New Reggae Music Single Release
N.A.M.E. BRAND RECORDS
P.O. BOX 7052
RICHMOND, VA 23221
Plunky & Oneness Branch Out in New Reggae Direction on Latest Single, “I’ll Be There”
(Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrhQfC2Ra2s)
Richmond, VA - Plunky & Oneness, the Afro-funk jazz group known for their eclecticism and genre-busting explorations, are set to release their latest single, “I’ll Be There,” on June 10, 2023, on N.A.M.E. Brand Records. The new single marks a departure from their usual sound, with a reggae-influenced R&B track that showcases Plunky’s heartfelt vocals and emotional lyrics.
“I’ll Be There” is a song about loyalty and fidelity, with a lover pledging their devotion to their long-term partner. Plunky composed the melody and lyrics over a drill rhythm track produced by his son, Fire, and DJ Diallo. The sparse, dub-reggae rhythm track spotlights the song’s poignant message and soulful performance by Plunky and his background singers.
The accompanying “I’ll Be There” music video, shot on location in Montego Bay, Jamaica, features breathtaking footage of the tropical setting and creates a wistful backdrop for the lover’s pledging declaration. The video with its aerial drone footage was directed by Fire and edited by Plunky.
(Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrhQfC2Ra2s)
DJ Papa D, MC and music director of Dub Party FM Radio in Jamaica, has already been playing preliminary mixes of “I’ll Be There” on his radio show, and receiving tremendous responses from his listeners. Plunky said, “The feedback from Papa D and his audience has been encouraging and validates the vibrancy of the track and the universal sentiment of the song.”
Plunky has been at the forefront of Afro-centric jazz, funk, and go-go for over 50 years. He has woven these interrelated musical forms into a forward-looking message of empowerment, positivity, and cultural awareness. Plunky and Oneness of Juju's landmark African Rhythms record was released in 1975 on the pioneering D.C.-based indie label Black Fire. Plunky's band found itself able to move with the times, scoring early '80s house/disco hits and touring in both Europe and Africa. In recent years, Plunky has recorded in an urban/contemporary vein.
“These days I am still producing a wide variety of songs in various genres, from experimental cosmic jazz to Afro-beats to R&B funk to smooth instrumentals and hip-hop. So, while we’re doing a few reggae joints, I can’t say that this represents a whole new, singular direction for us,” Plunky said.
“I’ll Be There” is sure to be a standout addition to Plunky & Oneness' extensive catalog, showcasing their continued growth and experimentation as artists.
Social Media: @plunkyone
BLACKNESS – Official Video Released
There is so much to like about Blackness.
And as Plunky says in the official video for “Blackness,” his spoken word single, “Everybody likes something… Black”
There is much to consider provocative and confirming in “Blackness,” Plunky’s poem and song from the JUJU JAZZ POETICS book and album. In the music video produced by DJ Danja Mowf, saxophonist Plunky is blowing and flowing. The musician is most prominently projected as the OG, an elder, a griot spitting rhymes, dropping knowledge, and reciting history. The images in the video evoke visions of the past, present and future in a montage of ordinary black folks in ordinary situations, punctuated by an occasional iconic photo of an Obama or Nkrumah to spice up the flow. Blackness is entertaining and thought-provoking.
The music for the song was composed by Plunky and Jamal Gray, and the funky audio track was produced by Jamiah Fire Branch. For the video, the ever-creative producer Mowf synchs the music with sequences photos by Dennis Harvey, Plunky and Story Blocks to create excitement and gravitas.
When Plunky’s lyric says “I am this, I am that, You can’t miss that I am Black” he is obviously talking about himself personally, but he is also talking about every Black person everywhere.
Watch the video: https://youtu.be/IqMxi2Wayvw
Get the album: https://plunky.hearnow.com/juju-jazz-poetics
JuJu Jazz Poetics
Juju Jazz Poetics is a collection of soulful and evocative poems written by acclaimed musician, songwriter, and producer J. Plunky Branch. Most notably associated with his group Plunky & Oneness (of Juju) and his record labels, Black Fire and N.A.M.E Brand Records, Plunky has personally curated the 30 works in this book from the over 500 songs and poems he has written during his career.
About his book, Plunky writes, “Poetic license is what I have taken with these verses, and maybe I have stretched the boundaries by assuming to call myself a “poet”. But if these words grant you a smile or an agreeing nod or one good feeling, no matter how fleeting, perhaps I will have earned the title.”
Here’s what others are saying:
“Your poetry book is like having a personal “inspiration guide” that one can pull out when a quick fix of grace in needed!” – Mary Mudiku Greer, poetess and Black Fire artist
“…as lyrical as his music” – An DMV fan
“It was a vicarious adventure, and I'm sure it will appeal to a wide audience. Yes, you are a 'poet.' Well done!” - Lisa
GET THE BOOK HERE :
Black Fire Documentary
The Black Fire Documentary uncovers Washington, DC’s music and cultural heritage by highlighting the music, message, and art of the people behind Black Fire Records — a Black-owned independent jazz record label started in Chocolate City, aka the nation’s capital in the 1970s.
Established by DJ and record producer Jimmy Gray, and Saxophonist James “Plunky” Branch, who led the band Oneness Of Juju, Black Fire Records followed in the footsteps of other influential Black-owned independent labels like Strata-East and Tribe.
The Black Fire Documentary is a story about the early days of DC radio. It’s also a story about Black entrepreneurship and Black independent record labels of the time, especially boutique Jazz labels. Black Fire Records released the Experience Unlimited – EU’s first album in 1978. Black Fire is a story about the Spiritual Jazz Movement through highlighting Plunky’s contemporaries such as Sunra. Black Fire is a story about the Black Cultural Movements of the time, specifically in DC, but also in California and New York. Black Fire is a story about an independent jazz label and its connections to modern music through Hip Hop & Neo-Soul; via artists
that sampled or were influenced by Plunky/Black Fire (J Dilla, J Cole, Madlib, The Roots, Questlove, KRS ONE etc.). Finally, Black Fire is a story about family and legacy — how Jamiah Branch and Jamal Gray carry on the lineage of Black Fire Records, passing the torch for generations to come.
In a time of gentrification and cultural erasure in DC and beyond, Black Fire is a powerful piece of the once predominantly Black city’s history. Through the use of primary and secondary research methods, in-person interviews, album cover art, archival and media footage, photography and animation the Black Fire story is being told in the burning spirit of preserving the music, the people and the culture.
Check Out The Official Website :