Near the end of each and every year we do a list which demonstrates the low standards of people in general, because it is both horrible and very popular, by the name of 'Most Wanted'. That is a list which generally describes who we hope to hear from on an album in the coming twelve months (and just in case you're interested, of the ten mentioned on the list for 2013, only one, Kalash, has made an appearance and at least to my knowledge, none of the other nine have anything completely planned). People who could musically make the year a better one for me and today we kind of expand on that idea. Along with the Kabaka Pyramids and Damian Marleys of the world who're more obvious selections, there is another group who for one reason or another, I'd really LOVE to hear from some time in the not too distant future. To them we say COME AGAIN. Here are ten not so apparent names who could really make a giant impact with their next release.
With the single best two albums that I've heard this year coming from Jah9 and Etana, respectively, and solid pieces coming from both Jah Defender and Khari Kill, in terms of albums, 2013 has already been a very good one for both women in Reggae music as well as Reggae from out of Trinidad. HOWEVER, as the years go by we move further and further away from the last time the most talented of either going today in my opinion, the amazing Queen Omega, has been able to do an album of her own and that is ridiculous and I mean that in a very, VERY bad way. Furthermore, it's been even longer than the half-decade from her actual last release that we've really seen her celebrated on a grand scale. That hasn't happened from 2005's "Destiny", which was sublime. Those details shouldn't really belong to anyone with talent and certainly not one as supremely gifted as Queen Omega who continues to record and tour quite often, but this is someone who shouldn't such a long patch of being absent from album shelves in her career unless she's retired but…
"Mi have to bun di fyah and mi nah go retire
Full time now di wicked expire!"
Maikal X's name is an interesting addition to a list like this because he has constantly been making new music to my knowledge and may or may not actually be working on an eventual album release at some point. However, he's been doing all of that as part of his once former (now current again) group, The Postmen. I haven’t followed them very much, but that's fine, he's a musician and musicians make music. However, Reggae fans do await the talented vocalists return to his more Reggae-centric solo career and if/when he does return, it'll be a fascinating comeback. Over the last year or two the label which brought his debut set, "Genesis" has actually lost its biggest name, Ziggi Recado and one would wonder if the imprint, which has an excellent history of making big music, would continue to do the work with Maikal X as well. Of course only time will tell that, but if X could fine the TIME to re-pursue his solo career in the next year or two, that would be nice and even nicer if he could do it with the label that brought out the 'best in' him.
I recently came to the very unfortunate theory (and I hate that word - I HATE it) that it was very likely that the album whose praises I had been singing for so long now, "Rebelution", just may be the last studio release that the WICKED veteran vocalist, Yami Bolo, had ever done. That is an album which dates back to 2003, at least, and we're now in a place where he has not had a new one in over a decade or so (an interesting thing about that album also - it may've been the very first on its label, Zion High Productions). This is terrible and is particularly so as a fan of Bolo's who came to be so relatively recently, as I've gotten older, a new album from him, or even a new ACTIVE recording schedule would be more than welcomed. The Zion I Kings are currently turning their attention to another veteran in Lloyd Brown, reportedly, and if they could find the time to do so again with Bolo, the results would be a guaranteed huge project.
Soca star Fay-Ann Lyons is the first of a couple of names on this list who have yet to ever release an album. In Soca music that isn't… well yes it is. Even for a genre such as Soca which doesn't receive very much in the way of promotion consistently, for someone to have reached Lyons' level and not had at least one is very, very strange. The three time Trinidad Road March champion, and perennial contender (she actually won her very first a decade ago, which is remarkable to think of) has very little in the way of peers, but if you do examine what little she does have, the absolute top of the genre - and even just women: The likes of Alison Hinds, Destra Garcia and others have all done multiple albums (as has her husband) and the large possibility exists that she may never do one. If she doesn't, that's fine, it doesn't diminish her at all. But in 2013, not to have an album from a bonafide superstar in any genre of music, well within the digital age, is... unique to be mild. And to have a full and current project from the human child of Energy and Brilliance would be spectacular… oh and okay, maybe I just want it because you KNOW the pictures inside would be divine (biggup a completely nude Destra in the liners for her own debut album, "Red, White & Black").
Reemah stands out mightily on this list because it is 2013 and… she just had a big album, which she is still promoting to my knowledge, about a year ago, "Check Your Words". She has a place here, however, because of just how big that album was and, potentially, what may happen to her if she doesn't return rather quickly. If you look at some of her peers, women from out of the Virgin Islands, as I've said in the past, even at the head of their class is a distinct level of inactivity. If it could happen to someone like Dezarie, then Reemah potentially could have the same fate, where her fans can go a year or two without even hearing a single new song. She's not only too talented for that, in my opinion, but she's also far too marketable to a more 'mainstream' brand of fan to just kind of do an album once every four of five years.
Technically the last time we got an album from Bushman was just a couple of years ago in "Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor”, which was a collection of the singer doing songs from the immortal Peter Tosh. His last regular studio album was "Get It In Your Mind" from 2008. That self-produced record was nowhere near being his best work, so his last GREAT studio album was actually "Signs" from nine years ago now. Again, that is too long. It was last year [I THINK] when the news reached that the Bushman was once again preparing to do an entirely new set and it even had a name which sounded great, "Conquering Lion", and a very colourful single called 'Somewhere'. I have a nice feeling about how all of this is playing out, but I'd feel even better about it if it did wrap up and ship out some time during the next four months remaining in 2013.
Stirring Guyanese chanter, Arkaingelle, definitely made a big impression on me back in 2008 when he dropped his first and only album to date, "O'Pen". All of these years later, I probably underrate that album to a degree, because every time I think about it, what comes immediately to mind is the MAMMOTH track #6, 'Manifess Joy', which was rather easily one of the best songs I have ever heard in my entire life. From that time, while the Arkaingelle hasn't been overly active, he has managed to remain current, particularly with producer Blaak Lung, but also with a few others, including the aforementioned Zion I Kings and Zion High Productions. I should also say that someone told us earlier this year that a new album was in the works and should it arrive next year, it'll quietly carve out a place as one of the most anticipated for me as he'll hopefully be able to manifest previous heights once again.
I was wrong about Revalation. I was just wrong. To my opinion, the skills that he showed himself to possess throughout his excellent debut album, "Serious Matters" from back in 2008, combined with the fact that the St. Thomas native had already gotten the attention of one of the finest producers in the genre, Dean Pond, would see him become the proverbial 'next big thing' from out of the Virgin Islands (and I hope that it is not years from now and I'm saying the same thing about Reemah). This didn't happen at all and five years later, we're wondering if he'll ever even get around to doing another album (or if they'll do a digital release for the one he actually did do), and not whether or not he'll someday follow the route of Pressure Busspipe (whom he vocally resembles to a degree) (and who also had a debut album produced by Pond) (and who also appeared on "Serious Matters") to superstardom. The latter seems HIGHLY unlikely and nearly full impossible at this point, but damn if he could take care of the former sometime soon, his would be a more than welcomed return to album shelves.
Though we're coming off what was, arguably, the single finest year of his career, I don't know that we've moved any closer to the release date of that once highly rumoured (maybe three years ago now) debut album from St. Vincy Soca supernova, Skinny Fabulous. 2013 would see 'Da General' take up his second consecutive and fifth in six years Soca Monarch crown as well as his very first (and probably not last) Road March. What would likely be a sort of compilation of greatest hits of an album would be a very nice ribbon on such an outstanding year, but you could have said the same thing last year and you'll probably be able to say the same thing next year as well. Skinny has a nearly unrivaled ability to consistently bring ultra-intense Soca music with an edge and, as a long time contributor to my workout playlists, I've probably lost quite a few pounds directly as a result to the euphoria his music can cause. Hopefully one of these years they'll get it right and push out an album with years and years worth of big tunes such as 'Da General', 'Head Bad', 'Monster', my personal favourite 'Scary' and many, many others.
And finally is someone who didn't really enter my mind until rather late in building this list (and I'm not going to tell you who I took off of it to make room for him), the sensational sweet singing Nereus Joseph. The Lucian born vocalist has made a career which can be best described as literally being saturated in CLASS and he has enthused quite a bit of it in nearly everything and everyone who he has touched. Most recently the esteemed vocalist set the "Real Rebels Can't Die" album from four years ago now, a classic here, but he's also been doing well in production, including working on "Stronger" the most recent album from King Lorenzo late last year. Joseph has also worked diligently as a singer still (he actually sang on a song on "Stronger" also) and just a few short weeks ago released his latest single, the big big 'Tings In Life'. Hopefully 2014 sees more of this and he FINALLY returns with yet another big project of his own… and I actually think he will.