your history! IC: (He laughs) Frass can’t be Michael … his belly is expanding and getting big! But seriously, that is a great way to put it because Frass understands me; I can run jokes with him, I can cuss him, I can be an artist and I can be a person. Some people, operate where you go to the studio, you record your song, and you leave – straight just like that. Frass is a person where I can record a song, we’re almost finished, and he hears something that he doesn’t like, and I have to record the song, or that part again. There are times where I’ll record a whole song, and if he doesn’t like it, it won’t go out. He pushes me and he motivates me because he wants the best for me and for the music. 90% of our day is work and more work which is a good thing. NVC: Another person who speaks very highly of you is Bobby Clarke from Irie Jam Radio / Irie Jam Media Group! IC: For real! Bobby Clarke has been a mentor for me! I don’t classify myself as just an artist, I classify myself as being an avenue and messenger. This avenue is needed in life. If I was just being solely an artist, I would create music for just money and bling and girls and all the things that music comes with. I make sacrifices and compromise so that things can properly come through, and Bobby sees that as a business man. He sees the passion and the goal as to where I want to bring the brand I-Octane, and he understands that and encourages that. Talking to him is like getting a lesson in school! There is more to music that recording and singing, there is a business and he is a master where that is concerned. NVC: Your performances are always high energy and engage every member of your audience. Can you see your fans faces when you’re on stage?! IC: No not really! When I’m on stage, I can’t tell you what is occurring in the crowd because I am so in a different zone.


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NVC: What zone is that? IC: When I’m on stage, it’s like I’m not on earth. Within myself, I’m not a human being; it’s like the Almighty is channeling through the I. A time or two, I’ll look at my skin, and it’s all goose bumps all over my skin because I going through the experience while I’m on stage. It is a deeply spiritual time for me. People in the audience feel it. There are times when I perform a meaningful song, and people are standing and staring, no reaction because they feel it. When I close my show like that, I hear the roar of the audience when I come off the stage. I’ll ask my team how the performance was, and they say I was in that zone. Yeah.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

NVC: The name of our magazine is L3 and each L has a meaning! The first L is for Life, the second for Love and the third for Lyrics. What general advice would you give our readers on Life, Love and Lyrics? IC: In terms of Life, Life is the ultimate. Life comes first; when you view everything from a life perspective, you will put the Almighty first and from you make a decision with Jah in that decision, you will make a right decision. You’re not thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about a wider element of you. We might like different colors, but we all share one thing in common and that’s Life. Love is a universal language that breaks down barriers all across the world. Love heals all things. When people do things to others, as in when nations fight again nations, people forgive, and that forgiveness comes from Love. I’m talking genuine forgiveness where you remember what happened, but you don’t treat the other people in the anger you had over what they did. Lyrics for me is how I express myself and other people’s view, and melody is what makes Lyrics powerful or contagious to the world itself. Lyrics inspire and motivate and influences people around the world and that is the reason why I try to put across positive vibrations in most of my songs…. Connect with I-Octane via Twitter >>> @Realioctane His Brand new album, My Journey is now available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/ album/my-journey/id824954945


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THE TRIPLE ‘O’ OF OSIKI OJO LY R I C S

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OSSIE

JENNIFER MENTSER . Photos : SAMANTHA DAVIS

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riple O Productions is the literal heart beat of Ossie, founder and CEO of this hit maker factory. Having been in music for the past 15 years, Ossie’s ear has been influenced by his native sounds of Nigeria, and by the infectious sounds of Jamaica. Combine those two elements, and you have a hit maker who specializes in the African – Dancehall synergy.

Born and raised in the UK to Nigerian parents, Ossie doesn’t remember a time that he was not influenced by music…


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JM:  There is an art to creating music.  It’s not just having the right equipment in the studio, it’s understanding how the instruments interconnect with the software which interconnects with the artist which interconnects with the fans!  How did you fist learn to put all of that together? O: My approach to making music is researching first and foremost. I have watched hours of documentaries varying from R&B to Soul to Reggae to Dancehall to Afrobeat to Pop, studying the techniques of successful producers/mixing engineers / musicians / songwriters. The role of the Producer, the role of the Songwriters, the role of the musicians and finally the role of the Mix Engineers is to capture the essence of the song. When I am asked to remix a record for example, I always have a spec that is needed, so I listen to the Acapella to understand the progression and decide if I will speed up the tempo or keep its original tempo. Then I start working on the drums to fit movement of vocals, and my signature drum production is always aggressive, because the vocals will soften the punch. I am a fan of different genres of music so I tend to fuse genres together to make a record. The undertone of most of my remixes will be Afrobeat drum progressions and I will add colours with synths from dance music sounds, horn sections with Reggae movements and R&B chord movements and Afrobeat hook lines, which make the Triple O Production sound; the frequencies of every track has to compliment each other. When I am doing an original record I have the artist vocal style in mind and produce a record in my style to present to them. Fans want to dance, so the mix has to have a club thumping and hooks riding effect; that’s paramount! If people don’t dance then the production is wrong!    JM:      What is your first memory with music that made you say ‘production is where I want to be?’ O: My Parents who are very refined Nigerians, would play every type of music in the household when we lived in the UK, varying from R&B to Reggae to Nigerian music (Juju/Fuji/Afrobeats/HighLife). I remember listening to the Nigerian music as a kid and always laughing with my brothers because we did not have a clue what they were saying, but my parents will be dancing hard (what a picture). The day I dreamt of being a musician was In Nigeria, snuck into my dad’s car in the Garage, drained the car battery listening to Cameo, Michael Jackson, Prince… sneaking back into the house and saying to myself ‘that’s me one day.’ I was fortunate and lucky to meet Colin “SteamFish” McNeish through my ex-partner, and being told he’s a record producer, I automatically asked him would you teach me everything about music. He laughed, invited me down to his studio which was in his mother’s house in East London and I did not want to leave. Colin specialised in Reggae so all I heard was amazing bass lines and thumping drums. I was hooked!   JM:  Growing up in a traditional Nigerian house hold; how was their embrace of different genres of music? O: My Dad is a music connoisseur. He loved R&B, Jazz, Reggae, Ska, Classical Music and Abba! He is to blame for my love of music. Nigerian families back in the day were very against their kids getting involved in music because of the negative stigma that goes with music, but my household was a ‘club’ most of the time!


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JM:  Your ear does not deceive you in terms of hearing talent before others do.  How does new talent come to you?  Do people send you their music, do you visit SoundCloud pages etc?  How do you find the talent? O: I have been a lucky producer concerning finding amazing talent. The first act that I worked with for a couple of years were introduced to me by a friend. RnB Girl Group Moziaque ( Melissa/ Gemma/Cleopatra). They were 17 years old when I met them, and they did an Acapella freestyle of one of their songs. I signed them on the spot. Octayne was introduced to me by a friend, he rapped to me and we have worked together for so many years. He was very important in developing my sound. Victoria Kimani was introduced to me by my nephew in Atlanta. She hit me up on Twitter, we had a chat, I sent a beat, and Ayaya was done, and that’s how I met Vicky Sola. She was a fan of Victoria Kimani, (you could not miss her comments on twitter to Victoria), so I did some research on her and found out she has a voice. Got in touch with her and the rest is history.    JM:  Because of your bridging traditional African sounds with Caribbean sounds, particularly Dancehall and Reggae, you’ve created a unique ‘lane’ that other producers are now travelling.  What was it about this coupling that appealed to you? O: I love Dancehall! I Love Reggae! Colin “Steamfish” McNeish introducing me to Reggae was very important for the sound I started to develop. He played all these records that were coming out of the Caribbean and I soaked them in. Afrobeat was taught to me by Tuface Idibia, and my time in Nigeria helped develop my understanding of the Afropop Craze, that was building so fast you could not ignore it. The first fusion of Dancehall and Afrobeat I did was around 2004, December, and that was the First track Tuface voiced for me called “Dance Like an African.” We never released the record but it sounded fresh and exciting. It’s amazing now that producers in Nigeria are fusing all genres of music with Afrobeat /Afropop and making massive hits worldwide.

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JJM:  You have worked with greats such as Wyclef Jean, Tuface Idibia, Beenie Man and with talented artists May7ven , Vicky Sola and King Ali Baba – just to name a few from your extensive list.  What similarities if any would you say they have in terms of the creative process with you? O: All of the names mentioned are phenomenal songwriters, so that makes my job very easy. I create a concept, they listen to the concept of the rhythm track and take it where they feel the song should go. I met Tuface in Nigeria 2004 at the Guinness Music Festival. Wyclef Jean was headlining and that was my introduction to Afrobeat. Tuface Idibia was instrumental in encouraging me to fuse different sounds together when I started working with him 2005. My first session with him was unforgettable. He flew into the UK for the first time for a gig, popped by the studio, heard a couple tracks and started free styling on the spot. Then he said record me, and I was thinking for what reason, people tend to write their verses down on paper and then voice. He gave me two verses, a chorus and a bridge without writing a thing on paper. That was the start of my mindset changing on how music can be created. King Ali Baba came along and did the same to me, but the shock value was under manners by then. Wyclef Jean did the same when we were in Ghana, Beenie Man has the same approach to writing songs in the studio, May7ven is an amazing songwriter and my new protegé Vicky Sola is catching up (he laughs)!  


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JM:  So far we’ve put a lot of emphasis on Nigerian sounds, but are there other African sounds that influence the music you create? O: I am delving now into Angolan music. The project I am working on is a remix for an Angolan Artist/Actress/Singer named Solange Hilario. I have brought in musicians to play Angolan guitar riffs and bass lines on a simple drum beat and we are hoping to have an A-list Afrobeat Artist to take the song to a bigger audience. I am also studying Congolese music. Amazing musicians in The Congo.   JM:  How often do you visit Nigeria, and when you visit, is your soul replenished and inspired for new projects? O: I was in Nigeria 6 - 8 months ago for a couple of years, and that was two years back. But the last couple of years I am focused on developing my music here In the UK. When in Nigeria I always feel recharged, liberated and a student to the music that was moving at a speed that, everyone I met was involved in the entertainment business. Working with Soul/Afrobeat artist “Darey Art Alade” who was working on his album had an array of A-list Afrobeat artista coming to his studio to feature on songs. That was inspirational and insightful on how the music had developed to new heights. Coming back to the UK after spending so much time out there allowed me to make decisions on what direction I wanted to develop.  JM:  For a person who has never visited Nigeria, and plans to go, what are some of the musical festivities you would recommend they check out?! O: There is a yearly Calabar Festival at the end of every year. The carnival goes on for a month. You will see culture, amazing colours, traditional dancing and great music. Also there is an industry night which is held every week, showcasing all the Afrobeat artists. The show is now going worldwide. Darey Art Alade has started a brand show which he calls love like a movie which is held every Valentines period. This year he has Kelly Rowland headlining with him and the best of the Afrobeat elite.   JM:  One of your productions featured a Hip Hop beat coupled with some African elements and a lot of Pop.  The name of that song is “Superstar” which our fans really enjoyed hearing on the radio and would like to hear more of … so … will there be more Hip Hop fusion coming soon?! O: Definitely Yes. That song “Superstar” took me by surprise how people bought into the sound. I did that record out of frustration, just bought my new mac book pro, testing out logic pro, King Ali Baba’s vocals with Octayne and Peter Parker sitting on my hard drive, and started working on the riddim. I did not play that record to anyone for almost a year. Natasha Von Castle was the first person I sent the record to, and when I saw the L3 Magazine Download Charts with “Superstar” In the top 20, I said to myself I found a formula. “Superstar” defined my new sound. Thank You L3! Grateful!


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L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

Special thanks to Wale Adeyemi, B- Side Clothing London, Private Baller London and Puma for the clothes and shoes for this photoshoot with Ossie and Misco Studios - London.

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Connect with Ossie on Twitter >>> @osmoojak

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JM: What do you find most rewarding about your job? O: Meeting people and being told you inspired me to be a record producer. I don’t consider myself a great producer (we disagree), but I am working to that goal. Getting email’s from up and coming artists asking me to listen to their songs; people asking me to sign them to my label … and I don’t have a record label (he laughs)! All of that is mind-blowing. I am a student in the music game, learning from the big boys, developing my art, learning from every single artist I work with and enjoying listening to my records on radio and asking what was I thinking when I did that record. Last year has to be my most productive year with my records on radio here in the UK. Had about five songs back to back and MR 2KAY’S “BUBUGAGA” on major radio for almost 9 months was a sign of great things for me.    JM: The name of the magazine is L3 and each L has a meaning.  The first L is for Life, the second L is for Love and the third L is for Lyrics.  What general advice can you give our readers on Life, Love and Lyrics. O: Life is precious, enjoy the Life you have on planet earth. Love yourself first and foremost and share the love with loved ones. Lyrics to me are words of sentiment, words of spreading love, words of happiness, words of bringing people together. In a nutshell LOVE!


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L3 MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER 2013


JP

TRINIDAD ROCKERS

To connect our worlds, it is easy to say that whether a beat is played in Trinidad &Tobago or stateside (USA) great rock is great rock!

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

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t was an easy afternoon, nothing was a worry as the warm breeze blew and the sweet melodies of nature wrapped us in comfort. There is nothing pretentious to be found, life is about music, love, and family. Gary is every bit at ease with life, his surroundings and most importantly himself, all of which reflect in the music of his band, jointpop.

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SONG RIVER

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SR: Who is Gary Hector and what is JointPop? GH: Well I am the singer and guitar player of jointpop, a rock n roll band from Trinidad and Tobago, also a songwriter and a family man. jointpop is a five member rock n roll band, and all five members are also from Trinidad and Tobago.The other band members are Damon Homer (Guitar), Dion Camacho (Drums), Phil Hill (keyboards), Jerome Girdharrie (Bass).

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SR: Gary... JointPop- Soca or not? Describe why or why not. GH: Soca is the most popular style of music in Trinidad and Tobago, and it was created here in the mid-seventies. The present day style and songs I am not really a fan of as I prefer the songs from the mid-seventies up to early nineties. I am a big fan of what is known as “Old Time Kaiso ( Calypso).” I must admit over the last couple years, a few Soca singers seem to be returning to good strong melodies and grooves, and the lyrics and content are starting to come away for the repeated instruction style phrases. JointPop just sticks to what we know best, which is rock n roll, and we leave the Soca to the “Soca Experts” or as they call them here “ Soca Stars.” SR: Over the years you’ve spent writing, singing, performing how have you seen your part of the world in the eye of the music top 40 standards? Those in particular being set by the UK and the United States, and throw in the influences you’ve seen carry themselves over from Australia? GH: In my opinion, the majority of top 40 standards is downright terrible and just “throw away” stuff, and sadly most bands and singers here in the Caribbean use the top 40 standards as blueprints to follow. SR: What is your struggle; in what way do you perceive this world both socially, culturally and politically? GH: My struggle is simple; I’m in a rock n roll band in Trinidad and Tobago, but sometimes it’s a beautiful struggle. Social issues and Cultural knowledge do interest me and I can absorb some of that. Politics I don’t deal with at all. No interest what so ever. I actually find it funny. SR: Does this perception influence your music writing, does it at times interfere too much? Do you try to keep out of political and social influences when writing, or does each album created carry its own? GH: Yes (pauses), it does to some extent, but I just let it be. Whenever I decide to write songs for a new album, I try to find the album name first, then the songs start coming and the album takes its own life. The history of our singers here was always been based around strong social commentary, so I do inherit some of that… (laughs) thankfully. SR: Describe the arts in your area. How have you seen the whole process of music and the arts change since your childhood days in the Caribbean? GH: Music and arts in the Caribbean is a constant struggle because it’s not very well supported by the various Governments and corporate entities. With the internet, more Caribbean music and arts would find new audiences, but I can imagine it’s all down to the individuals’ personal hard work.


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SR: You as a songwriter, Gary are a best kept secret. Why has the Caribbean kept you a secret do you think? Or is it you yourself ... maybe you’re satisfied with enjoying what you do, and where you are? GH: Maybe I’m just whispering (laughs), maybe (pauses), the Caribbean has been “fed” to believe my stories are not worth listening to, I really don’t know. Yes, we have been accused a few times of not “pushing “ or “marketing” ourselves properly, but it’s the same push we do to the outside world and that fan base is growing so it’s obviously a style thing; or maybe not. SR: How have you and your band mates managed to collectively create the sound of a live band in studio without the external ‘fluff?’ GH: That comes down to total belief in what we are doing. Also, a level of confidence and contentment, but we also know we still have to improve on those aspects.

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

SR: As I understand your songwriting skills Gary, you seem to know how to project a thought on many levels without smacking the usual listener. How do you walk that line in song writing? GH: Basically, ‘I don’t stop to think,’ when I’m in the actual writing process. Maybe, after I would have an overall look at it, but really it’s down to the feel. So, it’s always a case of saying, ‘how do we feel about it boys? Good? Ok; next song.’ Then you get the view of someone outside the band asking “Well, if you listen to the radio now, that’s not what they are playing,” my response, “sorry, but I don’t listen to the radio.”

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SR: In the states, due to funding (so it is said), most of the arts have been cut out of our public school systems. Are the arts and music still included in your school systems? Are the children and youth in the Caribbean able to still enjoy the artistic expressions all through their growing years? GH: I’m not sure what the actual status of the arts and music programs in the local school systems, but from general reading and discussions, it seems to be very minimal outside of some traditional schools, which retained an arts and music program. From what I observe with present Caribbean artists, the artistic impression is being stifled because of the ‘quick fix’ attitude of over trying for the hit song.

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SR: Describe the arts in your area. How have you seen the whole process of music and the arts change since your childhood days in the Caribbean? GH: Music and arts in the Caribbean is a constant struggle because it’s not very well supported by the various Governments and corporate entities. With the internet, more Caribbean music and arts would find new audiences, but I can imagine it’s all down to the individuals’ personal hard work.


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SR: What is it within jointpop that brings this easy sound of rock n roll that feels good, stays in your head, (made me hum “Sweet Nothing” all day), and tells a story? GH: Staying honest to the writing process and the fact that we don’t have any record label or management to answer to so it’s all very uncomplicated.

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SR: How many recorded albums to date now? GH: Between 1999 to present , six albums recorded, Port of Spain Style (1999), Exile, Baby (2001) jointpop (EP 2004), The January Transfer Window (2007), The Longest Kiss Goodnight (2009) and The Pot Hounds (2013) and presently working on our 2014 album Quicksand (May / June 2014 release) which we are very excited about.

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SR: Of those recorded and released, which one has been ... not your favorite, but the one that has stuck with you in a good or bad way? GH: Well they all have their own beauty and pain really. If I have to mention, then the first, Port of Spain Style, for being the first to start the journey, and the last The Pot Hounds which continues the journey. SR: Early influences to your songwriting style? Who continues to influence you today? GH: Bob Dylan. 60’s British Invasion like The Beatles, The Stones, and The Kinks; mid 70’s Punk like The Clash, The Sex Pistols; Blondie; 70’s singers /songwriters Neil Young and the Carpenters; 70’s Reggae, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Culture (Joseph ‘Culture’ Hill). Calypso singers the Mighty Sparrow and David Rudder; 80’s and 90’s Sonic Youth, The Smiths, Grant Lee Phillips, and modern day rock n rollers like Jack White. Today it remains the same. SR: What misconceptions do you think people have of jointpop in the Caribbean area? Do you believe there are any outside of your homeland? GH: The general misconception in The Caribbean seems to be that because jointpop is a rock n roll band, that we are ‘outsiders’ and play “foreign” music and not part of the “culture” which is a bit narrow minded as far as I’m concerned. The Caribbean rejoice when ‘foreign’ acts put out songs with Reggae or Calypso influences. I mean after all, we love Cricket and Football here, both are “English” sports. It’s strange (he pauses), but none of my business. Outside our homeland the people just check us as a band, that’s all.


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SR: The Pot Hounds is your latest release! Describe its style. GH: With The Pot Hounds album, we touched on the notion of a fictional band called “The Pot Hounds.” A “Pot Hound” in Trinidad and Tobago is a stray dog or street dog, no owners, no love, no food and neglected. So I guess it’s not fictional at all, sounds just like jointpop. So it’s really just more brutal and honest rock n roll stories.

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SR: Each track if you would touch upon them, as to where you were thinking when you wrote them? GH: Mostly I think “after” I write, but with that album in general, the theme of the stray dogs was kept at the forefront.

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SR: GH:

Are you comfortable placing the sound of The Pot Hounds into a genre or style? I am very comfortable with placing the sound of The Pot Hounds as Rock n Roll.

SR: Your fans span outside the Caribbean area ... does jointpop want top 40 radio air play in America, UK; Europe? GH: (Grinning) that would be nice, but we don’t live our life everyday thinking about it, I would rather write songs, or play football, cricket or golf. SR: When you listen to music, who do you pull out and plug into your player? GH: My iPod rarely lets me down, as I built the playlist from song one to the last. So it’s all my influences that I mentioned earlier and songs I like. SR: Time to unwind Gary; what do you do to unwind, and where is one place you would love to visit? GH: I am a big sports fan, so I play or watch mostly Football (Soccer), Cricket and Golf. Spending time with my wife and two children and enjoying a drink and laugh with my good friends. Visiting ... well jointpop played a gig at CBGB’s, New York City and also at The 100 Club in London, UK, both hotbeds and birth places of Punk rock, so I guess I’m fine as far as visiting places (laughs). Actually, believe it or not, I do enjoy the history of Trinidad and Tobago so there are lots of places I would love to visit right here at home. Connect with jointpop on Twitter >>> @jointpop


LK THE CHOP UP

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I

n a sea of up and coming artists looking for their big break, Lady Keyz is one who stands out. Ever colorful, she brings an element of play to her fusion of Hip Rock and Dancehall. I had a chance to chop it up with the young artist in New York….

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Rohan ‘Dilinga Movements’ Beckford

LY R I C S

LADY KEYZ


RB: You’ve released a few singles, and one of my favorites is “Nah Forget Where Mih Come From.” Being that you’re from Miami, then went to Chicago, and you’ve travelled, what are some of the experiences that led you to write that song? LK: That was really a growing process. Being from Miami I felt I did as much as I can do with what I had, then I had to travel for more opportunities to happen, and came out of my comfort zone, and in the process of doing and seeing I had to grow. Being around different people, I had to express that I can’t forget where I come from even though I’m away from home. I represent the 3-0-5 all day every day (she smiles)! You have to adapt to where you are at that moment, but you shouldn’t forget where you’re coming from. RB: I had the opportunity to mix and mingle, and one thing I hear is the need for a solid team to tap in to other markets. LK: Because of the music that I do; because it’s so diverse, we are able to get in to different markets because of the appeal of the music. When I do Reggae, I’m going to throw some Hip Hop in it as an example; people just like the sound. As for the team, we support each other and understand each others’ roles and what we need to do to get the job done.

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RB: What can fans expect from your EP which is due to be released soon? LK: We have an awesome producer who worked with Gyptian and a few other notable artists. His style is uptempo so he brings that fun-ness to the project. Fans can expect Pop, Hip Hop, Reggae and a little Fusion. It’s a lot of music to make you think too!

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RB: I understand you had a chance to record with Voicemail. What was that experience like? LK: It was an excellent experience. It was different from my other experiences with greats like Jr. Reid and Future Fambo because with those artists I recoded my part, they came in and did they did their part, then the song was edited. In the case of Voicemail, we recorded together and they told me on the spot what to change. So it was good … it was great and it was experience.

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RB: When you’re getting ready to touch the stage, what goes through your mind just before you perform? LK: Basically, I want everyone in the audience to be happy. I want to entertain them and of course get my product out there but the number one thing is to gain fans and get those cheers!


RB: What can you say about the mantra Life, Love and Lyrics? LK: Life cannot be forced … just let it happen; Life will give you something to write about. For Love, music is my Love and it’s a deep relationship. Lyrics is essential to music and comes from Life! Connect with Lady Keys via Twitter >>> @LadyKeyz010

L3 MAGAZINE | MARCH 2014

RB: In the next five years where do you see Lady Keyz?! LK: Hopefully reading my awards speech at the Grammy’s! I’d also like to have some property, great family and have completed a sold-out tour.

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RB: Can we put you in the lane with Katy Perry, Justin Beiber, Sean Kingston etc. LK: Yes and no! I have a true fusion sound … I even have a Rock n Roll sound so I can’t really be put into one lane! It’s not just Reggae, or Hip Hop, it’s Pop too! I go to a few different places so I think I’m in a lane by myself.

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RB: How do you decide how and when you release your music? LK: I have some singles that I release just to be singles, and I have other material that’s been recorded for the album so it just really depends on whether the finished song sounds like a single, or whether it sounds like it should be on the album.



L3 Magazine - March 2014 No. 30 ft. I-Octane