Global Reggae Charts - Issue #13 / June 2018


Inside you can find the latest reggae album, single, and riddim charts based on votes by radio DJs and music directors from around the world.

issue # 13 | june 2018


Reggae Careers

in the Internet Age

Part IV

artist of the month

King Kong

business insight

Gary “Riga” Burke-

Hemp Higher

Anderson Muth -


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

global reggae charts | issue 4 / august 2017



Welcome to a new edition of the Global Reggae Charts!

In 1968 Toots & The Maytals sang “Do The Reggay”, thereby creating one of the first public documents

that used the word reggae. In the 50 years since then, reggae music has traveled from the

small island of Jamaica around the globe and found fans and lovers basically everywhere it has

gone. Today, you can find reggae communities from Thailand to Brazil, from Ivory Coast to Sweden.

Reggae in 2018 is a global affair.

One year ago, we set out to provide the international reggae community with a useful tool: charts

that represent reggae as the global phenomenon it is. This month, we celebrate the GRC’s first

birthday. In our first year, we gathered a voter base that spans all continents, built the background

infrastructure to make the charts work, fine-tuned the magazines concept, and much more. Still: we

are far from where we want to be. Expect further improvements throughout the year!

Our birthday edition comes packed. Besides the charts themselves, you will find an interview with

Gary “Riga” Burke of Hemp Higher Productions about the current state of artist management. Riga

managed renowned acts like Randy Valentine and Cali P, and he had interesting things to say.

Moreover, we examined the DIY trend and compared it to the traditional label model in this

month’s installment of Reggae Careers on the Internet.

Last but not least an operational remark: with this edition, we changed the monthly label of the

Global Reggae Charts, due to feedback from several of the radio hosts we are talking to. The charts

are released in the midst of each month. Instead of carrying that month in the title, they are now

named after the upcoming one, meaning this edition is the June edition. By doing so the charts

feel more current and have a longer half-life, allowing our media partners to feature them more

conveniently. The issue count is not impacted by that change.



Thomas Euler is founder of the German reggae & dancehall blogazine


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

Album single Charts | top 20


Ending 30/04/2018

Contributing voters: 50

# LM 2M PK Mo Artist Single Label

↑ 1 20 - 1 2 Raging Fyah Rebel Dub Rockers

+ 2 - - 2 1 Jah9 Love Has Found I VP

3 3 10 3 3 Protoje Bout Noon Mr Bongo

4 1 1 1 3 Capleton Help the Weak feat. Chronixx ZincFence

↑ 5 14 - 5 2 Bryan Art Can‘t Cut Wi Vibes G-Block

6 2 2 2 4 Koffee Raggamuffin Frankie Music

7 4 12 4 3 Dre Island Yaad N Abraad Digi Killaz

8 6 13 6 3 King Kong Old School feat. Burro Banton, Pinchers Irie Ites Records

+ 9 - - 9 1 Samory I Call on Jah Evidence

10 7 7 2 6 Jah9 Feel Good VP

11 8 9 8 3 Micah Shemaiah Roots I Vision Evidence

+ 12 - - 12 1 Kabaka Pyramid Kaught Up Ghetto Youths International

13 12 17 11 7 New Kingston Come from Far Easy Star

↑14 19 - 14 2 Marla Brown Trigger Marla Brown

↑15 - 4 4 2 Kabaka Pyramid Borders feat. Stonebwoy Ghetto Youths International

+ 16 - - 16 1 Freddie McGregor Go Freddie Go Big Ship

↑17 18 - 17 2 Mellow Mood Large La Tempesta Dub

18 17 20 17 3 Tarrus Riley Haunted Diwali

↑19 - 14 14 2 Sting & Shaggy Don‘t Make Me Wait A&M

+ 20 - - 20 1 Cocoa Tea Medical Marijuana Walshy Fire

Bryan Art Samory I Mellow Mood

Sting & Shaggy Jah9

# = this month’s position on the chart LM = last month’s position on the chart 2M = position two months ago

PK = peak position MO = months on the chart ↑= signifies upward movement + = new entry

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018 2

Album Charts | top 20


Ending 30/04/2018

Contributing voters: 43


# LM 2M PK Mo Artist Album Label

↑ 1 4 12 1 3 King Kong Repatriation Irie Ites Records

↑ 2 3 - 2 2 Etana Reggae Forever Tad‘s.

+ 3 - - 3 1 Romain Virgo Lovesick VP

4 1 2 1 3 Micah Shemaiah Roots I Vision Evidence

5 2 1 1 4 Sly & Robbie and Dubmatix Overdubbed Echo Beach

6 11 - 6 2 Bushman Conquering Lion Burning Bushes

+ 7 - - 7 1 Mellow Mood Large La Tempesta Dub

8 5 3 1 7 Jesse Royal Lily of da Valley Easy Star

+ 9 - - 9 1 Alpheus Light Of Day Liquidator

10 6 6 6 4 Hollie Cook Vessel of Love Merge

11 8 8 2 6 Havana meets Kingston Havana meets Kingston Baco

+ 12 - - 12 1 Shaggy 44/876 feat. Sting A&M

+ 13 - - 13 1 Joe Pilgrim & The Ligerians Step Out Soul Nurse

14 7 4 2 10 Damian Marley Stony Hill Republic

15 10 11 10 4 Iba Mahr Get Up and Show Oneness

↑16 - 18 12 4 Alborosie Soul Pirate - Acoustic Geejam

+ 17 - - 17 1 I-Octane Love & Life Conquer The Globe

18 15 - 15 2 Vibronics Woman on a Mission SCOOPS

+ 19 - - 19 1 Moja One Association Art Beat

+ 20 - - 20 1 Javada Feel Brand New Irievibrations


King Kong


Romain Virgo


# = this month’s position on the chart LM = last month’s position on the chart 2M = position two months ago

PK = peak position MO = months on the chart ↑= signifies upward movement + = new entry


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

Reggae Careers

in the Internet Age

Part IV: Do-it-yourself vs. Labels:

How Artists Structure Their Business in 2018

Text: Thomas Euler //

These days, there is a lot of talk about DIY (do-ityourself)

artists among music industry people. The

term refers to artists who forgo the traditional model

of signing with a music label and instead opt to take

their business into their own hands. By leveraging

the possibilities that the internet has created, DIY

artists take care of everything from production to

marketing and distribution; in most cases not entirely

on their own, but with a small, dedicated team – all

without giving away the rights to their music. While

labels can certainly still provide value to artists, the

DIY path is becoming a viable alternative.

had to be on the shelves of retailers across the globe.

This presented a logistical challenge – one that no

individual artist could realistically have managed to

overcome. Record labels (the majors in particular)

filled that void by building the required infrastructure

for distribution and relationships to retailers. The

labels basically owned distribution (and therefore

could dictate terms to artists, e.g. demanding to own

the rights to the music). It was almost impossible to

get in front of a sizable audience without their support.

As a result, artists had little bargaining power in

the world of physical distribution.

Artists that have gone a long way in this fashion

include: Lil Yachty, Chance the Rapper (who turned

down $10mil offers to stay indie) or Major Lazer. And,

just as importantly, some artists who formerly had

label deals decided to go independent as well. Frank

Ocean famously played a trick on Def Jam/

Universal: while still being contractually obliged to

deliver a new album, he released an obscure visual

album on Def Jam, only to release his proper album

Blond the next day — on his own label Boys Don’t


In order to understand why DIY is increasingly

popular among artists, it is necessary to understand

the underlying changes in the music business world

that laid the foundation from which the trend could

emerge. The simple answer of course is the internet.

But let’s dig a little deeper.

- From distribution to discovery -

Before the internet and the advent of digital distribution

– at first selling files and nowadays streaming

– music was sold on physical records. To get it in the

hands of as many people as possible, the records

That, however, is no longer the case. Distributing

digital music takes only a few clicks. While there

are several distribution tools, DistroKid is likely the

gold-standard. For $20 a year, artists can get their

music to all the relevant services from Spotify to Apple

Music, from YouTube to iTunes. Thus, distribution

is no longer the key challenge in the music market.

The bigger challenge today is building an audience.

As music (like all other content) is now only a click

away, fans nowadays have access to a practically unlimited

amount of music. The critically scarce resource

is no longer shelve space but attention. A good

product is certainly a key ingredient to accumulate

the latter. However, and I suppose much to the dismay

of many artists, it isn’t enough. Instead, it takes

active marketing efforts to make sure people actually

find the music. To put it in a bit more technical terms:

the internet has reduced distribution costs to (essentially)

zero; today’s challenge is discovery (from

the user’s perspective) or attracting users (from the

artist’s perspective).

- Many jobs, different models -

At the same time, the internet is also an important

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018


global reggae charts


tool for every artist trying to build an audience.

While doing so is certainly a lot of work, it doesn’t

require nearly the same huge financial investments

as in the world of mass media. With the investment

of time and effort, artists can go a long way. Using

social media and reaching out to specific communities-of-interest

(e.g. reggae, dancehall, rap) can move

the needle visibly.

The catch here, of course, is that no artist can do it

truly independently (as in: alone), for the limiting factor

is time. Here are some of the jobs that a DIY artist

needs to take care of:

• booking & tour management

• marketing, PR, radio & TV promotion

• video production

• ticket sales

• merchandising

• brand partnerships

• retail distribution (if applicable)

Even though digital tools have made all of these simpler,

it’s too much for any one person to handle. Yet,

it no longer takes a traditional label to get them done

either. There is a whole heap of specialized service

providers that get the jobs done, and most successful

DIY artist have assembled a capable team – a.k.a.

an entourage – around them that manages many of

the tasks.

As a result, artists structure their business and

contracts in many different forms today. There is no

longer a norm. Instead, you’ll find all kinds of setups

ranging from 360 deals with major labels — where

the label basically takes care of everything and gets

a cut of all revenue streams, including live performances

— to complicated structures where a label

might be involved but only as a service provider.

For instance, it might handle distribution or marketing

but only license (not own) the masters. In other

cases, no traditional label (as in: it owns the rights to

music) might be involved because the artist works

with several specialized vendors.

The key takeaway here is: alternatives to labels

exist. That’s significant (and should possibly frighten

the labels). Because it means artists have a choice.

Labels suddenly have to compete with a new class of

competitors that handle jobs that would have traditionally

been firmly in the labels’ hands.

A key difference between the traditional label model

and the new service providers is the terms offered to

artists – importantly also including the rights. Labels

traditionally held the rights to the music of the artists

they signed; many of their new competitors don’t.

For a business-minded musician, that can clearly

be a big factor: owning your own rights not only

assures maximum earning potential from royalties

but also allows you to control (and benefit from) all

additional revenue streams as for instance licensing.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that more and more

artists don’t feel attracted by the label model and try

the DIY path instead.

- Why labels still matter -

But even though DIY is a significant trend, it would

certainly be premature to prepare a eulogy for the

labels. Not only are their services still relied upon by

many artists, they moreover still have cultural significance.

While researching this piece I talked to Falk

Schacht, one of Germany’s best-known rap journalists

and a music industry insider for 20+ years. He

reminded me that many artists still regard being

signed to a renowned label as a signal of prestige.

Plus, there are still tangible advantages for artists.

The first one: security. When artists sign a contract,

the label pays them an advance. While going DIY is

essentially the entrepreneurial approach to a music

career, signing with labels is likely the preferred option

for artists who want to avoid the risk that comes

with betting big on oneself. Moreover, labels provide

the one-stop shop solution to all the jobs I listed

above. That’s quite convenient (at least in theory),

as aspiring artists can focus on their music without

having to assemble – and manage – an entire team

of collaborators.

However, the main argument which industry insiders


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

global reggae charts

repeatedly bring up when asked about the value that

major (or established indie) labels provide to artists

are their relationships to radio. Matt Colon, co-founder

of Deckstar Management, said in a read-worthy

exploration of the question (emphasize mine):

The internet and social media have leveled the

playing field enormously, so for most of my artists I

only advise that we look to major labels if their music

immediately lends itself to radio, i.e. pop-leaning.

All that said, radio is still the key way to truly have a

record go from a great song to a hit song, and major

labels work radio better than anyone else.

Radio is still the dominant way people discover

music. Streaming and its playlist-based approach to

discovery is certainly catching up and even has created

several proper hits on its own. Yet, radio is still a

highly relevant channel in many demographics and

the place many people rely on for discovering new

music. As long as radio remains critical for success,

established labels have an important asset for artists

targeting the mainstream.

In a niche genre like reggae, attention and relevance

is accumulated on different paths. Since mainstream

radio mostly ignores it, the dedicated channels

for the scene – e.g. reggae websites, reggae radio

programs, sound systems – are much more relevant

to most artists. That’s not the major labels’ turf. On a

smaller scale, though, the same dynamic as outlined

above exists: established actors – including but not

limited to reggae labels – possess a valuable network

and have access to the right people. That can be

invaluable to an artist. But since the genre is small

and the scene rather connected, it often doesn’t take

a label deal to work with them: alternative arrangements,

as outlined above, are commonplace.

- The takeaway -

Artists in 2018 can choose from various options when

deciding how they want to structure their business.

Signing with a label is an option, but definitely not

the only feasible one. Which choice is the correct one

is highly dependent on the respective situation and

to individual preferences, for instance when it comes

to one’s affinity for taking risks. Giving a default onesize-fits-all

answer is therefore impossible. But advice

that applies to literally every artist is: know your

options! Many aspiring artists are young adults and

mainly focused on their music (understandably so!).

The business-side often isn’t their top priority. That,

though, is likely a mistake. Finding the right model to

work in might take some time but it can also make a

big difference when it comes to building a sustainable


If you have any feedback or input in the meantime,

just drop me a line at

Album Riddim Charts | top 5


Ending 30/04/2018

Contributing voters: 28


# LM 2M PK Mo Label Riddim

↑1 2 5 1 3 Digi Killaz Yaad N Abraad Riddim

↑2 5 - 2 2 Giddimani Anti-Racism Riddim

+ 3 - - 3 1 Walshy Fire Top Shelf Riddim

+ 4 - - 4 1 Massive B Rudeboy Skank Riddim

+ 5 - - 5 1 Ambassador Musik Mighty Roots Riddm

Rudeboy Skank Riddim

Top Shelf Riddim

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018



global reggae charts



Some insights on the reggae business and artist

management coming this month from Gary “Riga”

Burke, who managed artists like Randy Valentine and

Cali P and helped them to establish their careers.

Felix Rühling: Hi Riga. You are a busy man, and for

many years you have worked behind the scenes within

reggae. You work as a label, producer, and booker,

but maybe the biggest impact you have had on the

reggae scene so far was as the manager of Randy

Valentine and Cali P. This aspect of your work will be

the focus of this reasoning, but before we start to

talk about how the magic is done, maybe you can

give a little insight into your background and what

you are doing.

Gary “Riga” Burke: Hi Felix. Wow, insight into my

background… I’ve been traveling a lot over the past

20 years so it’s hard to keep that short (laughs).

I’m 35 years old, my parents are Irish - but I grew up

in Switzerland before moving to London and then

back to Europe. I’ve been recording, producing, and

working with reggae and dancehall artists for 17

years now - mostly in Europe and the Caribbean, and

I’m currently working between Barcelona (where our

booking agency is based) and Geneva (where my

studio is based - it’s great because it’s only like 30

Euros with easyJet and 1 hour on the plane to fly

from one place to the next).

Basically, I started off in 1998 as a 16-year-old DJ, we

had a sound called Hemp Higher Crew and used to

mix in parties in Geneva and Lausanne - I mixed in

clubs before I was legally allowed to go in (laughs).

We released a bunch of mixtapes, which did quite

well back then between 2001 and 2006, and the

concept was then even developed into a party brand

in Hamburg by Kingsley Addo (with whom I used to

work within the street markets in London, I was hustling

CDs in the market and he was hustling clothes

- so we started hustling together).

My DJ career was short-lived, as I wanted to participate

more in the actual creation of the music (production

& engineering). I moved to London in 2001

to study Audio Engineering and went on to work for

several labels (EMI & Virgin Records) in the finance

and marketing departments as a junior assistant.

While in London, I developed my network in the reggae

business by organizing dubplate sessions with

Jamaican artists (recording artists such as Buju Banton,

Capleton, Alton Ellis, General Levy and more).

At the same time, I started producing and got signed

to a Swiss company that placed some of my instrumentals

on major projects in Germany and France

(Sony BMG, Warner): at that time I was producing

hip-hop (the first major track I produced was a single

for the German rapper Massiv in 2006 - “Einer aus

dem Volk”).

In 2007, I moved back to Switzerland where I met

Cali P. He gave me the strength and motivation to

start my own label Hemp Higher Productions in 2010.

We released several riddims featuring Jamaican

artists (T.O.K, Bugle, Serani, Masicka, Jahmiel, etc.),

before realizing that a label would only survive if it

was also managing the artist. I started then to focus

on Cali P’s career and we ended up joining forces

with seven-time X Games gold medalist and freeski

legend Tanner Hall, who allowed us to set up a base

in Jamaica for Cali P to start pushing his music in the

Caribbean. At the same time I met Randy Valentine

(I remember his talent blew me away the first time

I heard him), and I felt I could quite easily use the

network I had built with Cali P to introduce Randy,

so working together with my UK business partner

Kevin “Blemish” Ababio we went real hard as a trio

(it’s all about the teamwork) and managed to develop

Randy’s career on an international level.

I spent the next five years (2012-2017) focusing

exclusively on artist and label management. I really

enjoyed working on both Cali P’s and Randy’s careers

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018


global reggae charts


as I am personally a fan of both artists, so it was

also a privilege for me to be able to contribute in

that way. On the label side, we had six number-one

reggae albums on the charts and released a number

of projects: from 2010 to 2018 we released 230 songs

from various artists - it’s been a fun ride.

On the production side, I’ve been building a few

riddims on the side for DJs like Walshy Fire (Major

Lazer) and Vincz Lee (Switzerland’s top urban music

DJ), and I have a few singles which have been

sleeping on the side as I’ve been really busy and

want to set up proper strategies for each release -

but am getting ready to drop some new songs soon.

unnoticed. So the first challenge is establishing the

core fan base, which will help support the songs and

the movement and give it its “own life.”

Creating a network: this is something that unfortunately

cannot be done overnight and is to a certain

extent a reflection of your curriculum vitae.

Basically, your personal network will be a sum of all

the human interactions you’ve had over your life.

Coming from Europe, one of the hardest parts was

For 2018 my main focus is expanding the booking

network. At the end of last year, we merged companies

with the agency we were working with (Rhythm

and Flow) and we decided that we were ready to step

up the game to set up a larger company with bigger

resources, focusing on developing the reggae and

dancehall scene in Europe. We have set up offices

in Barcelona and have made the team a bit bigger;

we are currently five people working in the company

in an effort to bring as many show opportunities as

possible to our various clients.

FR: You have been involved with the careers of

Randy Valentine and Cali P from the very early days.

When you look back at it - what do you see as the

major challenges to establish a new, unknown artist

in the reggae market?

GB: From my point of view, there are several


Establishing a core fan base: the beginning will

always be the slowest part as generally the artist is

still searching for their artistic direction, and has no

pulling power… so at first, the exposure has to be

CREATED through sweat and tears. As there is no

demand at first, the main challenge is to get the music

noticed “out there.” It can be the best song in the

world, but if it isn’t brought to the right people and

pushed the right way, a potential hit can go perfectly

creating a network and getting my artists noticed in

the US and the Caribbean. That took a lot of unanswered

emails and phone calls before I managed to

get stuff moving on other continents. However, in

a place like Switzerland, it was very easy for me as

I grew up there and have been working alongside

most players in the industry over the past 15 years.

So, creating a business network is definitely one of

the big challenges as it can take years before having

the type of network that would allow you to establish

a new and unknown reggae artist. It’s hours of waiting

at concerts backstage to meet a specific promoter,

or at a radio building in order to meet the right


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

global reggae charts


people who are influencers and can facilitate the

exposure of unknown artists. For example, if David

Rodigan or Rory Stone Love introduces a new artist,

it will have a whole different impact than if it’s by a

random unknown DJ… do you see what I mean?

Consistency: it isn’t that hard to get a “hot song”

nowadays, however, the challenge lies in consistency.

For a young artist, it is very important to keep on

coming with new material, new songs, new videos,

new material for their fans. Because the same way

you can buss and get a hype, you can also lose that

hype… so the key word is consistency. I’m not saying

to put out as many songs as possible since consistency

is in the standard of your product, the quality

of the mixing, the quality of the videos, and the PR

campaigns behind the songs. If your standards are

not consistent, you will not be able to grow as an


Motivation: this life isn’t for everyone - you cannot

be in it for the money because there isn’t much in

the reggae market so you lost already if that is your

main goal (laughs). You got to be in it for the passion.

However, you have to stay realistic and in order

to maximize the potential of the artist‘s talent, you

need to generate money to push harder and to grow,

and unfortunately making and marketing music is

not free (so it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation… you

don’t want to be in the music for the money, but you

need the money to push the music). In order to make

it work, you have to work 24/7 with no days off, and

that can often create pressure and tensions within

the team. So, the secret is all about trying to keep a

healthy balance and motivate each other to go

harder and push higher, the aim is to do as best

as you can and move forward: try, fail, learn from

mistakes, try again, fail again, learn from the new

mistakes, try again so forth until eventually you will

succeed; it’s as simple as that - and try to stay positive

while you are at it.

FR: I totally agree with your points. Maybe we

can get a little deeper in some of the aspects. Let’s

imagine a young artist with no experience but a lot

of talent, who has recorded a professional album

and now wishes to conquer the world. They are

willing to work hard, but still, there are too many

things to try and invest time in. And if you say you

have to work 24/7, I’m sure you are aware, that 24/7

is never enough time to do everything you want to

do (laughs). Where would you recommend them to

start? Should they try to expand their reach from

their home base step by step, or should they try the

whole world and see what happens? Should they

start with pushing the record or should they start by

playing live shows?

GB: The easiest way to be taken seriously and to

grow your career from the get-go is to be introduced

by someone who is already established in the genre.

So I guess the first thing you got to do is go out there

and meet people. Your music won’t go anywhere by

sitting in a room - get a core team of people together

who are just as enthusiastic about your talent and

your music as you are.

I don’t think you can decide beforehand who or

where people are going to like your music, so you

have to find them wherever they are - they will be

your core fan base. If you realize that it’s more local

people who live your stuff and who relate to it, that’s

where you got to focus - if you realize that you are

mostly getting love from overseas, that is where you

should put your focus. Basically, put your focus

where your music can grow naturally.

When you ask should you start pushing a record or

doing live shows, again I would suggest to go with

what the artist is more comfortable with - if they feel

like they are more of a studio artist/vocalist, then focus

on pushing the records, if they feel they are more

of an entertainer - focus on the live shows… you also

should be doing both at the same time as they go

hand in hand (the records help you get more shows,

the shows help promote the records).

FR: You are talking about networks and I agree that

it is a major task to establish a good network. Still,

9global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018


global reggae charts


Hemp Higher productions

Founded: 2010 (Merged with Rhythm and Flow in 2017)

Location: Nyon / Switzerland & Barcelona / Spain

Artist Management: Cali P, Randy Valentine

Production Credits: Masicka, Popcaan, Jahmiel,

Sizzla, T.O.K, Ward 21, Serani, Bugle, ...

Artist Bookings: Stonebwoy, Cali P, Jahmiel, Masicka,

Stylo G, Bugle, Marcia Griffiths, Millions Stylez, ...

the internet and social media give you a lot of options

to establish such a network on your own today.

Are there any platforms you found especially helpful?

GB: Real life I found was the best platform.

Most of the links I have and the people who actually

helped me are people I met and vibed with in real

life. Social networks are great to get in touch and to

contact people, but they don’t allow you to build real

relationships with people - those you get by traveling

and going on the road and meeting people in real


Besides the digital networks, are there any persons

or companies who have been the key for you to

reach “the next step?”

Every single person I have worked with has helped

me along the way to grow and learn. I think new

steps were reached by certain ideas we implemented

or projects we released. Basically, you need to

count on yourself to reach the next step, not on other


FR: Your last point is motivation. Over the past years,

I have seen many artists struggling with a kind

of burnout. They are pushing day and night, often

times all on their own with no team, and feeling that

they are really getting nothing back for their work.

Even if everyone else is under the impression that

their career is just doing great, there is always the

feeling of a discrepancy between the energy you put

in and the energy you get out. Do you think there is

a certain point in a career where this changes?

GB: Definitely, if you manage to get through that

initial “frustration” stage that every artist goes

through at one point or another in their career, you

will be able to appreciate what you have and built:

a healthy career. The only artists who actually have

careers live off longevity.

I put the blame on other people, not on the artists

themselves; it will be the artist’s entourage who

will generally gas up the artist into believing that

they deserve to be bigger than what they are, creating

that frustration… instead of allowing artists

to appreciate what they have… fans and an artist’s

entourage will often make them focus on what they

don’t have… that would mess up anyone’s mind and

create a sense of frustration.

FR: Most of the points made so far can be true for

any genre. What do you see as the specific benefits

and challenges for reggae artists?

GB: I would say that in the digital age a lot of the

challenges are the same globally. It’s generally very

hard to get noticed, as so many new artists are arriving

on the scene every day that people pay less and

less attention and it’s harder to build a loyal following

than 20 years ago.

When it comes specifically to reggae, one of the

good sides is that the music is global; the downside

would be it’s very small “niches” of people globally,

meaning that although reggae has influenced just

about every other genre and continues to do so, it is

still referred to in most places worldwide as “underground”


I hope I will see that change one day… and feel that

people like Damian Marley, Chronixx, and others are

doing that, and helping the genre open itself to a

broader audience.

FR: Thank you so much for your time, and all the

best for your future projects!


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018


Dennis Thomas a.k.a. King Kong is an iconic 1980s Jamaican artist just like

Tenor Saw and Nitty Gritty. He began his career in 1982 and was working with

producers like King Tubby, King Jammy, Black Scorpio, Bunny Lee, Prince

Jazzbo, and many others. 2018 marks a revival for this artist who released his

12th album entitled “Repatriation” on the label Irie Ites Records. This album

hit the top of the album charts this month and so we considered

King Kong more than worthy for a front page feature.

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018




global reggae charts

featured voter


This month we talked to Anderson Muth a.k.a. The

Groove Thief, who presents the shows Dub Palace and

Reggae Transfusion on the community radio station

KGNU out of Boulder (CO), USA, and is also the editor

of this magazine.

Photo: Evan Semone

Global Reggae Charts: Hi Anderson. Please give

us some information about yourself and your radio


Anderson Muth: Certainly! Primarily as The Groove

Thief, I’ve been promoting, selecting, and writing

about reggae and its numerous related sounds since

2011. Until 2016 I was based out of Hong Kong, China,

and now I’m here in Denver, Colorado. To keep a

long story short, it was quite hard leaving a music

scene I’d enjoyed so much time in, so my friends

Tree-Angles and I began our Pomegranate Sounds

record label last year as a way to keep the vibes

alive from our somewhat infamous and eclectic club

night Pomegranate. I also run a small mobile sound

system, called Pomegranate Hi Fi, which is a lot of

challenging fun, and work in studio with my production

partner Scotty McD.

I host the Dub Palace and Reggae Transfusion shows

on KGNU Community Radio each month. The station

is based out of Boulder, but has a Denver studio as

well. Dub Palace is all about dubwise sounds, including

dubstep and future dub; Reggae Transfusion is

exactly that, so I try and feature a mixture of digital

and roots music. Dub Palace is also live-broadcasted

from a bar once a month, so playing those sessions

is particularly enjoyable. I always play a lot of new

music and usually feature local Colorado artists as

well as other eclectic international releases beyond

the more expected selections.

GRC: Apart from the radio show, you are also writing

about reggae. What is your motivation?

Anderson with his dog Joey

AM: I’ve always loved music and writing, and have

been an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher

for many years now. I used to fancy myself a travel

writer, and have written for a city government as

well as larger brands like Time Out Hong Kong magazine.

But writing about a music I love is the most

enjoyable. There’s so much to listen to, and so much

content in general out now, yet too much so-called

music journalism is just regurgitated press releases;

I take pride in digging deeper with an artist for an

interview, or into their work for an in-depth review.

GRC: You are also an editor for this magazine. Why

do you think the Global Reggae Charts is a project to


AM: Since moving to Colorado, I’ve gotten heavily

involved in radio again; many years ago I was a DJ

and staff member for my college radio station. It’s

somewhat odd to me that reggae as a genre lacks

coverage while still getting a solid amount of radio

play and promotional support.

KGNU has three weekly reggae shows, all reliably in

the station’s Top 10!

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018


global reggae charts

featured voter

Yet, there wasn’t a useful resource for reggae selectors

to share their tastes, learn more about what’s

being played around the world, and have a deserved

influence in what music is deemed chart-worthy.

Global Reggae Charts fills that void nicely, and it’s

a pleasure working with the team each month to

polish up the issue for publication.

GRC: You are living in Colorado/USA but lived in

Hong Kong for a while. What is your impression

about the reggae scene in Hong Kong and Southeast

Asia compared to the one in the United States?

AM: Hong Kong enabled and encouraged me to

become an active DJ, and it has a surprisingly relevant

scene due to the continued efforts of a few

dedicated and passionate souls. There are a few too

many people to mention, but I do want to shout-out

bands the Red Stripes and Sensi Lion (surely the

world’s leading Cantonese reggae act), as well as the

recently-closed venue XXX. Heavy Hongkong, the

city’s leading sound system, is simply relentless in

their efforts to bring top Asian and UK talent to Hong

Kong, promoting dub, dubstep, jungle, reggae, and

other dubwise and bass-related sounds.

Hong Kong is also a key access point for China, and

the Heavy crew plays a key role in that, as does

Shenzhen’s Unchained right across the border plus

promoters in Beijing and Shanghai. There’s some

semblance of a network of Asian promoters, and a

lot of respect and appreciation for each other’s efforts,

which helps to bring artists in and interconnect

tour stops from places outside China like India (Reggae

Rajahs), Singapore (Singapura Dub Club), and of

course Japan.

While hardly popular, reggae in Asia feels fresh and

is very community and DJ-focused. The crowd listens

to lyrics, doesn’t want to hear Bob Marley, and

appreciates the selector’s role as a tastemaker.

Here in the USA, it’s all about bands. I feel like the

average audience member lacks appreciation for the


selector, is disinterested in appearances by singers,

and is hardly dubwise in their knowledge of reggae

music, never mind the crucial role of sound system

culture. That said, Denver is a major hub for dubstep,

and there are a lot of talented bands, DJs, and vocalists

here… there’s just a lot of work to be done.

short FACTS

Station: KGNU Community Radio

Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

Show: Dub Palace & Reggae Transfusion

Host: The Groove Thief

On air: 3rd Wednesday & 4th Sunday,

10pm-12am MST

GRC: And a final question: What kind of music do

you play in your show? Which styles and artists do

you favor the most?

AM: As you can imagine, I enjoy a lot of styles and

eras. Beyond the current sound system styles of digital,

roots, and that 140 weight, I do particularly enjoy

early dancehall (aka 80s digital) and vintage 70s dub

and roots. Contemporary Jamaican artists Chronixx,

Hempress Sativa, Micah Shemaiah, and Protoje never

fail to impress.

Just as an example, my latest radio show included

fresh music from Richie Phoe, Holy Hammond,

mehdiman, Daddy Freddy, Speng Bond, Jah Screechy,

King Kong, The Giants, Forelock, Solomonix,

The Viceroys, and Eek-A-Mouse, as well as Colorado

artists Scotty McD, Ras Dave, and BeDeBe. I lean towards

the unknown and underappreciated but never

want to ignore a crucial tune from a big artist.

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018



global reggae charts



La De Dios

Music Director

Santi Palazzo

La De Dios


Martin Quispe

Radio Demente

Roots & Culture Selector

Iván Tutavac


2BOB Radio

Roots’n’Reggae Show

Bobbie Philp


Ital Galore

Ian Pillar

Radio Fremantle

I&I Sounds

Corby Howell


Radio Centraal

Back 2 Bass

Tim Ianna & Kenneth Oyen


Radio Bumerang 99.00 FM

Music Director


CFRU 93.3 FM

The Crooked Beat

Nicky Dread

Radio Regent

ItaL rOOts RaDio

Sweet T

Radio Regent

ItaL rOOts RaDio

MAdCast Fuji

Rootz Reggae Radio

Riddim UP - Fridays

Tonie Smith


Remigio Antonio Cañarte

Estación Reggae Zion

Alejandro Muñoz

UPTC Radio 104.1 FM

Legado Africano

Charli Urrego

Costa Rica

Radio Urbano 105.9FM

Di Docta Show

Marco Villalobos


Radio Makarska Rivijera

Zoran Spajic


Station Amager

Reggae Moods

Dominican Republic

Kabina34 Radio

Champion Sound Radioshow

Omar Tavarez


La Grosse Radio

Reggae Program Director

Simon Chamfroy


Julien Guedz

World A Reggae


Fred Reggaelover


Antenne Münster 95.4

Cool & Deadly

Wolfgang Hickmann


Forward The Bass

Karsten Frehe

Radio Leinehertz 106.5

Wha Gwaan – Reggae & Dancehall

Thorben Noß

Radio Regentrude

Music Director

Brigitte Reinert



Radio StHörfunk

Sluggish Radio Show

Daniel Kielczewski

Radio Top 40


Marius Finger (DJ Marious)

Radio Z 95.8


Philipp Kause

Radio Z 95.8


Crystal van de Rastashock

Peter Joachim



Gardy Stein



Karsten Zick


Radio Xanthi One

Music Director

Nick Giannakopoulos




Kol Hanegev 106.4 FM

Ba Ba Reggae

Asaf Nahmias


Atom Radio


Giuseppe Bellobuono

Jammonite Radio

Reggae New Releases

Marco Fregnan

Radio Magenta FM 92.2

Reggae Corner

Teo Riccardi

Radio Popolare Network

Reggae Radio Station

Vitowar Fiorentino

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018 16

global reggae charts


Radio Popolare Verona


Marco Serafin

Radio Web-Base

Reggae Music

Louis Knight


Christopher Messina


Cabina420 Radio

Music Director

Misachael Solis


Impact AM

Music Director

Henk van Ulden


Music Director

Eric van Holland

NPO Soul & Jazz


Andrew Makkinga


Sound Armada Radio

Wilfman Sound Armada

World A Reggae


Danny Creatah


Radio Nova

Oslo Reggae Show

Dominic Reuben


Polish National Radio

Polskie Radio Czwórka

Strefa Dread

Mirosław “Maken” Dzieciołowski

Positive Thursdays

Rafal Konert

Radio Kampus

Dancehall Masak-Rah

Pawel Szawczukiewicz


Do The Reggae Romania


Nedelcu Sebastian


Daily Vibes


Vladimir Zavialov

South Africa



Lee Phiri

United Kingdom


Venum Sound Show

Kris Lewis

Swindon 105.5

Andy V’s Random Reggae Show

Andy Vater

World A Reggae

Irie Jamms Show

DJ 745


Caribbean Dance Radio




Reggae Music Forward


Tomas Palermo



Heart Beat of Zion

Rasta Stevie


Dub Palace / Reggae Transfusion

The Groove Thief


Reggae King Radio

Reggae Rhapsody

Keith Rowe


The TikiPod

Program Director

Eric Przybylski


WZBC Boston College Radio 90.3FM

Raggamuffin International

Robin Walther



Reggae Shack

Tracy Moore

New Jersey

WBZC 88.9 FM

Sounds of the Caribbean

Selecta Jerry

New York

Reggae King Radio

Dub Rockers Show

Ted Ganung

Reggae Roots


Esteban Rod


The Joint

Jheanelle Morgan


KPOV 88.9 FM

The Coop / High Desert Co-op

Tristan Reisfar


90.3 The Rock Volunteer Radio WUTK

Simmer Down

Mason Mulkey


WORT 89.9 FM

Tropical Riddims

Tropical Riddims Sound System

DJ -F.R.P.


Radio Nacional de Venezuela

Desde El Ghetto / Raices y Cultura

George Dread


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

ON Air

global reggae charts

radio shows


Estación La De Dios



with Santi Palazzo

Sundays 3:00 pm ART


Radio Cantilo


with Georgia and Santi

Wednesdays 10:00 pm ART


Radio Regent

ItaL rOOts RaDio

with Sweet T & MAdCast-Fuji

Tuesdays - 3:00 pm EST


Rootz Reggae Radio


with DJ Klient

Fridays - 6:00 pm

Costa Rica

Urbano 106


with Docta Rythm Selecta

3. Tuesday - 8:00 pm CST


Antenne Münster


with Roots Operator Wolle

4. Saturday - 8:00 pm


Radio Regentrude


with Brigitte Reinert

Last Friday - 8:00 pm CET


Bpost Radio


with Harry Ramadhan

Mondays - 9:00 pm WITA


Radio Kol Hanegev 106.4 FM


with Asaf “Baba G“ Nahmias

Mondays - 8:00 pm IST


Radio Popolare Network


with Vitowar

Last Sunday - 11:45 pm CET


Atom Radio


Sundays 5:00 pm CET


Radio Nova


with Dominic Reuben & Selecta Harmony

Last Tuesday 9:30 pm CET




with DJ Kris Snakes

4. Sunday 4:00 pm GMT


99.8FM KCC Live


with MJRuckus

3. Tuesday - 10:00 pm GMT


Black Country Radio


with Kevin Moore

Fridays - 1:00 am GMT



with Judge Knott

Sunday 6pm GMT


Radio St. Austell Bay 105.6 FM


with Mark Norman

Last Sunday - 4:00 pm GMT


Vibes FM


with Sarah C

Last Wednesday - 6:00 pm GMT


World A Reggae


DJ 745

On Demand


Radio Nacional de Venezuela


with George Dread

2. & 4. Saturday - 11:00 am VET




Photo credits:

Boomrush Productions

Thomas Euler

front/back, page 12/13: Marc Lothy

Tondernstr. 14

26127 Oldenburg


Art Director:

Solvey Schönknecht


Felix Rühling


Felix Rühling

© Boomrush Productions 2018


Anderson Muth


All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or

whole is strictly prohibited without prior

consent or authorization from the publisher.


media partners


global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018

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