On June 4th, Top Shelf Reggae checked out VP Records and the World Beat Center’s listening session for Maxi Priest, an international singer from the U.K. whose music resonates as old-school R&B, and Caribbean-style reggae music. VP Records gave people at a beach club called Winston’s in Ocean Beach, San Diego a chance to listen to samples of Priest’s new album, Easy To Love, out in July for the states! The album appeared to have Priest’s infamous mix of R&B love songs, and reggae music. Makeda “Dread” Cheatom, the director of W.B.C. briefed the listening session party and discussed Priest’s inspiration and the theme of his new album- which he said was based on relationships! Then the floor opened for questions, and Top Shelf Reggae tried to capture Priest’s thoughts on the various cultures of music, including that of California, the U.K., and Jamaica.
Maxi Priest is a recognized global contributor to Jamaican-style reggae, and Caribbean-style music
Some notable songs which played from Priest’s album included “Easy To Love,” “Bubble My Way” and “Holiday.” The album leans more toward R&B, but also includes great reggae tracks- including the latter two songs just listed. Maxi Priest is a recognized global contributor to Jamaican-style reggae, and Caribbean-style music. His presence was first known in the U.S. when he created hit songs next to the likes of UB40 and Big Mountain, including “Close To You,” “That Girl,” and the Cat Stevens’ song “Wild World.”
As a contributor to world music, and even reggae, we wanted to know what Mr. Priest thought of the culture that is spreading with the reggae-rock scene; especially, music as culture! Although Priest was unclear of what was being asked, he made it clear what he knew of the California reggae scene saying the golden state is a great support for reggae music, all places of the world have beautiful people, and that the youth (should) continue to strive!
Maxi Priest “Easy to Love” video
Maxi Priest performed an acoustic session of “Close To You,” “Wild World,” and from his new album, the song “Easy To Love” with local San Diego musician, Luis Castillo. Again, Priest’s album releases on July 19th for those music fans in the U.S.A.
To stay tuned to Maxi Priest music, visit his website, or check out reggae label, VP Records! Also, the W.B.C. mentioned he may return to California for their next annual Tribute to the Reggae Legends show which usually happens in February, so stay tuned to their website for more information! If San Diego didn’t get enough of the listening session, a continuous interview of the singer can be found from San Diego’s Tribe of Kings’ SoundCloud, called “Riddim Transmission” Culture Cast- found by clicking here!.