Island hip hop cruises into Taos

J Boog photoJ Boog’s recent album, “Backyard Boogie” hit No. 1 on the United States Billboard Reggae Charts for three weeks following its release last year. His single “Let’s Do It Again” has received millions of YouTube views. The chart-topping musician just finished a European tour, taking his combination of hip-hop, reggae, island music and R&B to fans in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Portugal and Italy.

Now he’ll be bringing his lion’s roar to the KTAOS Solar Center Wednesday (Feb. 22) for a show that starts at 8 p.m.

A singer of Samoan descent, J Boog grew up in Southern California in the tough streets of Compton. For the past several years he has made his home in Hawaii and it’s easy to hear the calm influences of palm trees and tropical climates sway through his rhythms. J Boog has woven together the gentle flow of island influences and hip hop’s pop to give his lush voice a backdrop of soothing momentum. Known for his loving personality and sense of humor off-stage, J Boog’s warmth comes through his music as well; most of his songs are about love.

At the age of 4, J Boog remembers listening to his sister play piano and being mesmerized. One of his earliest influences was Bob Marley – his sister had a songbook of Marley’s songs. The first time J Boog performed publicly, was at a large family reunion at a church when he was only 9. At the request of his mother and sister, he sang Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time,” to the audience of more than 200 people. It was a big hit. Sadly, Houston passed away Saturday (Feb. 11).

In 2005, J Boog was introduced to George “Fiji” Veikoso.” The two began working together and as a result, J Boog moved to Hawaii in 2006 to continue honing his skills. After releasing his debut album “Hear Me Roar” in 2007, J Boog joined Wash House Music Inc., a record label based in Hawaii and San Francisco.

A year later, J Boog met Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage and the two felt an instant connection. Soon after their meeting, Gramps, J Boog and other Wash House members were in Jamaica recording in places such as Bob Marley’s “Tuff Gong” Studio, Don Corleone’s “Hit Maker,” Bobby Digital’s “Digital B,” Shaggy’s “Big Yard” and Sugar Minott’s “Youth Man Promotion.”

The year 2011 was a big one for J Boog. Last summer, he released his self-titled EP featuring five new, and three previously released, songs, including the hit “Let’s Do it Again” and “So Far Gone.” The EP can be previewed on his website and on the official EP site JboogEP.com.

J Boog’s new album, “Back Yard Boogie” released Sept. 27, 2011, hit No. 1 on both iTunes and Billboard Reggae charts. Guest performers on the album include Peetah Morgan of Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Fiji, Spawn Breezie, Jah Maoli, and Jacob Hemphill of SOJA.

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