KEMAR 'FLAVA' MCGREGOR PRODUCES NEW POP-REGGAE SINGLE WITH ED ROBINSON
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK - October 21, 2014: Reggae music is reaching forward – escaping the hardcore heaviness of the past, and embracing a sunny, beach-club pop flavor that has recently invaded Billboard charts and European festivals. Reggae singer Ed Robinson and producer Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor are well aware of this global trend. The pair has just released a new pop-reggae single, titled “Let Your Hair Down,” Tuesday, October 21, 2014, for pre-order on iTunes. The single officially will be released November 25, 2014, on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
Drenched in multi-colored keyboard chords and savory island rhythms, “Let Your Hair Down” exemplifies the current pop-reggae mania that has dominated North American mainstream radio playlists. The song covers a new release from Canadian pop group Magic!, whose reggae-flavored hit single, “Rude,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for four weeks this summer - showcasing the seductiveness of melodic radio-reggae.
Robinson said “Let Your Hair Down” represents a shift in the international music industry – a journey toward new musical horizons in response to recent consumer trends, which predict a bright future for pop-reggae.
“We’re taking the reggae genre in a new direction,” said Robinson. “We’re taking reggae away from that whole hardcore sound, and we’ve made it more listener-friendly. It’s not as heavy with the hardcore bass vibe. We’ve made it a little bit more musical – more listenable.
Producer Kemar ‘Flava’ McGegor is the creator of the modern pop-reggae idiom, having scored Billboard and iTunes Top 40 chart rankings in connection with his 2013 album, “9INE,” with Grammy Award-nominated singers Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson. Most recently, McGregor produced four tracks for pop superstar Sinead O’Connor’s new album, “I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss,” which peaked at number 83 on the Billboard 200 Chart this summer.
The cover of “Let Your Hair Down” emerged from McGregor’s mission to proliferate the pop-reggae genre internationally throughout 2014, and into the New Year. He has amassed hundreds of soon-to-be-released tracks, and he is currently recording a cadre of male and female singers – mostly pop celebrities and up-and-coming vocal stylists who can generate sweetened radio-friendly vibes.
“I made the track for Ed Robinson – it was Ed’s sound that brought the idea to me,” said McGregor. “From a producer’s standpoint, I see him as one of the best reggae artists. With his melodic style, he puts me in a different mood. This is the first time I’ve been in this type of mood since I started
Once Robinson heard the track, it instantly elevated his emotions, catalyzing his vocal timbre toward a happy, euphoric spirit that fashioned the single into a cool, blissful lovers theme. “This is a feel-good record, because when I was singing it, the instrumental track made me feel good,” said Robinson. “Basically, that’s how we do it. When we get a track, the track actually influences what you’re singing.”
And Robinson is confident about feel-good music. He recently toured Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, where he realized European audiences crave happiness and enjoyment in their musical events – and in their everyday lives.
“Audiences respond to this style in the international marketplace,” said Robinson. “We’re just bringing it to a newer group of people. I just performed in three cities in Germany – we did a few songs in the pop-reggae style. They love the style – those songs went over very well for me. Personally, I think it’s a freer lifestyle over there – the way people enjoy themselves. It’s more free-spirited. The style has potential to catch on.”
Where his music is concerned, McGregor recognizes the inevitable – pop-reggae is the future of the reggae industry. McGregor wants the single, “Let your Hair Down,” to conjure in his fans the same easygoing vibe he felt while producing the song, but he also wants the single to convince reggae radio stations to evolve their playlists toward the new mainstream reggae trend.
“I always do mainstream music,” said McGregor. “Certain people in the reggae industry – they always try to push a vibe that the listeners don’t like. When I see pop artists on the Billboard charts doing reggae styles, I feel like it’s a warning to us in the reggae industry – it’s a warning to the deejays and the sound systems. It’s a wake-up call that we need to start playing good music that people like. We need to start recording good artists, like Ed Robinson. It’s not just for me, it’s also for them -- if the sound systems and the radio deejays do not wake up and start playing radio-friendly music, they will eventually become unpopular, and they will lose their jobs. “
“On the internet, you can see what people are listening to, and you can see what’s popular,” McGregor said. “When you look at Spotify and iTunes, and you look at the Billboard charts, you can see that pop-reggae is what people like. As a producer, that’s the style I listen to.”