Kae Sun in top of Canada’s iTunes HipHop 2009!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2010 by modibanyc

After releasing his debut album in October and touring Dubai and the UK in November, December seems to be off to a great start for Kae Sun. Yesterday iTunes announced their “Rewind 2009” a summary of the years best. Kae Sun’s album “Lion On A Leash” was included in the list amongst some greats.

iTunes Rewind 2009 – Hip-Hop Albums of the Year:

  1. Troubadour – K’naan
  2. The Blueprint 3 – Jay-Z
  3. So Far Gone – Drake
  4. Deeper Than Rap – Rick Ross
  5. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse
  6. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 – Raekwon
  7. Man On The Moon – Kid Cudi
  8. Lion On A Leash – Kae Sun
  9. The Ecstatic – Mos Def
  10. Born Like This – Doom
  11. Self Explanatory – Classified
  12. 808s & Heartbreak – Kanye West
  13. Asleep in the Bread Aisle – Asher Roth
  14. Padded Room – Joe Budden
  15. Yes! – K-OS


**To view the list in iTunes click here: http://bit.ly/4ZZZUm


If that wasn’t enough to make a great month a song featuring Kae Sun (Miles Jones Ft. Kae Sun – Coast To Coast) was picked up by CSI for Season 10 Episode 7, and CTV’s Music Of The Nation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The song was also short listed for the Independent Music Awards Hip-Hop Song of 2009.

iTunes names Jahdan Blakkamore’s “Buzzrock Warrior” best reggae album of 2009!! 2nd straight year our boy Jahdan wears the iTunes crown!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2009 by modibanyc

For two years straight, Jahdan has topped the iTunes selections for best reggae.  Last year, it was his phenomenal reggae-hiphop-grime ensemble Noble Society that took the top title.  This year, he is celebrated for his solo effort: “Buzzrock warrior”

Modiba is thrilled and honored to be representing Jahdan Blakkamore, and dozens upon dozens of other talented artists from all over the globe.

congrats Jahdan!!

Boston Globe raves Somi’s new album “…glistens with the sheen of an almost impossibly perfect cosmopolitanism…”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 by modibanyc

By Siddhartha Mitter / Globe Correspondent / November 15, 2009 / Full Article at Boston Globe

Somi’s new album, “If the Rains Come First,’’ glistens with the sheen of an almost impossibly perfect cosmopolitanism, but that shouldn’t be held against her.

It could hardly be otherwise. Recorded in Paris and New York, with a group that includes a Senegalese guitarist, Hervé Samb, a Japanese pianist, Toru Dodo, and a British-Nigerian bassist, Michael Olatuja, this subtle, rhythmically taut gem of an album documents global nomads sharing personal as well as musical experiences.

Centering the frame is Somi, daughter of Rwandese and Ugandan parents, raised in a Midwest college town, and now based in New York, who writes lyrics full of poetic intimacy in English laced with Swahili, Kinyarwanda, and Rutoro. Her quiet feel and indeterminate allure have prompted comparisons to Cassandra Wilson and Sade.

A better indicator of Somi’s reference points may be the appearance, on the beautiful track “Enganjyani,’’ of the great South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela – one who knows a bit about melding jazz and African material to great emotional effect.

For Somi, whose full name is L. Kabasomi Kakoma and who plays at Scullers on Wednesday, this album represents the latest stage on a journey of exploration that she traces all the way to her childhood, and beyond the scope of music alone.

“I was always preoccupied with the cultural side of myself,’’ she says on the phone from her parents’ home in Champaign, Ill., where she spent her childhood. “I felt as though I wasn’t really from here. In high school I felt cheated.’’

As a teenager, she joined a Ugandan-American association and would attend conventions some weekends, returning unable to share the experience with her mostly white, Midwestern friends. “When you’re 15 or 16, you’re not even sure how to begin that conversation,’’ she says.

Her parents, medical professionals, encouraged music and arts but not necessarily as a career. “It was more about me being well-rounded,’’ she says. At the University of Illinois she focused on African studies and cultural anthropology – with the aim, she says, of understanding her ancestry.

But it took returning to East Africa for a year after college for Somi to give herself permission to follow her muse. She spent time in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and worked for part of the period with children with HIV. The trip brought her American and African identities finally into balance.

“That’s when I really was: I’m both. It’s OK,’’ she says. “And now that you know where you are from you can see where you want to go. And I chose to come to New York, and music became the first thing for me.’’

In a decade in New York, Somi has found a space at the crossroads of the jazz, hip-hop, and world-music scenes, and made two albums before the current one. Self-released, they garnered some underground buzz, but she says she was only starting to find her voice.

“I was actually shying away from the African and world side of things,’’ she says of her first project, “Eternal Motive.’’ “I was getting advice that people just wouldn’t get it. I didn’t take many risks vocally. I was also very young in the journey.’’

Her second disc, “Red Soil in My Eyes,’’ was less self-censored. “I started singing in other languages,’’ she says. “I began to tell a full story. That’s when I totally backed away from using electronic instruments. I wanted a natural, organic aesthetic to be at the forefront. It freed me.’’

The new record is a quantum leap forward, backed by the resources of jazz label ObliqSound and crafted with a full production team. “We wanted her sound to be on another level,’’ says bassist Olatuja, the album’s co-producer. “We tried to capture something of where she is now.’’

Lately Somi has been a cultural entrepreneur as well. She has organized New York showcases for musicians like Nigerian singer Asa, South African rockers BLK JKS, and Somali rapper K’Naan, who go beyond what she calls the “homogenized notions’’ of African music.

Olatuja says Somi’s efforts make her a role model to other bicultural artists. “She has been so brave to do her own music,’’ he says. “I definitely look up to her.’’

Somi expects she will move back to Africa more permanently. She says it’s more realistic than ever to make a living as an artist in the region, and she also feels the call of development needs in Rwanda, where her father’s roots are, and the villages in Uganda where both he and her mother grew up.

Still, Somi says she will always keep a foot in New York. “The ideal is to be in East Africa,’’ she says. “But I have multiple homes.’’

© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.

Village Voice calls Okayafrica “…what may have been the best show of CMJ 2009.”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2009 by modibanyc

Thanks to everyone who came out and partied with us for Modiba and Okayplayer’s CMJ Closing Party: OKAYAFRICA!!!! It was a HUGE success. The new Knitting Factory in Brooklyn was bursting at the seams with energy and good peoples. IyaDedE, Blitz the Ambassador, Jahdan and headliners Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew all rocked the stage. In fact, they rocked so much that The Village Voice and MSN Music both ranked the show with the Best of CMJ 2009! Read the full reviews of the night here from Village Voice and here from MSN. Looking forward to getting down with you all again. Stay tuned for what’s next from Okayafrica!!

The Continuing Adventures of Nation Beat on LinkTV

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2009 by modibanyc

A great piece on Modiba’s Brazilian band, Nation Beat, on LinkTV!  Check it out here for the story of the band and how Willie Nelson came to be one of their biggest fans…

Nation Beats Liliana Araujo and Willie Nelson at Farmaid

Nation Beat's Liliana Araujo and Willie Nelson at Farmaid

The New York Times calls Jahdan “controlled and entrancing,” leaves them wanting more

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2009 by modibanyc

In the New York Times’ review of Major Lazer at S.O.B’s, writer Jon Caramanica mentions a number of Modiba’s friends, including D.J./rupture and Jahdan Blakkamoore.  Of Jahdan’s single song guest spot at the show, he says, “Jah Dan was controlled and entrancing on ‘Cash Flow,’ one of the token roots reggae songs on the Major Lazer album, and one of its best.”   We’re not sure Mr. Caramanica is fully on-board with the Diplo and Switch side project that is Major Lazer…. but he sure loved our boys!!  Full text is here. And to check out the rest of the Major Lazer project, which we love, check it out here and be sure to cop Jahdan’s ‘Cash Flow’ on iTunes!

Jahdan Blakkamoore’s “Buzzrock Warrior” to be released on Gold Dust Media

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2009 by modibanyc

Biggup!! Our crew over at Dutty Artz just inked a deal with Gold Dust Media for the release of Jahdan Blakkamoore’s debut album “Buzzrock Warrior.”  It will hit on the airwaves…and drop jaws…worldwide very soon…
Check the whole story here.