News

News

The Council to represent at Trinity International Hip Hop Festival

The Kingston and New York-based Hip Hop collective The Council is slated to perform at the 14th Annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut, from March 28 – 31, 2019. The four-member group, comprising Five Steez, Nomad Carlos, The Sickest Drama and Inztinkz, will grace the stage for a 30-minute set at the festival’s main show on Saturday, March 30, at Trinity College.

In addition to performing, The Council will also present at Trinity College on Friday, March 29, their panel titled ‘First Coast: The Jamaican and wider Caribbean involvement in Hip Hop’. The Council will discuss the role of the Jamaican sound system culture in the development of Hip Hop, DJ Kool Herc and the larger Caribbean contribution to the culture up to today.

Hip Hop acts from around the world and the United States will converge at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival where The Council will be the sole representatives from Jamaica and the Caribbean. It was a similar situation in 2018 when Five Steez of The Council became the first Jamaican act to appear at the festival in its then 13-year history.

“It was an amazing experience performing last year and connecting with everyone there,” says Five Steez. “I’m happy I’m able to repeat it and even more grateful that the entire crew was selected because we’ll be able to have a stronger impact.”

The Trinity International Hip Hop Festival has been held annually at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, since 2006 and has featured the likes of K’Naan, Talib Kweli, MC Lyte and Rakim.

“It’s an honour to be recognised for the work we’ve put in over the years and to be able to share the same stage as legends and our peers around the globe,” says Inztinkz, producer and rapper in The Council.

The Council has been championing the Hip Hop culture in Jamaica by independently releasing music as solo artists and staging events together for years. In 2012, The Council created the city’s premier event for the genre, Pay Attention, before shifting its energy towards a crew album in 2015 when the four members took on the name The Council. In 2017, the group released its debut album Nothing Else Matters, with features from underground rap cult favourite Tha God Fahim and Reggae lyricist Kabaka Pyramid.

Last modified on Sunday, 17 March 2019 00:48

  

Available on all platforms

Five Steez & Mordecai release Love N Art album

After releasing four singles, the album Love N Art by emcee and producer duo Five Steez & Mordecai is now available for purchase and streaming on all digital platforms. The project features 9 tracks of jazzy and soulful boom-bap Hip Hop meant to inspire hope.

“This is my most honest and personal project yet,” says Five Steez. “I believe it is my best body of work thus far and the music is very universal because of the sound and the message.”

Mordecai, who produced the entire album, says, “Five Steez has easily been one of the most consistent Hip Hop acts in Jamaica and it was a joy to help in adding on to the discography. This is an album for Hip Hop heads, but also anyone that appreciates good music with meaning and substance.”

Love N Art opens up with the song Give Thanks followed by the Shaq the MC-assisted Dreamer, which was released as the third single. Steez then speaks to some ladies he encounters on All I Need and gets back to business after on Work.

The song which began the album campaign in September, True Original, appears fifth on the project, and Shaq the MC returns as a guest on The Message, a powerful song about redemption and being one’s best self.

The theme of hope continues as the album progresses to Some Day and Days N Times, the last single released in January. Love N Art then closes with the title track – Love N Art (What I Feel) – where Five Steez emphasises the importance of knowing one’s purpose and worth.

With the album now available, fans can look forward to the upcoming True Original music video in March as well as more content online. A physical roll-out of limited edition CDs will also occur in April. All of the visuals and all Five Steez branding are handled by Jome Anderson aka Scotty Dreamkiller.

Since 2010, Five Steez has released mixtapes, albums and EPs, including the three-volume Momentum mixtape series with DJ Ready Cee, 2012’s War for Peace, 2014’s These Kingston Times and 2016’s HeatRockz, which was also produced by Mordecai. In 2017, he featured heavily on the album Nothing Else Matters as part of the four-member Kingston and New York-based collective, The Council, which also comprises Nomad Carlos, The Sickest Drama and Inztinkz.

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 05:18

Five Steez On The Avenue w/ DJ Wayne Ski

I had the pleasure of once more talking to DJ Wayne Ski on his BreakThru Radio show, On the Avenue. This entire episode is dedicated to Five Steez, as we talk about the upcoming album Love N Art and the music scene in Jamaica. He also premieres three unreleased songs from the album. Check it out!

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 February 2019 20:39

 

Five Steez on The Home Invasion Show

I had a great chat with Livin' Large on The Home Invasion Show on Canada's CKCU FM 93.1 on Thursday morning. The show begins at 2 a.m. so I had to be up far earlier than usual to connect via phone for the live interview. We spoke for roughly 40 minutes and then Livin' Large got into playing all four singles released from Love N Art. We discussed the album, but also the local Hip Hop scene and other interesting topics. Click the art below to go the archived show on the station's website and click 'Listen Now'.

 

Last modified on Friday, 25 January 2019 04:10

Five Steez on Guerrilla Grooves Radio

I finally got to chop it up with Rhinoceros Funk and DJ Fred Ones on Guerrilla Grooves Radio! They've been playing some of my music for a few years now and they gave me the opportunity to talk about the upcoming Love N Art album live on air. Check it out to hear more about the project. My segment begins around 1:14:15. We speak for about 10 minutes and then they go into the songs Work and Days N Times.

Last modified on Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:59

Five Steez releases fourth single from upcoming album

Independent Hip Hop artist Five Steez has released a fourth and final single titled Days N Times from his upcoming album, Love N Art, with producer, Mordecai. The song, which is on all digital platforms, comes just a month before the album will be made available on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

The sweet, jazzy sound of Days N Times evokes the hopeful feeling of a brighter future despite rough circumstances. “I want this song to inspire people,” says Five Steez. “I want them to be able to start their morning with this and even play it during their struggles because that is when this energy is needed the most.”

In just under 4 minutes and 44 seconds, Five Steez shares useful gems and lessons. “Life is what you make it, some things you can’t control,” he says in the first verse. “Work around that and let your plans unfold / Whatever you do, make sure you have your soul / Because peace of mind is a bag of gold.”

Days N Times follows the previous singles, True Original, Work and Dreamer, which were released in late 2018. “This is one of the songs that capture the overall message and vibe of Love N Art,” says Mordecai. “It’s really about spreading positive energy through the music.”

Love N Art is the second project from Five Steez and Mordecai, the first being the 2016 EP, HeatRockz. Steez calls the new album his most honest and introspective work. “The album is very soulful and it’s highly relatable,” he says. “It’s inspired by my journey and it will resonate with people in many ways on a deep level.”

Since 2010, Five Steez has released mixtapes, albums and EPs, including the three-volume Momentum mixtape series with DJ Ready Cee, 2012’s War for Peace, 2014’s These Kingston Times and 2016’s HeatRockz. In 2017, he featured heavily on the album Nothing Else Matters as part of the four-member Kingston and New York-based collective, The Council, which also comprises Nomad Carlos, The Sickest Drama and Inztinkz.

Last modified on Saturday, 12 January 2019 05:09

The Apollo Series enters second year with best of the emerging acts

In just a year, The Apollo Series became one of the top recurring live music events in Kingston and, on Saturday, January 19, it celebrates its first anniversary at The Haven, 12 Hillcrest Avenue. This fifth edition of the event, known for its unique format, will feature Reggae artiste Eesah, upcoming Dancehall performer Reido and poet Arabella Blain.

Each featured performer at The Apollo Series performs not once, but twice, as part of what is referred to as ‘rotating sets’, allowing late-comers to still see the show’s line-up and the early birds to experience two distinct sets. Another signature characteristic of the event is the open stage, which showcases poets, musicians, singers and any kind of talent that seeks an outlet.

Some of the most intriguing individuals in Kingston’s close-knit creative scene are scheduled for January 19. In addition to being a poet, Arabella Blain is also a mental health advocate, and she is expected to come with a message. Eesah has been garnering attention with his recently released EP, Masterpiece, while Reido has been making his mark at stage shows across the island and on social media with his viral videos.

“As we enter our second year, we continue to develop and expose talent,” says Simon the Writer, organiser of The Apollo Series. “Both Arabella Blain and Reido are acts that have been a part of our open stage and have impressed the audience each time, so we saw it as fitting for them to be our special features.”

The audience at The Apollo Series usually features artists from all artforms, ranging from established professionals to upcoming amateurs. “We always have a solid turnout and a fairly smooth show,” says Simon the Writer. “Our patrons will experience even better productions this year and we will kick start it right on January 19.”

Gates for The Apollo Series open at 7 p.m. and showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is only $500.

The Apollo Series is presented by A.C.T.I.O.N. Jamaica and is sponsored by The Haven, Main Event Entertainment Group and Marketing Plus Communications.

Last modified on Sunday, 06 January 2019 03:39

Five Steez sings for anyone with a dream

Independent Hip Hop artist Five Steez is representing for anyone with a dream on his latest song titled Dreamer. This third single from his upcoming album, Love N Art, with producer, Mordecai, also features the vocal stylings of long-time collaborator Shaq the MC.

With neck-snapping drums and a lush piano as the backdrop, Five Steez takes his audience on a quick journey, reflecting on the days of his youth and how he began pursuing music. Ironically, Shaq the MC, despite the name, sings the chorus with Steez, who shares his story in his rhythmic rap style for the verses.

“Shaq is someone I’ve collaborated and performed with going back 8 years or more,” says Five Steez. He was featured on my first album War for Peace. And even before that, as an organiser in Kingston’s live music scene, he was one of the first persons that gave me a platform.”

Shaq the MC also boasts the honour of being the only featured act on Love N Art, appearing not just once, but twice. “Shaq is a dope rapper, but he’s also a singer who understands this sound,” says Steez. “He now lives in London, so, one of the times he was here in Jamaica, I got him in the studio and he laid some vocals for two of the songs, including Dreamer, with which he really helped me do something different.”

Dreamer comes on the heels of two previous singles, True Original and Work, released in September and October respectively. Love N Art, scheduled for release in 2019, is the second body of work from Five Steez and Mordecai since the 2016 EP, HeatRockz. Steez calls it his most honest and personal project. “It is also soulful and full of jazz,” he says. “We zoned in on a specific vibe we knew people would relate to and be moved by.”

Since 2010, Five Steez has released many mixtapes, albums and EPs, including the three-volume Momentum mixtape series with DJ Ready Cee, 2012’s War for Peace, 2014’s These Kingston Times and 2016’s HeatRockz. In 2017, he featured heavily on the album Nothing Else Matters as part of the four-member Kingston and New York-based collective, The Council, which also comprises Nomad Carlos, The Sickest Drama and Inztinkz.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 December 2018 02:01

Five Steez in Afroway Magazine

Kenya-based Afroway Magazine reached out to me recently for an interview and we spoke about the upcoming album Love N Art, The Council, Jamaican Hip Hop and even African Hip Hop. Flip through the pages here! As usual, I share some insight in this interview that I feel you'll find interesting. I bet you didn't know how many rappers out of Africa with which I've collaborated! 

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 November 2018 02:36

Five Steez & Mordecai - World Music Fusion on Zanj Radio

Mordecai and I joined DJ Zanj Racc on Saturday evening on Zanj Radio for World Music Fusion! We had a long chat about our new music, Hip Hop in Jamaica, what Five Steez means to the wider scene and so much more. Zanj always asks interesting questions... sometimes, I have to stop and think, and I believe any fan will enjoy hearing this interview. This is a must listen!

Last modified on Monday, 12 November 2018 18:51
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