New Kingston: The "Young Veterans" of Reggae Music
“If you make ‘bubblegum music,’ then the fans eat it up and spit it right out when it’s lost its flavor… that’s just a phase. You won’t have that much longevity if you [make music] like that. But we’re not like that; we aim to make timeless music.” Spoken by New Kingston drummer, Courtney Panton, this statement sums up New Kingston’s take on making quality music.
New Kingston is comprised of the three brothers, Courtney Panton, Tahir Panton, and Stephen Panton. They reside in Brooklyn and say they have been around music their whole lives. Their father and manager, Courtney Panton, is a former reggae musician and since birth has exposed the young men to a range of music. “We know all about the foundation artists like Bob Marley, Big Youth, etc.,” said Tahir Panton. Tahir went on to tell Inity Weekly that “being exposed to artists like these from a young age laid the foundation for our music,” and it shows. The brothers are in their early twenties, but their music suggests that they are “young veterans.” Listening to New Kingston’s album, “In the Streets” suggests just that.
“In the Streets” includes a range of different styles for listeners of all tastes. It is the kind of album that has a track for every occasion. For example, if you are in the dancing/partying mood, songs like “Wine” and “Look Who’s Dancing” will very well do the trick. However, if you want to rock out to more mellow, uplifting music, “In the Streets” and “Can’t Give Up” provide the positive vibes you need to take on the world. Also, if you want to dedicate a song to that special someone, playing “Empress Love” and “Feel It” will get you out of the proverbial doghouse in about three minutes flat. Don’t just take Inity’s word for it, just ask their fans.
The group explained that their fan base is as diverse as their music. People of all ages and backgrounds appreciate New Kingston’s music, which has led the band to perform on all but two continents—Antarctica and Africa. “That’s the one place we still have to go to. Africa. That’s definitely next on the list of places where we have to perform,” according to Courtney. Nevertheless, the band continues to extend their reach to fans worldwide and hopes to accrue more fans and bring their music to even more places as time goes on. They all agree that social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is a huge help and allows them to monitor their followers, but the band also feels that nothing beats the satisfaction of meeting fans face to face. “After a performance in Hawaii, we were sitting, waiting for the trolley and these two young ladies saw us and screamed ‘Oh, my God, New Kingston; We love you guys!’ But we thought it was a joke. We were looking around saying, ‘ok, who put you up to this?’,” Tahir explained.
Spending an evening speaking with these three humble young men proved precisely why their sound is so organic and rich in reggae culture. It is because they are organic and rich in reggae culture, which are key ingredients for a long-lasting musical career. Their music is indicative of the diversity reggae has to offer. For that reason, among others, these young men—Tahir, Courtney, and Stephen—will be around for a very long time. And for as long as they are around making quality music, they will have Inity Weekly and their thousands of fans in their corner.
For more of New Kingston, click here to check out some of their music on the official New Kingston website.
Also, follow New Kingston on Twitter and check out their Facebook fan page at “New Kingston Music.”