META And The CORNERSTONES, First African Reggae Artist Signed to VP Records
Meta and The Cornerstones have joined VP Record’s fold as the first African reggae artist signed to the label. Known as purveyors of Reggae Music, the independent record label was formed in 1979 and have been instrumental in the careers of artists such as Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Beres Hammond, Gyptian, Etana, Bunji Garlin, Buju Banton, Marcia Griffiths, Morgan Heritage and Mavado, to name a few.
With such an impressive roster of clients, VPAL/VP label seemed like the right fit. Meta remarks, “With the impending release of my album, “Ancient Power,” I wanted to ensure that all bases were covered in terms of marketing, promotions, digital and hard copy distribution. When my manager, Victor E. Lewis and I met with VP, I liked what they had to offer and the excitement they exhibited about the project.” Donovan Williams, VPAL Label Manager adds, “With Meta being signed to VP Records, it reinforces and expands on our cultural diversity as a record label.
Born in Senegal, West Africa, lead singer Meta Dia discovered his love for music and desire to be a musician at a very young age. Listening to Reggae greats Bob Marley and Gregory Isaacs helped nurture his admiration and true appreciation for all types of music. As a self-taught musician, by age 14 he was performing on the streets and stages of his hometown Dakar, Senegal. In 2000, Meta formed his first band YALLA SUUREN, which was nominated for Best Hip-Hop/Reggae Group by the French Cultural Center that same year. Within two years, Meta had become one of the premiere pioneering voices of the Hip-Hop culture in West Africa. After relocating to the United States, Meta collaborated with artists such as Sean Blackman and Hip-Hop Ambassador Toni Blackman before forming his visionary band, Meta and The Cornerstones.
In 2007, Senegalese-born international superstar, Youssou N’Dour, personally invited the band to perform at his annual African Ball concert at the Nokia Theater in New York. The following year Meta and The Cornerstones released their debut album entitled, Forward Music. Of this work Clive Chin, Jamaican producer for The Wailers, Dennis Brown, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry notes,“Meta and The Cornerstones have taken us back to the foundation of reggae music. I’m from the old school and it reminds me of my days. It’s a band that sounds tight and wicked with infectious lyrics. The first album is brilliant, I give it 5 stars. My personal favorite is “Somewhere in Africa”.”
On April 30, 2013, Meta and The Cornerstones will release their sophomore album, Ancient Power. The 14 track album, Executive produced by Meta Dia and Victor E. Lewis and Co-produced by Sidney Mills, was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica at Tuff Gong Studios. The album features collaborations with reggae artists, U-Roy, Capleton and Damian Marley. Additionally, Meta worked musicians such as Dean Fraser, Julian Marley, Mikey Chung, Wayne “C-Sharp” Clarke and Wilburm “Squidly” Cole, among others, on the album.