Kranium

with Tribe of Kings Soundsystem

Wed May 10

Kranium

with Tribe of Kings Soundsystem

Doors: 7:30 pm
Start: 8:30 pm
Age: Ages 18+ Only
Price:$15-$17

Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, singjay Kranium was schooled in the ways of reggae in his teens, after a move to Miami brought him closer to his uncle/mentor, dancehall singer Screw Driver.

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Event Information

Genre: Reggae / Dancehall / R&B


Ticket Price: $15 advanced / $17 day of show


PARKING: Street parking and paid lot parking available.


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Kranium

Ever since the 1970s New York City has been home to the world’s biggest Caribbean
community outside of the West Indies. From the time of Super Cat and Shaggy, New York has
been known as the city that breaks Dancehall hits. In legendary venues like Brooklyn's Biltmore
Ballroom, Act III in the Bronx, and the Q Club in Queens, Jamaican dons and donnettes who
moved to America in search of a better life would turn out in their freshest fashions to catch the
latest sounds from Kingston—or to see stars visiting from the island, some of whom would
eventually settle in NYC.
For the first time since those glory days, New York has its own Dancehall star, a 24-year-old
from Jamaica; Queens named Kemar, better known as Kranium.
Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Kemar Donaldson emigrated to Florida at age 12. There he
spent time with his uncle, a former dancehall star known as Screwdriver who recorded a string
of catchily controversial Jamaican hits during the 1980s and took the youth under his wing. “My
uncle told me ‘You can sing, but you have some problems.’” Kranium recalls. “I used to go there
every weekend, and this man taught me everything. I learned about breath control. I watched
him play piano, guitar, saxophone, and flute.”
After graduating from Screwdriver’s music academy, Kemar relocated to Queens, New York
where he gravitated to the reggae scene that was thriving amongst the large Caribbean
population in New York City’s outer boroughs. That’s where he recorded his breakout hit
“Nobody Has to Know.”
In a very short time Kranium has established himself as one of the hottest international
dancehall artists with hits like “Nobody Has to Know,” “Lifestyle,” and “History.” Everything
started for Kranium in the house parties and nightclubs around his area in Jamaica, Queens and
the overall NY dancehall culture. He started to record in New York around 2008, earning the
name Kranium for his ability to record songs “straight off the head” with no pen or paper. “I knew
every single DJ that was playing out every night, and I would never stop giving them new
songs,” Kranium says. “Every summer in Queens I had a hot song.” In 2013 he joined the
Frequent Flyers label and management team and his music began to make waves
internationally.
Expanding his network, one day Kranium stopped by the home studio of a mild-mannered
producer named Lamar Michael Reynolds aka LMR Pro. “Funny thing,” Kranium recalls, “I’ve
known him for probably six, seven years, and we spoke maybe once. Then we started working
and it was like a natural connection.” The second song they did together was the big “buss” they
had both been waiting for.
“I never got that feeling before,” he recalls. “I knew it was something special. I didn’t know it was
gonna be such a major song but I knew in my heart it was bigger than anything I’d ever done
before. The riddim was different—I don’t know what to call it. It was like a magical thing. And the
way it happened… that song was done in 45 minutes.”
Drake has sung it on stage during live performances. Amber Rose has danced to its slinky
rhythms on Instagram. The song has pushed its way onto the worldwide iTunes Reggae charts,
nestled in between cuts by the likes of Bob Marley and UB40. The tune’s irresistible melody and
seductive lyrics have racked up 5 million plays on Soundcloud and 10 million on YouTube,
catapulting Kranium’s career from New York’s underground dancehall scene to performing on
BET and now becoming the latest signee to Atlantic Records, the same renowned label that
brought the chart-topping Grammy-winning Jamaican dancehall star Sean Paul to a worldwide
audience.
“Nobody Has To Know” tells the taboo tale of a secret love affair, from colorfully explicit
descriptions of bedroom escapades to all the naughty negotiations that go down behind the
scenes when friends with benefits keep their dirty deeds on the D.L. “I would have thought that
song would be loved by guys,” Kranium remarks, “but it’s actually loved more by women.”
The song’s widespread success has helped Kranium make history as the first New York-based
dancehall artist to score a major international hit since Shaggy—and he’s just getting started.
His first release from Atlantic is a new version of “Nobody Has To Know” featuring his label
mate, L.A. singer Ty Dolla $ign. Not a remix but a revised and expanded version of the
original—making full use of LMR’s infectious rhythm track—it’s a strategic musical merger
intended to extend the reach of this phenomenal hit. “Ty genuinely loves the record,” says
Kranium “When he was approached he was excited about the whole situation.”
Far from a one-hit wonder, Kranium has followed up his initial success with songs like “Lifestyle”
a tune for all striving ghetto youths that’s become a major hit in the dancehall. “I’m trying to
record as much as possible,” says the major label signee, who’s working mostly with LMR and
Billboard producer Ricky Blaze from Brooklyn.
Although he continues to field questions—especially from the Jamaican media—about whether
he can be a “real” dancehall star while living in the United States, Kranium himself has no
qualms about the issue. “Due to the fact that I keep my music pure, there’s no going around it,”
he explains with confidence. “When me sing, you gonna hear the authenticity of the record. I
leave Chris Brown to be Chris Brown. I leave Trey Songz to be Trey Songz. I’m just me—a
proud Jamaican raised in New York. And whether I’m performing in England or Jamaica I get
love same way.”
That level-headed approach will serve him well as he deals with the pressures of stepping his
game up on a major international label. Kranium recreates his love and passion for the lost and
misunderstood “dancehall” genre with his upcoming debut special project Rumors, available
now. Rumors find Kranium laying down the truth to all the rumors that have continuously
surrounded him both past and present.
“To be honest, I’m just gonna be myself and make music to the best of my ability,” he says. “I’m
taking guidance from the right people. I’m here to work and I’m happy to have a platform like
Atlantic Records to push it further. I’m here to stay not just to come and go. The rest is in God’s
hands.”

Tribe of Kings Soundsystem

Tribe of Kings is a reggae sound system conceived in San Diego, California. Established in 1997, Tribe of Kings has been hosting their own events, bringing the best in Roots and Culture Reggae and Dancheall to the people for over 14 years. Resident Members include DJ’s Unite, Peril, Jester, Rashi & Dash Eye.

Since their inception, they have played across many countries along with legendary reggae artists such as original Wailers, Collie Buddz, Sister Nancy, Khari Kill, Barrington Levy, Beres Hammond, Mikey Dread, Junior Reid, Abyssinians, Ranking Joe, Shinehead, Carlton Livingston, and Eek-a-Mouse, as well as festivals like Bob Marley Day and Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.

Currently, Tribe of Kings hosts nightly events all over San Diego. Sunday being their biggest night, they have been hosting “Sunday Night Reggae” since 1998 and haven’t missed a week yet. Monday is Dub Dynamite at The Office hosted by Rashi. Thursday nights the Tribe plays at Harney Sushi, a restaurant with a lounge vibe, where they host “The Riddim Roll”.