It’s a been a bumper week for new tunes showing up on the ATX Sound System, with a lot of summer jam contenders. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new this week, all of which you can hear on the Austin Reggae Fest playlist.
The success of this track is a story of perseverance. Well, and a little bit of social media luck, too. Newcomer Beez Hive released his self-titled track nearly four years ago, in 2015, along with a low-budget video. Few people took notice of either the song or the video. A couple of years later, he went on a Jamaican TV talent show, performing the song with an amusing, possibly Azonto-inspired dance. Again, few took notice. Fast-forward to 2019, and Beez Hive’s dance suddenly caught fire on social media. Over the past several weeks, users have been posting their own #beezhive dance on Instagram and setting it as their WhatsApp status. The song’s viral success means you can now hear it booming out of almost every sound system in the land at the moment while the crowd erupts into the signature dance. Bzzzzzzzzzz.
Damn, we haven’t heard Dexta sounding this soulful since last year’s Free Me EP. The man can sing, so it’s nice to hear him using his pipes again. This one is a version of the recent One Time Riddim and it might be about as seductive as it gets in the dancehall.
While born in Jamaica, Khalia moved to London at age 6, which is where she grew up. However, her pursuit of a singing career saw her relocate to Jamaica a couple of years ago where she’s been working with producer Tony “CD” Kelly (she’s signed to his K-Licious label). Her tracks thus far have been lighter-weight, pop-leaning numbers (including a couple with guest features from Busy Signal and Stonebwoy) but with summer approaching, her new one “Designer” has been sounding awfully good on the ATX speakers.
In related news, Tony “CD” Kelly has also just dropped his new “Money Season Riddim.”It’s a minimal production, to be sure, but Konshens really brings it to life here with his version, “Don’t Give Up,”which features a tuneful vocal line and sweet female backing vocals. Not coincidentally, Kelly’s priority signing Khalia has also recorded a version (“Run This”).
Comar “Frankie” Campbell has been churning out hits via his Kingston-based Frankie Music label for a decade now (he was also the producer behind Koffee’s “Ragamuffin”). His latest production is the General A General Riddim, for which more than a dozen top-notch artists (both established and emerging) have recorded versions, including Christopher Martin and Busy Signal. This is a classic, feel-good reggae riddim and virtually every version on the 14-track album is a winner. We’re highlighting Romain Virgo and Kumar’s spirited take, “As Long as I Live” here but will include a couple more on our Austin Reggae Fest Playlist–because it’s that good!