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Canadian group reaps musical success with reggae song

Published:Sunday | August 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Reggae group Magic!

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

It may have been years in the making, but reggae group Magic! has finally landed the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it has held for the last three weeks. It was a spot hip-hop artiste Iggy Azalea held for weeks, but the group took over the top spot with their surprisingly catchy and infectious song, Rude.

In addition to being number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the song also holds the number one spot on the Reggae Digital Songs chart. Since its release in August 2013, Rude has sold 1.8 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and ranks as the year's eighth bestselling pop digital song.

The reggae-infused track has moved the band from unknown territory, and has catapulted them into the international spotlight. Though to some the group's success may have come as a surprise, others may be thinking it was only a matter of time. The group's songwriter, Nasri Atweh, has had an illustrious career, one that has earned him a Grammy Award.

Having written and produced songs for some of the most popular names in the international music fraternity, including Pitbull, Justin Beiber and Chris Brown, Rude's success has finally moved Atweh from behind the scenes into the front line. In an interview with Rolling Stones Magazine he explained his decision to join a band. "The industry didn't want to support (my career): 'Oh, there's enough star, but there's not a lot of good writers.' I said, I don't care what you think. I won't write for you anymore."

Though he made efforts to start a solo career, Atweh said he found himself when he joined the band. "I made a solo album right before Magic! The album sounded good, but I always was kind of bored. When I met (Magic! guitarist) Mark Pellizer, I got pumped. We could do whatever we want — and with reggae, you get to be sensual and fun at the same time." Although all four members of the group are Canadians, their story on the journey to success will reveal a strong reggae influence from inception. "We were just like, 'Let's start a band that sounds kind of like The Police and The Wailers'," said guitarist Mark Pellizer in a recent interview with Billboard.com. He also revealed that some of the other tracks on their debut album, Don't Kill The Magic, have strong reggae influences and lists Bob Marley as one of the group's musical icons.

Rude chronicles the intentions of a love-struck guy who is given a hard time by his love interest's father, but is clearly determined to have her anyway.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com