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Half Pint inks deal with Essential / Universal Music Group

December 4, 2007

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from Xnews, November 28-December 4, 2007

Reggae superstar Half Pint has inked a landmark deal where Essential Music Group and international music giant Universal will be doing a joint ventureship with Half Pint Music.

“I have been overdue to have an international deal,” Half Pint told Xtratainment. “I think reggae music needs someone of my stature who sings songs of quality and value, that is what reggae needs right now.”

He will be touring extensively to support the project, and hopefully, this deal will open up new doors for reggae. He recognizes the awesome responsibility he has been given.

“I represent Jamaica on a level. I know I can deliver that music and keep the principle,” he said.

The deal is a potentially lucrative one if Half Pint can deliver the goods. There is also a related deal with Universal to make Half Pint’s back catalogue available internationally through the Independent Distribution Network. With the digital distribution deal, a healthy percentage would be kicked back to Half Pint Music.

Half Pint is surrounded by a competent and able support staff which consists of manager Loyal Haylett and publicist Ra Umi Alkebulan.

“The responsibility of Essential Music Group is promotion, Universal will ensure that the material is available all over the world, and Half Pint will supply the product and support it with tours,” manager Loyal Haylett explained. The deal was brokered by Essential Music Group LLC and Loyal Haylett Management, and will also include the Half Pint Music catalog. “Universal and Essential wanted to make sure that they have an option for the next album. I strongly believe that Half Pint has paid his dues and should not be treated like a new artiste.”

Half Pint has enjoyed a long history of success dating back to the early 1980s. He was the first major artist produced by Prince Jammy (later King Jammy), and together they helped establish a lighter, more relaxed, more melodic approach to dancehall that made for an easy transition into the digital ragga era. His first big hit ‘Winsome’ was later covered by the Rolling Stones in 1986 (under the new title ‘Too Rude’). Many hits followed: “Money Man Skank,” “One in a Million,” “One Big Family,” “Pouchie Lou,” the socially conscious “Mr. Landlord,” and the all-time dancehall classic “Level the Vibes.” The huge hit ‘Substitute Lover’ came in 1992, and in 1996 the rock group Sublime covered another Half Pint classic, ‘Loving’.

Next year, Essential will release “No Stress Express” the highly anticipated album of entirely new material with distribution via Universal Music Group Distribution, and a digitally re-mastered Greatest Hits compilation to be distributed by IDN. In addition, Essential intends to release the entire Half Pint back catalogue on CD, including availability through I-Tunes and all major digital outlets.

Publicist Ra-Umi Alkebulan hailed the deal as “unique” and suggested that the singer’s brilliant songwriting abilities helped to sway the deal. “Half Pint’s catalogue is the big incentive to record companies at this time. He has worked hard over the years and this deal has come along at the right time for reggae music…a man who can produce quality reggae music and who has the clout to command shelf space in the major distribution outlets for his new work as well as his brilliant catalogue of hits that have been covered by icons from other genres,” he said.

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