This partnership gives Caribbean music a place on what is possibly the coolest feature on Apple’s music subscription service: The curated playlists put together by a select group of tastemakers including Vogue, Rolling Stone, Complex, Burberry and Carnegie Hall.
In a music market that has gone almost entirely digital, visibility can be a roadblock for artists coming from small islands. Now, with a dedicated space on Apple Music, which has racked up over 15 million users worldwide in just over a year, we’ll be putting the best island sounds, new and old, front and center on the fastest-growing music subscription service.
Apple Music comes standard on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (look for this icon), and can be accessed on your Mac through iTunes. Android users can download Apple Music in the Google Play app store. PC computers, download iTunes here. (For support or more info on accessing the app, click here). Membership includes access to a catalog of more than 30 million songs (“nearly all of the world’s recorded music”), exclusive artist content, the flagship Beats 1 Radio station and countless other exclusive radio stations.
THE MUSIC OF BARBADOS
Just in time for Barbados’ Crop Over festival, LargeUp is putting a spotlight on The Music of Barbados. This playlist rounds up soca staples and Crop Over classics from the past 25 years, from Red Plastic Bag’s “Ragga Ragga” to last year’s Tune of De Crop, “All Ah We” by Peter Ram. To coincide with the launch, LargeUp has produced “The Music of Barbados,” a webisode series taking you inside Barbados’ Carnival culture. Watch the series, featuring Bajan soca stars Alison Hinds, Lil Rick and Peter Ram and Leadpipe & Saddis, here.
CROP OVER 2016
When it’s time to celebrate Carnival in the Caribbean, it’s all about the new music put out by local artists to soundtrack the year’s festivities. Crop Over 2016 gets its own playlist, with the best songs from this year’s soca season in Barbados, starting with the year’s breakout bashment soca anthem, “Bang Bim” by Marzville.
Our “Now Things” playlist spotlights our favorite new and recent tracks from across the Caribbean and the Diaspora. Tracks currently featured represent a wide range of genres, from the Trinidadian soca of Salty and Machel Montano to the island pop of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Verse Simmonds. We’ll be refreshing this one every week, so check back regularly for a fresh new crop of tunes.
JOHNNY OSBOURNE: DANCEHALL GODFATHER
Johnny Osbourne is truly the Godfather of Dancehall, and he’s headlining LargeUp’s new live music series at Brooklyn Bowl this Friday night, Aug. 5th, in celebration of Jamaican Independence Day. One of a small handful of reggae artists who’ve stayed current from the ’60s through today, Johnny’s voice is an essential ingredient in most any bashment party, but many don’t realize exactly how deep his catalog runs. Johnny Osbourne: Dancehall Godfather offers an overview, from his cover of the Delfonics’ “Ready or Not” to the classic soundbwoy killer “No Ice Cream Sound.”
SUMMER 2016 DANCEHALL ANTHEMS
Dancehall is once again in the mainstream, but much of the focus has been on the dancehall-inspired music made by artists outside the Caribbean, like Drake. If you want to get up to speed with di real ting, run tune on our Summer 2016 Dancehall Anthems playlist featuring the sounds of Jamaica right now. Strictly Jamaican selections here, with one exception coming from West Indies cricketer Dwayne “DJ” Bravo, whose anthem “Champion” has been ubiquitous across the Caribbean nearly all year.
Go past the usual dub selections, with unique and overlooked gems from the canon of the globe’s great dubmasters, including King Tubby’s, Sly & Robbie, Wackies and Jah Shaka.
It’s Caribana Weekend in Toronto, meanwhile Caribbean-inspired sounds from Canada’s global city are playing on stereos worldwide. Caribana Season gathers recent dancehall-inflected anthems from Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tory Lanez, Roy Woods and Ramriddlz, island hop from T-Dot hip-hop OGs Kardinal Offishall and Dream Warriors, and Toronto-made reggae from Melanie Fiona, Lindo P and Exco Levi.