Love & Unity Music
CD / Digital Release
April 6, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Since the release of his well received collaboration with Junior Kelly, the 2008 released single "Dem A Wonder", Smiley has slowly but steadily established his name in reggae circles with appearances on Dutch and German reggae festivals and doing shows in the club circuit as well as with tunes such as "Tomorrow", "Distance" on Rootdown Records' "Tek A Train" riddim, "Bad Minds" on Pow Pow's "Everlasting" riddim, "State Of Emergency" on Urban Tree Music's the "Youth" riddim, and "Lively Road" on the "Kokoo" Riddim. Although not yet having enjoyed such a big international breakthrough as Dutch fellow reggae singer Ziggi Recado for whom he was support act on his Dutch and German 'In Transit' tour, he's definitely a name to watch for in the near future as he fully shows on his debut album "Traffic Light".
Smiley (real name Tavis Nedd) was born on the beautiful Island of Aruba in 1980 and has been making music since he was seventeen years old. In 2000 he moved to the Netherlands, where he started touring with the popular Dutch reggae band Out of Many for three years. In 2008 he travelled to Jamaica to work with great producers and musicians such as Barry O'Hare and Anthony Senior of Al.Ta.Fa.An Records. The video of "Dem A Wonder" was released in November 10th 2008 and has been aired by Reggae Entertainment Television, Tempo TV and TMF Pure. Besides that, the song has been played by the biggest reggae radio station in Jamaica: Irie FM. Towards the end of 2009 the video of Smiley's single "Distance" reached the number 1 position in the Reggae France video charts and was in high rotation on various music television stations such as Tempo Tv and TMF Pure. May 2010 saw the release of the "Lively Road EP", which was very well received, and almost a year later a another collaboration with a great Jamaican artists hit the streets, "Keep The Joy" featuring Anthony B.
This single on Al.Ta.Fa.An's "Strength" riddim is also included on this "Traffic Light" album, actually the only one of his previous releases. To understand why the album is called "Traffic Light", it's recommended to listen to the spoken "Outro" by Julise Kock. "Red Light", underpinned by an appealing live played riddim, is a solid opener with Smiley's powerful vocal delivery instantly attracting attention. It's followed by the infectious "Premeditated Murder" and the great lovers tune "Is This Real", done in collaboration with soulful songstress Shirma Rouse. Austria's House of Riddim, known for their works with artists like a.o. Perfect, Natty King, Edge Michael, and Troy Anthony, have provided the backdrops for "Nothing More", "Mrs. Wrong", "Celebrate", "Green Light", "Appreciation", and "This Girl". In particular the joyful sounding "Celebrate", the solid "Green Light", and the above par "This Girl" command your attention. Remain "Stay Alert", the ska-fueled "Why Hard???", and "Gratitude", with Smiley giving thanks to everyone who has supported him throughout the years, to give the listener nuff musical pleasure.
Smiley's debut album is an enjoyable and mature effort on which he convincingly spreads his message of love, upliftment and consciousness.