The Catalyst

Kabaka Pyramid, Raging Fyah

Emerald Cup Presents: The Official Santa Cruz Pre Party

Kabaka Pyramid

Raging Fyah

Bukue One

Thu, December 8, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Catalyst

Santa Cruz, CA

$15 in advance / $18 at the door

Off Sale

This event is 16 and over

Kabaka Pyramid
Kabaka Pyramid
Keron "Kabaka Pyramid" Salmon is a multi-talented artist and producer hailing from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica with a unique musical style blending the power, energy and melody of Reggae with the lyricism of Hip hop. He is based out of the Bebble Rock Music camp and through his liquid and hypnotizing delivery spreads the positive messages of spirituality and conscious evolution that forces you to listen.

The name "Kabaka" is Ugandan for "King" and the long lasting survival of the Pyramids of ancient Africa represent his desire for longevity in the music and deep connection to Kemetic roots; leaving messages for generations to come.

He is an ever-evolving artist that has numerous ways of expressing his creativity.

Kabaka has achieved recognition both locally and overseas, placing #1 on the BILLBOARD Next Big Sound Charts Worldwide and also featured by the popular music conglomerates MTV Iggy, Okayplayer and Largeup.com.
He has started to develop a solid global fan-base that connects with the messages in his music. In 2013 He was awarded breakthrough artist of the year by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association, he was also nominated for Song of the year 2013 for the track "No Capitalist". The lyricist has also won the award for best reggae recording in 2013 by Canada's highly respected Juno Awards. All this following up a successful 2012 where he was nominated by the Jamaica Star for Break-through artist of the year and named by Popular New York Publication Largeup.com as in the top 10 Caribbean artists to watch. He had also been tipped by the Jamaica Gleaner as one of the top 4 (four) artists to watch in that year.

Releasing singles such as "Well Done" "Free from Chains", "No Capitalist", "Mi Alright" with Chronixx, and "Never Gonna Be A Slave" as well as music videos for the popular "Free from Chains", "Liberal Opposer", "High and Windy", "Warrior" featuring Protoje and "World Wide Love"; he has achieved regular rotation on local and international airwaves. Kabaka Pyramid is also being touted by many as a leader in the new wave of powerful reggae artists coming out of Jamaica.

Pyramid has toured internationally extensively over the past 3 years; carrying his "Rebel Music" to the largest of Reggae stages around the world performing on major festivals spanning from the US West Coast to Europe. Aided by his excellent Bebble Rockers band; he has brought his message and power to thousands of people hitting stages such as "Reggae on the River" (US), Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (US), "Rototom Sunsplash" (Spain), Musa (Portugal), SummerJam (Germany), Reggae Sundance (NE) and the "Reggae Sun Ska Festival" (FRA) amongst many more. He has certainly developed a solid global fan-base that connects with his music.
Raging Fyah
Raging Fyah
Regarded as one of Jamaica’s most promising young acts, the band Raging Fyah makes music that is tethered to their island’s enduring, much emulated roots rock reggae tradition yet is distinguished by an expansive vision that propels their musical journey forward. The band received critical acclaim for the intricate harmonies, nuanced musicianship and impressive songwriting skills showcased on their previous self-released albums, “Judgement Day” (2011) and “Destiny” (2014), while songs such as the redemptive “Nah Look Back” and the spiritually enriching “Jah Glory” earned comparisons to legendary reggae outfits including England’s Aswad and Steel Pulse, and Jamaica’s beloved Third World.

One of few self contained groups (as opposed an artist’s backing band) within contemporary Jamaican music, Raging Fyah is now poised for a significant impact upon America’s vast reggae landscape (dominated by homegrown bands) with the Spring 2016 release of Everlasting, their debut album for VP Records’ Dub Rockers imprint. Recorded live at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios producer Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown (whose credits include Stephen and Damian Marley, Richie Spice, T.O.K and 2016 Grammy Award winners Morgan Heritage) incorporates broad based influences, various acoustic subtleties, and a few guest artists, all of which enhances as well as expands Raging Fyah’s established reggae identity.

“Working on this album was very exciting but challenging; we wanted to stay within the context of who Raging Fyah is, but we never want to box ourselves in either,” explains the band’s bassist/backing vocalist Delroy “Pele” Hamilton. “Being free spirited as musicians, we spend many hours jamming all kinds of music when we rehearse so we said why not use some of what we feel naturally on our record?”

The title Everlasting was chosen to convey the durability of Raging Fyah’s music and the long term effect collaborating with Riff Raff has had on the band. “We had the choice to work with any producer we wanted, locally or internationally and we chose Llamar,” says Raging Fyah’s keyboardist/backing vocalist Demar “Keysie” Gayle. “We have learned so much from him; the way he helped to shape our sound is an everlasting lesson.”

The set opens with Everlasting’s title track, its hypnotic dub effects and majestic brass summoning the eternal strength of Jah love while heralding the extraordinary musical experience presented on the album’s 14 tracks. From the carefree, easy skanking vibe of “Happiness” to the unshakable spirit of resiliency on the roots rocking “Try Again”; from the melodious crusade for “Justice” to the lush harmonies and gentle soulfulness of the “Ready For Love”, Raging Fyah’s varied experiences and broadening perspectives in recent years contributes to the sonic sophistication that characterizes Everlasting. The band has performed in such far-flung locales as Siberia, Russia and the South Pacific island of New Caledonia; they’ve developed a significant fan base throughout Europe where they have toured extensively and they are now gearing up for their first U.S. tour, supporting American reggae band Stick Figure on the latter’s Set In Stone tour beginning March 10, 2016 in San Diego. “From our last album until now, we have traveled so much, and experienced different scenarios that we felt should be a part of Everlasting,” says Pele.

Pele, Demar and Anthony Watson (drums, backing vocals) met while studying music at Kingston’s Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, under the tutelage of Ibo Cooper, former keyboardist with Third World. They joined forces with veteran guitarist Courtland “Gizmo” White and formed Inside Out in 2002 before changing their name to Raging Fyah in 2006. The band spent years backing artists at major stage shows in Jamaica; their long held ambition to perform original music became a reality when Kumar Bent signed on as lead singer in 2010. Kumar attended Edna Manley College a few years after his band mates, initially studying piano; at Cooper’s insistence he began writing and singing his own songs. Kumar’s supple expressive tone persuasively delivers Everlasting’s array of personas, including the playful suitor on the album’s first single “Dash Wata”, the Jamaican roots revolutionary on “RaggaMuffin” and the enlightened soldier in Jah Army on “Wake Up and Live.” Each mood is ideally complemented by the band’s finely honed, faultlessly taut grooves.

Unlike their previous albums, Raging Fyah has chosen to collaborate with select guest artists on a few of Everlasting’s tracks. Rising roots sing-jay Jesse Royal joins the band in criticizing greedy, uncaring leaders on “Humble”; dancehall star Busy Signal, who was so impressed by the Everlasting recording sessions he is featured on two irresistible tracks, the pop flavored “Would You Love Me”, and the lilting “Live Your Life”, also featuring Compton, California raised reggae star J Boog, who cites Raging Fyah among his favorite bands.

Raging Fyah collectively writes their songs, many conveying personal meaning while simultaneously addressing wider issues. “Wondering” asks how did we get here, seemingly questioning a relationship gone wrong but the song was penned in Haiti as the band considered the descent of the first independent Black nation into one of poorest countries in the western Hemisphere, despite its plentiful resources. While emphasizing personal accomplishments through small achievements “Get Up” was written to motivate the progress of Africans throughout the Diaspora, notwithstanding the lingering effects of historical atrocities: “locked up in captivity, shipped across the Caribbean sea, so many years of slavery I still don’t know my identity”, sings Kumar, the purity of his emotionally wrenching vocals framed by Demar’s classically influenced piano, a representation of the culture imposed on slaves, prior to the segue into an emancipating reggae rhythm. “We put the classical part in to represent colonialism,” Kumar explains, “because the song is about a belief system, the advancement of the Black race, creeping first then walking as a people and taking pride in our history.”

Certain to be one of 2016’s most celebrated releases, Everlasting signifies a milestone in Raging Fyah’s career by raising the bar on their already lofty musical standards. “The challenging lyrics on Everlasting challenged what we were able to do as musicians,” says Demar. “Musically, we kept our roots but went way beyond them because there is not just one shape to fyah, it takes on different forms.”
Bukue One
Bukue One
Tion Torrence, aka Bukue One, is a product of that confluence of underground currents. In Bukue's hip-hop dictionary, there are 5 elements: rapping, djing, breaking, graffiti, and skate boarding. Intromission is the extraordinary album of a true Bay Area original, who in a single leap can pull a 360˚ kickflip, throw up a graffiti burner, and spit a tight verse.

Bukue One grew up straddling the border between Berkeley and Oakland, California. The dichotomy of the leftist college town and the gritty streets of The Town manifested itself musically in Bukue from an early age. "I watched early skate videos that featured music from punk bands like Bad Religion and Black Flag, but my friends were listening to NWA and Run DMC." He was also surrounded by music courtesy of his father, who was a backup singer for Marvin Gaye's touring band. Being a somewhat naïve preteen, he didn't see any contradiction in listening to such dissimilar genres. Living in the East Bay instilled a political consciousness in Bukue from a young age; his parents were both active members of the Black Panther party. So by the time Bukue was entering his late teenage years, he was socially conscious, a talented skater, and a renowned graffiti artist. His love of hip-hop had yet to translate into making music however. Bukue's entry to the hip-hop game came in the form of a live event production company, whose goal was to merge his love of skating and hip-hop. In 1998 Bukue's company, Urban Productions, organized a 4 day hip-hop/action sports festival in San Francisco featuring an a-list of artists, b-boy crews, djs, and skaters such as The Hieroglyphics, Artifacts, Style Elements, Rock Steady Crew, Shortkut, Apollo.Pro, Mike Carroll, Henry Sanchez, and Mike York. Afterwards, Bukue expanded his business into a record label and tour management firm. En route to Australia as tour manager for Aceylone, the hip-hop muse struck Bukue, resulting in "4 Tha Graff Heads", an ode to graffiti culture. As luck would have it, the art of graffiti was in vogue Down Under, and Bukue had a minor hit on his hands. Bukue saw that he could combine his business skill, hustle, and passions to make a sold living; a philosophy cum lifestyle that he has practiced to this day. "I'd like to think of myself as having a blue collar work-ethic with executive skills."

Intromission is Bukue One's first proper album. His previous recorded work consists of a series of mixtapes, including The Last Starfigher (2000). The material for the mixtapes came about on Bukue's many stints as tour manager/ performer with the likes of Blackalicious, Aceylone, Roc Raida, Abstract Rude and Del the Funky Homosapien (whom he also manages). So even though Bukue has been in the rap game for almost 10 years in one way or another, this will be most people's introduction to his work. "Intromission is all about reintroducing good old party hip-hop to young kids. It's me saying that it's okay to dance and smile; there's enough anger out there these days. I'm a party-rocking emcee." This is not to say that there is no substance to Bukue's songs. The 18 tracks on the album reveal his diverse musical and topical influences. The single, "Majah Knock" is an ode to the legendary bass-heavy west coast sound. Bukue knew it would be his single the moment he heard it, but it took a minute to convince producer PH-7 to boost the bass "up to West Coast levels." On "Ready now" Bukue showcases his roots reggae influences, musically and lyrically; "Why do we so heavily embrace the paper chase that wasted space and time? /When did all the madness begin? / Where do we go from here?" The majority of the album was produced in, surprise, Germany. In Bukue's tours through Europe, he developed a love for the sound that German producers were turning out. "The hip-hop culture in places like Berlin and Hamburg now is like the US in the late 80's. In Germany, people are making music to make true hip-hop, not to get rich." Tapping different producers known for their signature sounds allowed Bukue to make an album that incorporates his assorted styles. Krutsch has the reggae, dancehall, and classic hip-hop sound down pat. Flaps is a master of a funky, spiritual sound tinged with a 70's blacksploitation feel. PH-7 provides the straight bangin' hardcore boom-bap. Through all of the stylistic changes, Bukue's flow keeps the album consistent.

This is Bukue One. Emcee, Graffiti Artist, Skater, and Hip-Hop Entrepreneur. So the next time you're at a show and the emcee finishes by ollieing off the stage and skating through the crowd to sell his merch and sign autographs, there'll be no doubt as to what you've just experienced. Chances are that you'll be sweaty from dancing and hoarse from signing along. Bukue One has just completed his intromission as the defender of the five elements of hip-hop.
Venue Information:
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
http://www.catalystclub.com/