I was checking out the iTunes Top Reggae Albums chart. As usual, the top of the chart is dominated by Bob Marley, Bob Marley and The Wailers and we see the pre-sale of Ziggy Marley’s new release “Fly Rasta” at #3. As you scan down the chart you can see the likes of Jamaican artists Collie Buddz, Shaggy, Gregory Isaacs, Sizzla, Barrington Levy, Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff and course Damian and Stephen Marley.
Then, there is the new generation of non-Jamaican reggae artists in the top 40 albums. Most were born in California, USA. Included in that list are Rebelution (Santa Barbara, Ca.), Iration (Isla Vista, Ca.) and Tribal Seeds (San Diego, Ca.). I noticed one band omitted from the reggae chart that is very popular, also out of San Diego, the band Slightly Stoopid. This band is listed under the Alternative music category but, certainly could be in the reggae genre.
Other reggae bands on the charts that are from the next generation American reggae artists/bands are SOJA, Matisyahu, J. Boog and The Green (both from Hawaii).
My band Island Head are an instrumental reggae band and most of us are from New York, Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung is from Kingston, Jamaica and David Frank is from Los Angeles, Ca.
SOJA is, beside Midnite and Groundation, best reggae band in last few years. However, I expect a lot from Nesbeth and his new EP . His Ole GangaLee cover is already out on YouTube and it is one of my fav songs for this year so far.