Shaggy Jamaica's best selling living artist embarks on the industry from another angle. His press materials say he's sold 20 million albums worldwide (Nielsen-Soundscan has him selling 8.9 million in the U.S.); yet selling records isn't the top priority at Shaggy's new label Ranch Entertainment Inc. (REI), which is based in Valley Stream, Long Island and Kingston, Jamaica and specializes in reggae fusion released primarily in digital formats.
"I didn't start the label for record sales but as a place where I can make music. Ranch Entertainment, like reggae, is more about live shows, touring and merchandising, areas where we can grow as an independent company," explained Shaggy, REI's CEO, above the din at the label's June 4th launch at lower Manhattan's Santos Party House.
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Hosted by Jabba of New York City's WQHT (Hot 97), the event doubled as a five-year anniversary celebration for the New York-based reggae DJ collective Rice & Peas. The show elicited strong support from the Jamaican music fraternity. Among the artists performing alongside Shaggy were his longtime friends/collaborators Red Fox and Rayvon, who have each released singles on REI; footage from their set will be incorporated into the forthcoming video for Rayvon's "Selecta" the breakout single on REI's one-drop Kingston 13 rhythm compilation, which was released in January.
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