Tue | Jul 7, 2020

Big debuts for ‘Tropical House Cruises To Jamaica: The Reggae Collector’s Edition’

Published:Monday | June 8, 2020 | 12:00 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Beenie Man
Capleton
Tommy Lee Sparta
Shatta Wale
1
2
3
4

Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Reggae Collector’s Edition has been enjoying major chart success since its official release last Friday. The compilation album, headlined by ‘King of African Dancehall’ Shatta Wale, and which features other big names such as Capleton, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Tommy Lee Sparta, Wayne Wonder and Don Yute, debuted on charts in Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Qatar.

Director of Contractor Music Group Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards, who is also the project’s executive producer, was bursting with excitement as he shared the successes of what he calls a history-making album. “We debuted at No.1 in Ghana in all genres. They have 30 million people there and that’s were Shatta Wale originates. King Lagazee, the top reggae DJ in Ghana says that this is a first time that a reggae album is topping iTunes Ghana,” a very satisfied Edwards said.

The host of the programme ‘Yard Settings’, aired on one of the most popular radio stations in Ghana, King Lagazee told The Gleaner through a voice note, “No reggae album has ever topped all genres in Ghana.”

Edwards also revealed that Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Reggae Collector’s Edition claimed the number-one slot on the UK reggae album chart and number four in USA iTunes reggae album chart. “We also charted at number 34 on the all-genres album chart in Qatar, which saw us rubbing shoulders with artistes such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Gun ‘N’ Roses and Coldplay,” Contractor outlined. He pointed out that Jethro Sheeran, aka rapper/producer Alonestar, the cousin of Ed Sheeran, is part of the Tropical House series.

Shatta Wale has been receiving much global attention for being the first African artiste to be the face of a reggae/dancehall album. He spoke at length about this project in a recent interview with Sasha Gankin, a reporter for BBC ‘Focus on Africa’. Also noteworthy is that his solo upcoming album, Gift of God, will have another track with him and Beyoncé. In the build-up to the release of Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Reggae Collector’s Edition, the team took the promotion straight into the heart of New York City. “We erected a video board in Times Square, and in so doing, Shatta Wale became the first Ghanaian artiste to be featured on that platform,” Edwards said with pride.

One of the aims of the 25-track compilation album was to open the African market to reggae in a huge way and boost the sales for the genre, in an era where sales figures have been dismal. “We, as the industry stakeholders, have to find new markets, so that was attempt with The Reggae Collector’s Edition. Shatta Wale is the face of the album this year, and, we are happy that the supporters in Ghana are giving great reviews. There are close to 30 million people residing in Ghana alone, and its neighbour, Nigeria, has more than quadruple the population; and what breaks in Ghana usually filters through to the neighbouring countries,” Edwards told The Gleaner in an interview prior to the album’s release.

Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett has hailed the effort. “This is an excellent link between Jamaica and Mother Africa. The soul of Jamaica is reggae, and so connecting Ghana with Jamaica through reggae is to unite our souls!” Bartlett said in a note to the producers.

The Reggae Collector’s Edition is the third in the Tropical House series. A 15-track project, Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica was released in 2018 and also had immediate chart success. It spent 19 weeks in the top 10 and four weeks at the No. 1 position on the Billboard Reggae Album Charts. It was awarded the No. 7 top reggae album in sales in the US for 2018, and Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica Reloaded, featuring 12 tracks, followed in 2019. It spent five weeks on the Billboard Reggae Album Charts.

This year’s edition, distributed online by UnitedMasters, and streams on the Spotify and Apple Music platforms. Physical copies are being placed in major outlets like Walmart.