What does it mean to be Caribbean?
When you ask a Caribbean person this question, the answer is full of life and color because they are immensely proud of their respective hometowns. These places have provided them with unique cultures, enchanting music, and beautiful memories that perfectly match the scenic landscapes of the islands.
While Caribbeans celebrate their culture every day, the month of June holds a special significance as it commemorates the notable influence and impact Caribbean people have had on American culture and history, aptly called Caribbean American Heritage Month.
To celebrate this month, SiriusXM is highlighting a few of the recent and amazing performances by Caribbean artists who have visited the studios.
Morgan Heritage, Shaggy, Sean Paul
Morgan Heritage — a family group consisting of Peter “Peetah” Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy “Gramps” Morgan, Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan, and Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan — formed in the 1980s. They are known for hit singles such as “She’s Still Loving Me” and “Dont Haffi Dread.” Their father, reggae legend Denroy Morgan, paved the way for them to follow in his footsteps and become the iconic group they are today within the same genre. They continue to create music as a family, leaving a well-respected legacy for their name, Jamaica, and reggae music.
Although Shaggy was born in Jamaica, he moved to New York City when he was around 18 years old. In the ’90s and ’00s, he gained recognition in the reggae and dancehall space with hit classics like “It Wasn’t Me,” “Boombastic,” “In The Summertime,” “Oh Carolina,” and “Angel.” Today, Shaggy continues to represent Jamaica through new music, collaborations, and philanthropy.
In 2016, he started a project called Shaggy and Friends, through which he donates funds and equipment to the Bustamante Children’s Hospital in Jamaica. His contributions to reggae and dancehall have played a significant role in introducing these genres to mainstream music and radio in the US market.
Sean Paul, born and raised in Jamaica, is known as one of the most prolific artists in dancehall and reggae. Besides collaborating with artists like Beyoncé, he has topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. Most of his albums have been nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the Best Reggae Album category. He also started his own record label, Dutty Rock, to provide a platform for more Caribbean artists to grow their careers and share their music.
Alongside his music career, he supports fellow Jamaicans by assisting less fortunate communities on the island, donating groceries to underprivileged families, and providing computers to primary schools in need.
Nailah Blackman, Kes The Band
Nailah Blackman, a Trinidadian singer and songwriter, grew up in a household full of singers and songwriters, surrounded by music and musicians. She started writing her own songs around the age of 11, following in her family’s musical footsteps. Proudly representing the genre of Soca, her first song “Workout” with the legendary Soca group Kes The Band became one of her biggest singles, and she continues to create more music.
Learn more about her from our Digital Exclusive, Island Time.
Kes the Band
Representing Trinidad and Tobago, Kes the Band has become one of the most legendary Soca groups to date. They incorporate live music and an extensive sound into their shows, blending reggae, dancehall, afrobeat, and rock genres. According to Kes, when they play live, the music transcends boundaries, and one doesn’t have to know what Soca is or where they are from to enjoy it.
Some of their most popular songs include “Hello,” “Savannah Grass,” and “Wotless.” These prominent songs have helped establish the group, introducing them to mainstream music and providing opportunities for live TV and radio appearances, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, SiriusXM Tuff Gong Radio, and The Breakfast Club, among many other major media outlets.
Alison Hinds, DJ Cheem
Alison Hinds, the Bajan Soca Queen, is one of the most popular Soca artists in the world. Her major hits — including “Roll It Gal,” “Faluma,” and “Togetherness” — bring people from all islands together to dance. She has collaborated with heavyweight artists in the Soca, Reggae, and Dancehall genres, such as Shaggy, Kevin Lyttle, Jah Cure, Machel Montano, Richie Spice, and more. Since the early 2000s, she has paved the way for many women in the Soca industry.
Check out her live performance with DJ Jel and ZJ Sparks on Tuff Gong Radio.
DJ Cheem was born in Brooklyn but raised in Barbados. He entered the Soca world around 2020 when his song “Ba Ba Ben (Head Shoulders Knees and Toes)” went viral on TikTok. His ultimate goal is to make Soca music an official genre while introducing Barbadian Bashment to the world. Cheem has collaborated with artists like Lil Ricky and performed alongside Soca King Machel Montano for his 40th Anniversary celebration.
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