In 2015, Jamaican Grammy award winning singer and producer Richie Stephens started speaking with Italian reggae singer and producer duo Rankin Lele and Papa Leu about a new musical mission. In a time where complex musical mashups and crossing genres are the norm, they would focus on the simplicity of the sweet ska sound and crossing cultures instead! “Richie Stephens & Ska Nation Band is Jamaica and Italy coming together in the mighty name of Ska”, according to Richie Stephens. They have taken to the service as cultural ambassadors of the worldwide Ska Nation!

Ska is the second sound originated in Jamaica, but the first to sweep the world internationally. Fittingly, in April 2016, Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band released its first album “Internationally”, and began blazing a trail of fyah-full performances from the Jamaica Sumfest stage in 2017 to Germany’s Summerjam slot in 2018. In August 2018 the second release “Root of the Music” will be released via VPAL distribution. The shared intention behind the Jamaican-Italian creative collaboration is to release positive energy through music. Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band are as much about the sound, as the dance; it’s a feeling and a movement…  and it’s just getting started!

“Internationally” is a 14-track tribute to Ska; a re-introduction as it were. Together with legendary Jamaican reggae musicians, like Cleveland “Clevie” Browne, Dean Fraser and Stephen ‘Lenky’ Marsden, and Kirk Bennett, Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation band created a great body of work. With half of the album being completed in Italy (Adriatic Studios) and half the album completed in Jamaica (Mixing Lab, Big Yard, Kirkledove, Steelie & Clevie, Area 39/Diwali, 40/40 Productions), “Internationally” is also symbolic of the passion and impact ska music have on a broader spectrum.

Songs  like “Born To Be Great” brilliantly fused message with musicality. Singles like “Original Style” feat. Sean Paul and Gentleman, “Internationally” feat. Sud Sound System or “Everybody Dance” (Remix) served to break any stereotypes that ska was an “older sound”. The single ‘Kingston Salento’ shows the connection and love for ska on a global level. “Internationally” climbed to the top of the reggae and ska charts and singles gained steady rotation in the UK (BBC), Jamaica (Irie FM, Kool FM, Fame FM), US (Irie Jam Radio), Ghana (Power 103), Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Japan and Germany..the vibration connects instantaneously. The single “Fire Fire” was nominated for the Hollywood Media in Music Award, and they began introducing their electric LIVE performances internationally at stages like the One Love Festival in Japan, Reggaejam in Germany, and Sumfest in Jamaica 2017. 2017 also saw the addition of Jamaican backing vocalist Tammi T, and keyboardist Otty Lewis to the Ska Nation and with their inclusion on the Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band second release “Root of the Music”.

A national award and standing ovations preceded this latest musical offering by Jamaica’s Richie Stephens and the multicultural Ska Nation Band! The Jamaican people rose to their feet at Jamaica’s National Independence celebrations 6 August 2018, dancing and chanting their approval of this fresh force in reggae music! This latest album of reinterpreted classics, and new works, features an impressive cast of contributors, Richie Stephens and Adriatic Sound, have levelled things up. They’ve reinvigorated the ska sound…and it’s worked!!

This latest album “Root of the Music” includes reinterpreted classics, and new works, and similarly features an impressive cast of contributors. Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band have set their sights on re-shaping the ska sound: and it’s worked!! The album opens with the title track, “Root of the Music”, and in its intro Richie sets the tone and lays the foundation for the musical journey on which the listener is about to embark. Track after track, Richie delivers solid vocal performances in English and Italiano. He is ably supported by an assemblage of musicians from Salento, Italy who display a genuine appreciation and tremendous musicality. The previously released “Country Bus” and “Joy feat. Toots Hibbert ” are included on the album, as is a brand new major collaboration called “No G.M.O.” featuring Mutabaruka, Cocoa Tea, Ninja Man, Louie Culture, Romain Virgo, Tammi T, Wanye J and Ed Robinson.

The band is composed of:

Richie Stephens – Lead Vocal

Tammi T – Backing Vocals

Rankin Lele – Voice

Papa Leu – Voice and Guitar

Luca Manno – Saxophone

Gianluca Ria – Trombone

Gaetano Carrozzo – Trombone

Giancarlo Dell’ Anna – Trumpet

Andrea Perrone – Trumpet

Antonio Fossa – Drum

Maestro Garofalo – Keyboards

Otty Lewis – Keybords

Leo Klaus – Bass

Morello Selecta – dj & machine

richie SKA NATION fixed ok