Keida’s Reggae message: Peace, unity and love

Source: KING2LA kingstontola.com

Progression is a process. It’s every artist’s pursuit. From painter to poet, the end game for every creative is the manifestation of the truest form of themselves. This pursuit is lofty, yet it is the driving force that pushes artists to continue their movement forward.

keida live1.jpgKeida performing live alongside Kranium at the 32nd annual Reggae on the River.

Makeida Beckford, known by her stage name Keida, has blossomed before the reggae world’s eyes. Originally from Bull Bay, Jamaica, Keida burst on the scene with her hit “Jamaica Boy” in 2009. This single instantly gained popularity and remained a favorite with DJs all over the world. She then released singles throughout the next few years, showing her versatility on tracks such as “We are the West Indies,” a song that complimented a campaign to revitalize cricket on the islands. Yet, this song was significant, as it showcased Keida’s crossover potential and proved that, no matter the vibes, Keida adapts and manages to keep her signature sound intact.

Her most recent release, Ebb and Flowis her best and most complete work to date. It’s rare to listen to an album and feel as though you are picking up something “real” from an artist; songs that let the listener in on something personal through struggle, understanding and feeling. These things come across in Keida’s album and still have the world craving the artist’s vibes. Check out “Mad World” below to hear the singjay’s ebb and flow:

We were excited to explore these themes and more with Keida when we sat down with her for a recent interview:

KINGSTONTOLA: Your sound and style are unique in today’s music coming out of the Caribbean. Who are your biggest influences both musically and socially?

KEIDA: As an artist, both vocally and visually, I draw influence from many different aspects of life and people’s experiences, but when it comes to influential artists, I have been largely impacted by artists like Sade Adu, Roberta Flack, Tracy Chapman, Sister Nancy, Bob Marley and … I could go on forever. Socially, I look up to people like Russell Bell (a great mathematician and youth advocate), Emperor Haile Selassie I, and, of course, my parents, Jamaican fine artists Owen Beckford and Michele Gauntlett.

KNG2LA: Your message of peace and unity are central themes to your music. How do you stay grounded in that thought process?

keida 2.jpgKEIDA: Well, I was taught to speak things into being, so I try to use my music to focus on the positive, even by sometimes highlighting the negative, as a means to bring awareness to some of the things we can and need to change. For question two, you need to capitalize on what’s happening globally. With the current global affairs, I’m constantly reminded of the need for a message of peace and unity. World events and, in particular, civil wars, terrorist activity and hate crimes, inspire me to continue spreading this message of love and unity in the face of divisiveness.

KNG2LA: Your songs draw on several influences: roots reggae, calypso and R&B. How does the writing process begin and how are styles chosen?  Does your writing dictate the sound?

KEIDA: Each writing session is a little different. Some songs can be born out of reasoning with self or another person and just having a concept that resonates with me, while other times, the song may be influenced by the feel and sound of the riddim. I usually start off by listening to the riddim and just writing what it makes me feel. The way I deliver the lyrics all depends on the message I’m bringing across.

KNG2LA: Are there any causes that you are currently championing?  Are there any social causes that you would like to get the word out about?

KEIDA: I’m an ambassador for R.E.A.P., an in-school, environmental program encouraging kids to learn about the impact they have on their environment. I would also like to continue to use my voice to champion a message of love and unity, instead of tyranny and terrorism, as I did in my recent song “One Love.”

When we interviewed Keida, the singer was about to embark on her tour stop to the 32nd annual Reggae on the River festival in northern California, our home away from home. Keida blew the crowd away with two special guest performances during the festival. She ignited the crowd as she joined Jesse Royal and his band onstage. The chemistry and vibes between the two talents was obvious as the crowd grooved along to the duo’s collaboration.

keida 3.jpg

Keida and Jesse Royal exchange the mic and a smile while performing together at Reggae on the River.

While the crowd was taken through a journey of hits by dancehall favorite Kranium, Keida joined him for her second performance and showcased her singjay skills, much to the crowd’s delight. Their performance was one of the best dancehall contributions to the festival.

keida 4.jpg

Keida performing alongside Kranium at the 32nd annual Reggae on the River.

Flexibility and progression, two things that define artistry, also define Keida. Impressive is her movement through musical styles and the stage. We look forward to what she blesses her fans with next!

Listen to one of our favorite singles from Keida’s Ebb and Flow EP titled “One Love” here on KingstonToLA:

Cabalgando con Fidel – A song for Fidel

Riding with Fidel by Various Cuban artists  with subtitles in English and Russian

Published on Nov 28, 2016
by: Raúl Torres
Arreglos: Pancho Amat
Trompeta: Yasek Manzano
Acompañamieto: Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional
Intérpretes: Raulito, Eduardo Sosa, Luna Manzanares y Annie Garcés.
Producciones Abdala
Ministerio de Cultura de Cuba

English translation

Riding with Fidel

by Raul Torres

They say that in the square, these days,
They have been seen riding,
Camilo and Marti.
And in front of the caravan,
Slowly without rider,
A horse for you.

Wounds come back that do not heal,
Of men and women,
That we will not let you go.
Today, our hearts beat outside,
And your people, although they hurt,
They do not want to dismiss you.

Man, the grateful ones accompany you,
How we will yearn your feats,
Not even death believes, that it took you,

Man, we learned to know you forever,
Just as Olofin and Jesus Christ,
There is not a single altar, without a light for you.

Today, I do not want to tell you, Comandante,
Neither “bearded” or “giant”
Everything I know about you.
Today I want to shout you “father of mine”,
Do not let go of my hand,
I still cannot do walk well without you.

Man, the grateful ones accompany you,
How we will yearn your feats,
Not even death believes, that it took you.

Man, we learned to know you forever,
Just as Olofin and Jesus Christ,
There is not a single altar, without a light for you.

Man, the grateful ones accompany you,
How we will yearn your feats,
Not even death believes, that it took you.

Man, we learned to know you forever,
Just as Olofin and Jesus Christ,
There is not a single altar, without a light for you.

They say that in the square, these days,
It no longer fits more steeds,
Arriving from another confine
A desperate crowd
Of heroes with winged backs
That have been quoted here
And in front of the caravan
Slowly without rider
A horse for you.

Spanish

Cabalgando con Fidel
Source:  Granma
Canción compuesta por Raúl Torres
By Raúl Torres | internet@granma.cu

Dicen que en la plaza en estos días
se le ha visto cabalgar
a Camilo y a Martí.
Y delante de la caravana
lentamente sin jinete,
un caballo para ti.

Vuelven las heridas que no sanan
de los hombres y mujeres
que no te dejaremos ir.
Hoy el corazón nos late afuera
y tu pueblo aunque le duela
no te quiere despedir.

Hombre, los agradecidos te acompañan
Cómo anhelaremos tus hazañas.
Ni la muerte cree que se apoderó de ti.

Hombre, aprendimos a saberte eterno.
Así como Olofi y Jesucristo,
no hay un solo altar sin una luz por ti.

Hoy no quiero decirte, Comandante,
ni barbudo, ni gigante
todo lo que sé de ti.
Hoy quiero gritarte «padre mío»,
no te sueltes de mi mano,
aún no sé andar bien sin ti.

Hombre, los agradecidos te acompañan.
Cómo anhelaremos tus hazañas.
Ni la muerte cree que se apoderó de ti.

Hombre, aprendimos a saberte eterno.
Así como Olofi y Jesucristo,
no hay un solo altar sin una luz por ti.

Hombre, los agradecidos te acompañan.
Cómo anhelaremos tus hazañas.
Ni la muerte cree que se apoderó de ti.

Hombre, aprendimos a saberte eterno.
Así como Olofi y Jesucristo.
No hay un solo altar sin una luz por ti.

Dicen que en la plaza esta mañana,
ya no caben más corceles
llegando de otro confín.
Una multitud desesperada
de héroes de espaldas aladas
que se han dado cita aquí.
Y delante de la caravana
lentamente sin jinete,
un caballo para ti.

Published on Nov 28, 2016
Author: Raúl Torres
Arreglos: Pancho Amat
Trompeta: Yasek Manzano
Acompañamieto: Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional
Intérpretes: Raulito, Eduardo Sosa, Luna Manzanares y Annie Garcés.
Producciones Abdala
Ministerio de Cultura de Cuba

Jamaican Grassroots singer’s support song for Bernie Sanders

jamaican-flag

Jamaican Grassroots singer’s support song 
for  Bernie Sanders

elad.jpg

Elad

Political revolution

Political revolution
Elad in the building
Jamaicans supporting, Bernie Sanders

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution. yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of justice and liberation

Tell me how it is that the minority
Have all the wealth an a starve the majority
Well to me that’s a foolish policy
Nah serve no good purpose to humanity
Too much people a sink ina poverty
Pulled down by unemployment’s gravity
Tonight ah won’t be sleeping happily
Cause tomorrow injustice might be after me

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of justice and liberation

So it’s time for a brand new levity
Time fi we reshape the society
Time fi we spread love and share
Free education and free health care
Done wid police brutality
Shut down the prison economy
Send the innocent home to them family
Gi we equal work for equal salary

Belafonte and Killer Mike
Say they who’s  gonna shine that light
Spike Lee and Cornel West
Say Bernie Sanders is the best, yes
Spike Lee and Cornel West
Say Bernie Sanders is the best, yes

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of justice and liberation

The whole world is in need of change
No more bull no more games
So please stop acting strange
after we put x beside your name
Keep talking of your big plans
But they never yet reach my hands
I’m fed up of all these scams
No help when we get caught in jams

Ah won’t follow if you can’t lead
Won’t vote if I can’t read
So you better educate us please
Homeless, I’m hungry so give me what I need

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of justice and liberation

Belafonte and Killer Mike
Say they know who’s gonna shine that light
Spike Lee and Cornel West
Say Bernie Sanders is the best, yes
Belafonte and Killer Mike
Say they know who’s gonna shine that light
Spike Lee and Cornel West
Say Bernie Sanders is the best, yes

Ah say what we need
(MLK speaks)
Ah say what we need
(MLK speaks)

Elad in the building
Jamaicans supporting, Bernie Sanders
Say Elad in the building
Jamaicans supporting, Bernie Sanders, lift the standards

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of justice and liberation

All over the world people crying out for peace
People crying out for love
People crying out for help
What is my life if it is for I alone
It’s time for caring, it’s time for sharing,
It’s time for a total change in the way we think,
And in the way we act
And in the way we treat each other
We need revolution,
economic revolution, spiritual revolution, political revolution, yeah
political revolution, yeah

71st anniversary of Bob Marley’s birth

Source:  jamaicaobserver.com
January 14 2016

bob marley 20bob 5

Nyabinghi drumming

Plans were also rolled out for the official birthday celebrations. On February 6, Marley’s birthday, activities will commence at 6:30 am with Nyabinghi drumming, the release of doves, and sounding of the Abeng at the museum.

Kelissa, Iba Mahr and Jesse Royal

The celebrations continue throughout the day with the symposiums Rastafari Today, Sustainable Agro and Jamaica’s Reggae Music. This will give way to a live show featuring emerging acts, to be followed by performances from Kelissa, Iba Mahr and Jesse Royal — who have all been named ambassadors for the celebrations — and members of Marley: The Next Generation.

Sabina Park

Telecommunications company Digicel is also partnering with the Marley family to celebrate Marley’s birthday with a concert at Sabina Park in Kingston.

One Love Football Match

Other activities to mark the milestone include the two-day One Love Music Festival in Montego Bay on February 4-5, and the One Love Football Match, featuring masters and celebrities, at the Arnett Gardens Football Club on February 10.

Read full article here

Black History Month: What we want to see, is Africa’s liberty … Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley:  What we want to see is Africa’s Liberty

ziggy marley 1.jpgBlack my story, black my story
Not his-tory, black my story
Black my story, black my story
Not his-tory, black my story

From education to civilization
From astrology straight to biology
Black my story, black my story
Not his-tory, black my story
African glory, African glory
What we want to see, is African liberty
From Marakeshi to Egypt, Rio-De-Oro
From Cape Town to Addis-Ababa and Congo

African glory, African glory
What we want to see
African liberty, give it to me

Oh, black my story, black my story
No not his-tory, black my story
African glory, African glory
What we got to see, must be Africa’s liberty
From Mozambique to Libya
Oh land of the Uganda
From Senegal to Somalia
Oh land of the good Ghana

African glory, African glory
What we want to see is African liberty
Black my story, black my story
Black my story, not his-tory
A black my story, I and I story
Black my story, not his-tory
Black I story, black my story

Bob Marley: How many rivers do we have to cross?

Bob Marley:  Highlighting the plight of the poor and the downpressed through music

This morning I woke up in a curfew
O God, I was a prisoner, too – yeah
Could not recognize the faces standing over me
They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality.

How many rivers do we have to cross
Before we can talk to the boss?
All that we got, it seems we have lost
We must have really paid the cost.

That’s why we gonna be
Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight
Say we gonna burn and loot
Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight
One more thing
Burnin’ all pollution tonight
Oh, yeah, yeah
Burnin’ all illusion tonight.

Oh, stop them, give me the food and let me grow
Let the roots man take a blow
All them drugs gonna make you slow now
It’s not the music of the ghetto

Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight
Who can stop the tears?
Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight
We’ve been suffering these long, long-a years
Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight
Will you say cheer?
Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight
But where?

Give me the food and let me grow
Let the root man take a blow
I say: all and all them drugs gonna make you slow
It’s not the music of the ghetto.

We gonna be burning and a-looting tonight;
To survive, yeah
Burning and a-looting tonight
Save your baby lives
Burning all pollution tonight
Pollution, yeah, yeah
Burning all illusion tonight
Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord-a Lord

Burning and a-looting tonight
Burning and a-looting tonight
Burning all pollution tonight

Reggae Message: