This past week as they prepared for their show at Highline Ballroom, New Kingston sat down with DJ Gringo to talk about their 2017 tour. They discuss their up and coming new album, which is "better than sliced bread" as well as what the second generation of reggae brings to NYC.
New Kingston is best described as an Urban Conscious Reggae family. Since 2006, the band of brothers – Tahir (keys), Courtney Jr. (drums), and Stephen (guitar) – have harnessed their dual identities, in order to craft an entirely unique sound that pays homage to their roots. This band of brothers, under the watchful eye of their father (and bassist) Courtney Panton Sr., dubbed themselves New Kingston, to appropriately reflect the combination of their Jamaican heritage and their present lives in progressive New York City. It is the fusion of these two identities, both their cultural roots and their current home, that guides their musical and stylistic direction.
The band has grown considerably since their beginnings of covering Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Earth, Wind & Fire in their Brooklyn basement. Their relentless drive and unwavering passion led to their placement on tours, supporting other major acts on the reggae scene. These tours allowed the band to develop an undeniable stage presence, while giving them the opportunity to expand their growing fan base and sharpen their own original material. After heavy touring and nonstop promotion, New Kingston is now headlining shows, winning over national and international audiences.
New Kingston self-released their first two full-length albums: In the Streets (2010) and Kingston University (2013) before signing with popular New York-based record label Easy Star Records. The band’s third studio album, Kingston City (2015), was met with praise from fans and critics alike, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. Most recently, the band released their stellar Kingston Fyah EP on July 29, 2016, hitting the road with a national tour of the same name.