i-taweh
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i-taweh

Kingston, Jamaica | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Kingston, Jamaica | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo World Reggae

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Oct
22
i-taweh @ Benefit for Montessori School

Ukiah, California, United States

Ukiah, California, United States

Oct
01
i-taweh @ Round Valley Reggae Festival

Covelo, California, United States

Covelo, California, United States

Feb
20
i-taweh @ Red Bones Cafe

Kingston, Saint Catherine, Jamaica

Kingston, Saint Catherine, Jamaica

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Music

Press


"Favorite Albums of 2011"

Favourite albums of 2011
Last year was a good year for reggae albums, especially for those in one drop mode. Single artist dancehall albums were rather absent as usual, even though Chino and Vybz Kartel dropped decent albums.

In late December I published lists covering the best tunes of 2011 and some general highlights. Now it’s time for the favourite albums of 2011 list. But rather than choose the titles all by myself I joined forces with my fellow United Reggae writer Angus Taylor.

Together we managed to agree on our 20 favourite albums from last year. Only those that showed up on both our private lists were selected for the final top 20. This list is unranked, and no reissues or compilations have been counted.

There were of course albums we couldn’t agree on. Therefore we made a separate section where these are listed. We’ve also compiled a list for free downloads at the end.

Looking into 2012 there are several highlights ahead. I’ve had a listen to Da Professor’s upcoming album The Laboratory for producer Don Corleon and it’s very promising.

Also worth keeping an eye out for is Mr. Vegas’ double album Sweet Jamaica Reggae/Sweet Jamaica Dancehall, Sizzla’s The Chant, Konshens’ Mental Maintenance, I-Octane’s Crying to the Nation, Sean Paul’s Tomahawk Technique, Skarra Mucci’s Return of the Raggamuffin, Groundation’s Building an Ark and new titles from both Etana and Queen Ifrica.

Stephen Marley – Revelations Part One: The Root Of Life
The second half to this two part concept series never surfaced this year as initially promised. But part one was a beautifully crafted tribute to Stephen’s father’s era of music and his finest platter yet.

Sizzla – The Scriptures
Every culturally minded album by Sizzla is hailed as a return to form but this one actually was: a wobbly opus using digitally enhanced Jammys rhythms from his son John John. The tracks actually felt like they had been chosen for a reason while Sizzla’s controversial falsetto never sounded better on the Beach Boys/Animal Collective-like Jah Is My Shield.

Takana Zion – Rasta Government
The Guinean chanter’s longplayers have gone from strength to strength and this was his masterstroke. Lyrically simple (but hey, the man speaks multiple languages), the messages were manna to roots reggae fans worldwide.

Hollie Cook – Hollie Cook
Punk had a curious relationship with reggae in the 70s. But today the ethereal voiced daughter of sex pistol Paul Cook created a head swimmingly retro lovers rock debut with unstoppable engineer Prince Fatty that pleased purists and public alike.

Alpheus – From Creation
When British Studio One prodigy Alpheus said he would never sing another modern reggae song it sounded bizarre. But that was before he and producer Robert Sanchez unleashed this note-perfect recreation of the days of Coxsone and Phil Pratt in the ska and rocksteady era which took the critics of Europe by storm.

Earl Sixteen – The Fittest
Dubby Dutch double team JahSolidRock and Not Easy At All trumped this list with two releases last year. This time they kept their hand in with a full showcase effort from prolific roots internationalist Earl Sixteen.

Richie Spice – Book Of Job
The unmistakable voice of Richall Bonner over Penthouse and other rhythms was an early favourite from Jamaica in 2011. My Life, a remixed adaptation of Randy Crawford’s Street Life, was an instant modern classic, while Richie’s singing on the Raging Fyah production Black Woman had a distinctly West African vibe.

Protoje – The Seven Year Itch
Lorna Bennett’s talented singjay son’s eclectic radio-friendly introduction silenced the doom and gloom merchants who had been writing off Jamaican music. The last-minute removal of strongest track Our Time Come (due to clearance issues over its Burning Spear sample) was a disappointment but the rest still held its own.

I-Taweh – Overload
Again the naysayers were silenced when a St Ann’s parish roots reggae artist took the Richie B album chart number one spot. Veteran session musician I-Taweh Cunningham’s story – like his record – was one of the most inspirational of the year.

Perfect – Back For The First Time
Another St Ann’s man, the ever dependable Perfect, linked up with Californian rhythm team Lustre Kings for a record that hit his highest heights since 2008’s Born Dead With Life. More of a grower than that album it was a unanimous choice in our office nonetheless.

Joggo – Modern Rockers Vol. 1
Yet another strong rootsy album from the Netherlands. Clarence Seedorf’s brother Joggo’s direct and desperate tone along with several sing-along choruses made this a very memorable set.

Uprising Roots Band – Skyfiya
The debut album from one of the several bands that have surfaced in Jamaica in recent years. This is eerie roots reggae that pays homage to pioneering Jamaican groups such as Culture and The Gladiators.

Luciano – Rub a Dub Market
His third full-lengther in less than a year, and Luciano continues to work with producers outside Jamaica with great success. This one was produced by Vienna-based Irie Vibrations and holds many familiar Luciano ingredients – beautiful harmonies and grandiose choruses.

Sara Lugo – What About Love?
The little lady from outside Munich with the room-silencing voice decided not to make a straight reggae album for her debut. Even so, it was a prodigious statement that played on the close relationship between soul and reggae, and announced the rising of a new star.

I Wayne – Life Teachings
I Wayne’s Third Record for Loyal Soldiers caused a dilemma for liberal listeners. His proscriptive lyrics seemed preoccupied with sexual behaviour but the music was stronger than anything he had released before.

J Boog – Backyard Boogie
The Hawaii based singer’s cracked-voiced crooning seemed well at home on the more Jamaican sounding rhythms of his second disc. This versatile, hugely popular artist delivered one of the best slices of “island pop” this year.

Ziggi Recado – Ziggi Recado
Ziggi’s third album showed a brand new side to him. This was an adventurous blend of reggae, soul, hip-hop, funk and even rock. In some cases it would have sounded disunited, but it’s actually a cohesive whole.

Midnite – Kings Bell
On their fifth album in 2011, and about the 45th during their career, Midnite is more accessible than ever before. But it doesn’t mean that Kings Bell offers extravagant harmonies or na-na-na’s. It’s still the same Midnite, but – thanks to producer Andrew Bassie Campbell and his top Jamaican session musicians – with clearer melodies and more memorable hooks.

Raging Fyah – Judgement Time
Singer Ray Darwin’s former band mates have found a new singer, and on their promising opening set they play skanking, uplifting reggae as it was played in the 70’s.

Little Roy – Battle For Seattle
The reggae covers industry took a bold step beyond the safer choices of Easy Star Records. Little Roy’s second album in 2011 deservedly moved him into the mainstream as he highlighted the uplifting quality to Kurt Cobain’s songs across a series of Nirvana covers. It’s the second appearance on our list from producer/engineer Prince Fatty whose daring concept showed he is as interested in taking reggae forward as looking back.

Other essential albums that didn’t make the list (i.e. we couldn’t agree!)
Reggae Regulars – If Only
Tappa Zukie – X Is Wrong
Gappy Ranks – Thanks & Praise
Little Roy – Heat
Deadly Hunta – Speak My Mind
Etana – Free Expressions
Joey Fever – In A Fever
Ray Darwin – People’s Choice
Alborosie – Two Times Revolution
Warrior King – Tell Me How Me Sound

Free downloads
Collie Buddz – Playback EP
Kabaka Pyramid – Rebel Music EP
Mark Wonder and Zion Roots – The Dragonslayer
Mandinka Warrior and Mr Williamz – Dancehall Nice Again
Jahmali – Sounds with a Purpose - Reggaemani


"I-taweh OVERLOAD"

I-Taweh out of St Ann's parish Jamaica, now resident in California, spent 17 years playing guitar and bass with marquee reggae acts like Sugar Minott, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and Everton Blender. But all the while he was crafting his own songs and snatching some recording time here and there on the road. Following a spell in hospital in 2008 he decided to seize the day and assemble his first solo album. In an almost fairytale denouement to his story so far this self released old school roots record, of the kind received wisdom says only appeals in Europe, hit number one on Richie B's Jamaican reggae album countdown. 'Overload' was officially re-launched in Jamaica last week - nearly a year after its original release.

I-Taweh's voice has been compared to Burning Spear but it has a softer quality that also recalls Pablo Moses. As a veteran touring and session musician he was able to use his links to gather a remarkable group of players for a debut including Bongo Herman, Horsemouth Wallace and Sly Dunbar. Dean Fraser plays sax on the set's strongest track The Prayer which uses the immortal chorus lines of Tony Tuff's classic Deliver Me (although I-Taweh insists the resemblance is coincidental). The title song, currently in Richie B's singles top twenty, is a Spear-like re-memory of a laden slave ship and appears alongside a second, hand drummed mix that nods to I-Taweh's period with Count Ossie junior. Braveheart tells of I-Taweh's friend Garfield whose fearless nature led to his being on the wrong side of the law and the wrong end of a gun.

Five tracks were voiced with the French group Broussai who were the first to record I-Taweh while on tour in 1999. These are very much in the slow deep roots mode - and though they sound different from the slightly hip hop flavoured opener Runaway, what makes this album succeed is that all the material from the various sessions over the years maintains a consistent mood.

Where most debut long-players drop only partially formed I-Taweh's hard work and musician links have paid off. This record deserves its chart success and should be in roots reggae fans' homes, all over the globe. - United Reggae


"A delightful surprise from I-Taweh"

Reggaemani

A delightful surprise from I-Taweh
I usually believe that I’ve a pretty good idea of roots reggae albums being put out around the world, especially if they come from a Jamaican artist and has been something of a success.

But this is of course not always the case, as is clearly shown by I-Taweh’s debut album Overload, an album that has climbed the Jamaican album chart.

Even though Overload is I-Taweh’s debut album he is far from a novice. He has spent 17 years on the road with several different bands and musicians, including Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Everton Blender and the late Sugar Minott. He has also recorded with artists such as Capleton, Sade and Luciano playing bass and guitar.

And now it’s time for I-Taweh to leave the shadows and be a star in his own right. Because he is a sublime song writer and warm vocalist. His raspy tone is reminiscent of Burning Spear, Joe Higgs and Clinton Fearon.

Overload collects twelve tunes plus a nyabinghi version of the title track. Musicians include drummers Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace and Sly Dunbar, saxophonist Dean Fraser and percussionist Bongo Herman and a number of others.

There are hardly any disappointing moments, and the several highlights include the moving Braveheart, the harmonious Jah Bless and the soulful Runaway with some memorable guitar playing.

Overload is a strong debut album and according to a recent interview with I-Taweh he is already working on his next album. I’ll be waiting patiently. - Reggaemani


"Overload Review"

Donovan "I-Taweh" Cunningham was born in the hills of St. Ann, Jamaica to Rupert and Ruby Cunningham. Growing up he played music with his family and friends, but his musical career started shortly after his move from the country to Kingston in 1992, where he was given the name Danny Gitz because of his growing reputation as an outstanding guitarist. He began his first tour with High Symbol in 1994. He then went on to become the youngest member of the original Nyabhingi group Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari and extensively toured Europe with them. During those years he was also doing significant work as a band leader for the original "Dance Hall King" Sugar Minott and later became the guitarist for Everton Blender. His work with Everton Blender brought him to the U.S. in 2004 where he then became the bassist for the Yellow Wall Dub Squad, a major backing band for headlining artists in the U.S. and the opening act for the artists they were playing for.

His act was billed as "Itawe" and often referred to as the "Reggae Lion". He quickly gained popularity as the singing bassist, and his voice was likened to that of the reggae legend Burning Spear. He has recorded for several major artists such as Sade, Capleton, Morgan Heritage, Sugar Minott, Luciano, etc. and on any given day you can hear his guitar licks playing on radio stations across the globe. For the past few years he has been a band member and the opening act for artists such as The Abyssinians, Richie Spice, Anthony B, Gregory Isaacs, Yami Bolo, Ini Kamoze, Half Pint, Sister Carol, The Melodians, The Mighty Diamonds, Junior Reid, Tanya Stephens and many more.

After 17 years of being a supporting musician, I-Taweh took a one year hiatus from performances to pursue his solo album "Overload. He has written and composed all of his own original music and independently produced his first album under his own label Tap Nat Muzik. His music is diverse and reflects his passion for Human Rights and Social Justice making him the perfect choice for the soundtrack featured in the award winning movie "African Rush / The Ultimate Ride" and the big wave surf film "THE FIND: Claiming the Nelscott Reef".

Lyrically the album is food for thought and the music makes one jump up and dance. All riddims are fresh originals and played by real musicians. The album opens with an excellent tune called Runaway. It's a mid tempo tune warning people to "find your dwelling place today, make sure it's the place that you want to stay..." Next comes The Prayer (Deliver Me), yet another strong outing with a huge vibe and featuring fine horns by veteran Dean Fraser. Jah Bless features reggae veterans Horsemouth and Chris Meredith on drums and bass. This awesome praising tune is one of the many highlights on the album.

Five of the tracks on the album I-Taweh wrote and recorded with Broussai, a French reggaegroup. The sound of these songs is different compared to the rest of the tunes. Babylon Bridge is a decent 'one drop' tune, but Freedom Fight (Holy War) fails to make a decent impression. Live Graceful is an uptempo dance tune, telling us "just hope and pray... be thankful and not ungrateful". Long Road is just an excellent tune.

A noteworthy song is Braveheart, calling out to the youths not to follow bad company and "run go thief". Rise And Shine is a moody love song with jazzy flavours... great effort! In the end Overload rounds off I-Taweh's fine debut album. The Nyabhingi version of Overload is also included on the album.

Highly recommended! - Reggae Vibes


"Interview- I-taweh"

If you listened to some visiting reggae artists giving interviews in Europe you might think no one was consuming roots music in Jamaica. But one of many exhibits for the defence that have surfaced in recent times has been the late blooming success of backing musician turned frontman I-Taweh. Born Donovan Cunningham in the little village of Grants Mountain in St Ann's parish before moving to the farming community of Prickly Pole at the age of three, I-Taweh began strumming the guitar at church to accompany elder ladies “Who’d never tell you what chord they were singing!” Relocating to St Ann’s Bay – just five doors down from Burning Spear – he enlisted in the Ocho Rios High School band, coming second in a schools competition in Kingston, which gave him the confidence to move to the capital and start a professional music career. In the early nineties he was taken under the wing of the renowned “youth promoter” Sugar Minott and went on tour with an assembly of friends known as the Bad Black Roots Band. In 1998 I-Taweh joined the legendary Nyahbinghi drumming collective Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and spent a decade on the road. But all the while striking out on his own was in his mind, and a fortuitous meeting at the turn of the millennium with the French group Broussai, led to the first recording sessions that would result in his debut album 'Overload'. Released after 17 years as a touring player, in January 2011, on I-Taweh’s own Tap Nat Muzik label, it has reached Richie B's Jamaican album chart’s top five, with the title track entering the reggae singles top 20. Angus Taylor spoke to I-Taweh from his home in California, about how his dreams came to pass...

I-Taweh

At what point did you decide to go solo and do your own album?

It's been a fire that's been burning through all those years touring behind Sugar, Gregory Isaacs and all those people. I was singing in Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari. I used to be the lead chanter for many tours so I know what it feels like to do it. It's a fire that was burning so hot and so deep but I know and I always knew that I was going to be the main man some day. I just wanted to sing my songs. I was writing songs for so long before I started singing them that it's like I get old with my songs. I don't even want to sing some songs anymore because when I sing it and somebody hears it they're like "Whoa, is that new?" and I'm like "No man, it's 13 years old!" (laughs) So I know it's something I have to do from in the gut long time ago.

I always knew that I was going to be the main man some day
But at what stage did you decide to make this happen?

Well after touring for a long time I got sick and I was in the emergency room for a minute with stomach problems and stuff like that so I just decided "You know what? Enough is enough. If I'm going to get sick from doing this I want to be doing my music". It was about three years ago.

Now as well as the French musicians you have a lot of top Jamaican musicians playing on your album like Dean Fraser. Was this through all the links you made as a musician?

Yeah. Dean Fraser is like my elder. Nambo is not on the album but he should be because we toured so much together in Europe. Dean is my brethren and I really appreciate him coming in and finding a minute to play something on it for real. I have Computer Paul who did music for Akon, Jimmy Cliff, Shabba Ranks and things like that. I have Bongo Herman. I have Delroy Pottinger as the engineer, who mixed for Sly & Robbie and all them cats a lot. I have Horsemouth Wallace playing one track, the killer drummer man! I even have Sly playing the big drum, I have Sticky playing percussion, I have Count Ossie Junior from when we toured together with Mystic. I have Remi Kabaka on percussion. To have a wide range of musicians, I hope I don't miss any of them out!

That's a very impressive ensemble of musicians for a first album. So would you say all that touring was worth it to get links with all these people?

I-Taweh - OverloadIt was man, it was! I don't have one minute of regret. I got sick but it was because of me not taking 100% good care of myself, not just touring. You can let yourself go and you can hold it together you know? It's what you choose.

Dean plays on your re-do of Tony Tuff's great Deliver Me From My Enemies. How did you decide to revisit that great song?

It wasn't a re-do! You're the second person who has said that! I wasn't even thinking about Tony Tuff's song until after my song was done! Even though I toured with Tony Tuff and Sugar Minott and played Deliver Me for him. I seriously wasn't thinking about that song in the recording. If you check it's totally different except that we say "Deliver me" twice. I was just listening to Tony Tuff and my song in my car and I was like "Wow the chorus" you know? If I have to give him to credit for saying "Deliver me, deliver me", sure, no problem! I wasn't thinking about it - not the vaguest thought in my mind!

Tell me a bit about the song Braveheart, is that based on a true story or is it drawn from many experiences?

It is a true story. It's about a friend of mine. We went to school together, we were in the same class and we grew up together. Originally his name was Garfield Smith. He was a cold cat, he was really, really serious. Whatever you wanted that guy would get it for you. He's not afraid of anybody, he's tough in front of the cops or the prime minister, he's just like that. After school, when we left Prickly Pole, he left to live with his dad in Spanish Town. Spanish Town is a tough community, so people have a lot to see, some people pick up the gun, some people start to rob, do whatever to survive. Garfield got caught in that bubble and he got killed by the cops. I can't say that he had a bad upbringing that made him have to choose that lifestyle, it's just someone who really just wants to be bad. There are two roads before you; you can choose one and I think he chose the road for destruction. As a good friend, seriously, that's what happened to him.

I don't think the world really learned how to dance the original reggae, so we need to play it some more for them!
There seems to be a lot of talk in the media at the moment about trying to dismantle the political garrisons. I wondered whether you had any thoughts on that.

I have a lot of views on that. I'm from Jamaica where it's rough. We see a lot of innocent people get killed by the police. I saw one of my good friends get shot right in front of my house by the police. So many things. You want to be on the right side and you want to support the law but when the police come and kill somebody innocent, if it somebody who's not close to you but when it's your brother or your son you're going to really start to think and you might do something. Jamaica is a place that is hard right now for people to stay on top of the right thing because the situation is so crazy over there man, I'm telling you. So Braveheart is not just going out for Garfield, it's going out for a lot of youths who want to choose that road. I'm trying to tell you "Don't take that road because it leads to destruction".

How did you come to be based in the United States?

I-TawehWell, I was touring with Everton Blender for a while. I have a three year work permit so I was working here. Before that I was married in Jamaica to my wife Kristi, who is from the United States but I didn't want to come to the United States because I was touring so much in Europe and I just love it over that side. After touring with Everton Blender for a while and with Sugar Minott, I was with this band called the Yellow Wall Dub Squad touring with the Abyssinians, Mighty Diamonds, Sister Carol, Frankie Paul, Junior Reid. When that work permit was about to be done, I had kids with my wife and I was caught between two worlds. I didn't know what to do, whether to go back or to take care of my situation here. I was just about on the way out when more people get involved and say "Hey, maybe you should just do your papers because you're already married and it's easier for you to travel and stuff like that". So yeah, I'm here and it's good because I was in Jamaica all my life and it was hard for me to do my CD. I couldn't really get it done with all the backing band scene around me, somebody would always call me and then I'm gone. So here, just taking the kids to school, I've found myself with a lot of time to think, work on my music, go to different studios, call different musicians to play. It took me seven years or more to make this CD. I hope the next one won't take so long!

Having taken seven years to make it, were you surprised by the extremely positive reaction it's had, entering the single and album charts in Jamaica? How do you feel about it all?

I feel really good about it. It wasn't a surprise because I have a little thing deep down inside me, maybe it's a little needle or something, that tells me when I have a good song. When I'm playing it or singing it in the studio and I listen to it, I can tell and hear "Yeah, that one was good". Then somebody else tells me "Yeah man, I love that song". It's like I know from deep within that I have good music. With what's going on in Jamaica right now, not a lot of people want to do the roots anymore because there's so many things to be done. I'm saying that I don't think the world really learned how to dance reggae as yet, the original reggae, so we need to play it some more for them! (laughs) I want to be one of the roots who stick around and play the music like Culture and Burning Spear, Bob and Peter and those guys used to play. That's how I want to do it, that's how I see it.

If you make good music and you try to make the people hear it, then the people are going to accept it
There's a perception outside of Jamaica that the roots music that you play is not popular inside Jamaica, but your position in the charts suggests that's wrong.

Yeah, that's wrong. If you make good music and you try to make the people hear it, then the people are going to accept it. I think the people are hungry for having something they can hold onto for a while and say "Yes, this is a good song". Everything doesn't have to be three months. I used to be a backing band musician, imagine; this artist has this song that I practise so much and I love to play it, in rehearsal we were like "Oh man yeah, let's do this song!", if in three months the artist said to you "I'm not doing that song man, that's an old song". I don't want to make music like that, I want to make music that 15, 20 years from today I can still take up my guitar and play Overload and somebody will love it, you know? That's how I want to make it. Root music lives, man! The only thing that makes my blood pump and gives me those little goose-bumps, for real! It's roots. - United Reggae


"Dem Yah Ole Time Days Rasta Man Will Never Fade Away"

Dem Yah Ole Time Days Rasta Man Will Never Fade Away

Some people choose music but it's different when music choose you, as in the case of I-Taweh, an artist whose talent bloomed from the solid roots foundation of live performance. This Jamaican, native of Prickly Pole district in the parish of St. Ann comes in with his own set of originals, not sung on popular rhythms, not created with the current trends, but with the essence of the original roots and culture of reggae. Think Burning Spear and Joseph Hill and Culture or Israel Vibration, complimented with a sensibility of pop music on ballads and sung in a rich baritone with deep, soulful harmonies and moody delay effects.

Since the explosion of his single 'Overload' in 2011, the musician turned solo artist I-Taweh has proven he IS Reggae and a soldier of the genre who's mission is to continue the work of his elders strengthening, uplifting and educating generations of people. There are many Reggae artistes out there but not many chosen to help bring about a better people, a better society and a better future. I-Taweh is one of the chosen and declared, "cause I know dem yah ole time days rasta man yah, woulda never fade away" on his new single, Never Fade Away a must listen track off his upcoming album and master piece of solid, authentic reggae music. "A fire that's been burning so hot and so deep" he told United Reggae in an interview is his reason for going solo and, a passion that bring out the crisp, clear, timeless sound of the former chanter of Count Ossie's original Nyahbingi group, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari drives him to realize his dream.

Unlike the Dancehall genre, Reggae has almost never failed at producing a bunch of talented musicians and artistes specifically among Jamaicans year after year. However, the abundance of talent might also be one of the genres' greatest disadvantage as many of these artistes and musicians are often overlooked. Although he toured Europe extensively in 2007 with count Ossie's group, this multi-talented guitarist/musician, singer and songwriter has been in demand on and off the stage. His incredible versatility and precision on guitar and bass has been in great demand. I-Taweh recorded with the likes of Nigerian born, English singer-songwriter Sade, Dancehall/Reggae fire brand Capleton, the royal family of reggae Morgan Heritage, Luciano the messenger and Sugar Minott who is accredited for the rise of contemporary Dancehall style. He also toured with Everton Blender as member of Blend Dem Band on guitar before calling it quits in 2009 to record and release his debut album, Overload.


I-Taweh 'Never Fade Away' video
It is now 2016 and once more I-Taweh is at it again, putting the final finishes on his soon to be released studio album. Never Fade Away the first single off this album is evident of what to expect from this project. Sounds of the best of live music, live performance and relaying messages with conviction. I-Taweh is one of the reggae artistes fans are yet to hear enough of. His work demands attention and is a clear cut path to the future of authentic reggae. This is Reggae, this is what it sounds like, this is what authentic reggae fans want to hear and this is how it's done! Click song title Never Fade Away to listen the first single off the 2016 upcoming, soon to be announced album by I-Taweh that is slated for release at the end of September distributed on VPAL Record label.

#NIPnews
I-Taweh.com - New Image Promotion Reggae/Dancehall Entertainment Magazine


Discography

"Overload" album  2011
 
"Judgement"Album coming February 2017

Photos

Bio

I-taweh's move from the hills of St. Ann to Kingston, Jamaica in 1992 began his musical career.  Rarely seen without carrying his guitar, he was given the nickname Danny Gitz.  Along with the name, his skill and reputation as an outstanding guitarist began to grow. During the early nineties the legendary Sugar Minott took him under his wing where he eventually became Sugar’s band leader.   I-taweh attributes Sugar to making him the musician he is today- “Sugar was like a father to me. He was the roughest, but at the same time the kindest, sweetest person.  On stage he would let you know in front of thousands of people if you were messing up, but at the same time when you had it he always let us know too and made you feel good. He had a real sense of pride in his music and he was the first real reggae star who as a youth made we feel we were good enough.  No matter how good you are, if you don’t get the chance to show it – what can you do? He was one of the first people who made me believe in myself as a serious musician.”  

In 1994 he became part of the band High Symbol and after a tour landed in Australia with them. It was in in Australia that I-taweh began singing lead vocals here and there, and gaining some confidence as a front man.  In 1998 I-taweh became the youngest member of Count Ossie’s original Nyabhingi group, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari,  From 1998-2007 he extensively toured Europe with the group where they are well known for their traditional Jamaican folk music and workshops which they held at Universities. In France, he began collaboration with reggae group Broussai which led to studio sessions in hotel rooms and the beginnings of tracks that he later used on his first album Overload

Not only was I-taweh in demand for live performances, his incredible versatility and precision on guitar and bass  kept him in high demand in the studio as well.  During the 90’s he recorded with artists such as:  Sade, Capleton, Morgan Heritage, Sugar Minott, Luciano, Lenky Roy, and Iqulah.

It was with Everton Blender, as the guitarist for the Blend Dem Band, that he came to the U.S. during 2004.  After the tour, he went on to be the bassist for the Yellow Wall Dub Squad, a major backing band for Jamaican artists in the U.S.  Billed as Itawe and often referred to as the Reggae Lion, he quickly gained popularity as the singing bassist opening for artists such as Sister Carol, Prezident Brown, the Abyssinians, Yami Bolo, Half Pint, the Mighty Diamonds, and the Melodians.

In 2009, after 17 years of being a supporting musician, I-taweh took a hiatus from the road and began to pursue his solo album.  In 2011 he released his independently composed, written, and produced first album named Overload under his own label Tap Nat MuziK.  In December 2011 I-taweh performed songs from his debut release at his launch party at Wickie Wackie in Bull Bay, Jamaica, as part of a great journey through Jamaica's radio and media landscape.  I-taweh formed the band the Reggae Lions for the launch event enlisting veterans Nambo Robinson on trombone along with Everton Gayle on saxophone and Time aka Count Ossie Jr. on percussion.  Selections from the Overload album and the Overload single have received significant airplay on numerous stations in Jamaica and both have become a 2011-2012 hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 102 FM chart. In the U.S., the Overload album has been very well-received at traditional reggae radio, college and syndicated programs and was selected to be part of the Direct TV cable network's menu of reggae material where several songs are in regular rotation.  

I-taweh released the single, Never Fade Away, a tribute to the original Rasta’s, from his upcoming second album named Judgement.  The single has received considerable attention at radio and TV for Never Fade Away,  and the song has become popular with people of all ages. 

With his all-star band, the Reggae Lions, he is currently touring and captivating audiences all over the world with his moving lyrics, confident stage presence, and phenomenal talent. I-taweh’s unique and original sound comes from his Jamaican roots influence combined with inspirations from his travels abroad.  His music is diverse and reflects his passion for Human Rights and Social Justice.  Whether performing acoustic guitar with a stand- up bass, or with his full ten piece band, he is quickly winning the hearts of his listeners everywhere and continuously leaves his audience wanting more! 


Band Members