Earlan Bartley (born December 19, 1993), better known as Alkaline, is a Jamaican dancehall and reggae musician from Kingston, Jamaica.[2]

Alkaline in 2022
Alkaline in 2022
Background information
Birth nameEarlan Bartley
Also known as
  • Young Lawd
  • Vendetta Boss
  • ManHimselff
Born (1993-12-19) December 19, 1993 (age 30)
Kingston, Jamaica[1]
GenresDancehall, reggae
Years active2009–present

Early life edit

Earlan was born in Kingston's Victoria Jubilee Hospital.[1] He attended Ardenne High School and studied Media and Communication at the University of the West Indies.[3] During his time in high school is when he started to have the determination for music.[2] With the support of his close friends he visited local recording studios after school whenever he had the chance.

Career edit

2011–2014: Early career edit

Bartley began recording at the age of 16 and using the stage name Alkaline. When he was still in school, he made songs like "Proof", "Mi Love Woman", "Reflections" and "Missing You" creating long-term predictions and expressing his teenage experiences while making music videos on school grounds and in the streets of Jamaica with his close friends.[2]

He eventually began working with Notnice Records and UIM Records and became popular in Jamaica with a series of singles like "123", "High Suh", "Bruk Out", "Things Mi Love" and "Live Life" but the single he was very well known for was "Move Mountains", He went on to feature those singles on multiple EPs and Mixtapes.[4]

2015–2016: Breakthrough with New level Unlocked edit

In mid 2015 Alkaline pushed himself to the international market with his hit singles "On Fleek (Love Yuh Everything)" and "Ride on Me (Remix)" featuring Sean Kingston while consistently working on his debut album New Level Unlocked.

He released two other hit singles that year which was "ATM" on September 30, 2015, and "Champion Boy" on October 30, 2015, which were both featured on the New Level Unlocked Album. The album was released on March 25, 2016, under DJ Frass Records, going on to top the Billboard Reggae Charts in April which stood for 18 weeks, making him the first dancehall deejay to have a number one album on the charts in five years.[5][6][7] New Level Unlocked was selected at number 3 in Billboard's "10 Best Reggae Albums of 2016".[8] He also had multiple hit singles that year with "Formula", "My Side of The Story", "Block and Delete", "After All", "12 PM (Living Good), "Spoil You", "Extra Lesson" and "Badness It Name" .[9] In September 2016 he was nominated for a MOBO Award for the second time in the Best Reggae Act category.[10] His "Champion Boy" single was used in an advertising campaign for the Red Stripe Premier League.[11] With the crew name Vendetta which he uses to categorize his fans, made the launch of a clothing line considered as Detta Gear.[12] He was also featured on a remix of Shaggy's "That Love" on November 11, 2016.[13]

2017–2018: New Rules edit

Alkaline was considered one of the young hot acts in the dancehall space, not only because of his extreme talent but his huge controversial relevancy. For a certain period of time, he was very distant from Jamaica focusing more on the international scene. Over time there were critics claiming that he switched up on Jamaica given the fact that he didn't perform for a long time in his home country.[14]

After his album tour, on March 25, 2017, Alkaline decided to prove the critics wrong by creating his own show called New Rules Festival which he brought to his home country.[15] It quickly became one of the most anticipated shows of the year with artists like Mavado, Shaggy, I-Octane, Tarrus Riley, Jahmiel and many more at Jamaica's national stadium car park. It boasted one of the biggest turnouts on a Jamaican stage show and many attendees would go on to say "New Rules" was one of dancehall's greatest shows ever and would definitely go down in history.[16][17]

In July of that year, Alkaline attended Jamaica's Biggest annual stage show, Reggae Sumfest at which he hadn't performed since 2014; making a huge come back as one of the main performers as he featured the legendary Dean Fraser.[18] [19]

On August 10, 2018 Alkaline made an appearance on FOX 5 News New York promoting the 13th annual Caribbean concert as the headline act interviewed by morning host Rosanna Scotto.[20] The performance was held in Jackson, New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park August 12, 2018.[21][22]

On September 8, 2018, Alkaline brought his second New Rules show to Queens, New York, in Amazura.[23]

2019–2022: iFruit Radio, Top Prize, Givenchy Feature and New Rules Festival's edit

In early December Alkaline's 2019 single "With the Thing" was featured on the Video game Grand Theft Auto V with the "iFruit Radio" soundtrack.[24] He made his first appearance on the Afro Nation festival in Accra,Ghana December 30, 2019.[25][26]

On February 12, 2021, Alkaline announced his second studio album Top Prize.[27] With the announcement of his sophomore album, he made an appearance on Audiomack making him the first Jamaican dancehall artist to be featured on the Fine Tuned series.[28][29] The album was published on May 14, 2021, with the lead single "Ocean Wave" which was publish on March 6, 2020.[30] After the first week the album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard’s Reggae Albums Charts,[31] No. 19 on the Heat Seekers Albums Charts for sale ranks[32] and No. 56 on Top Current Album Sales[33] which gained him a spot at No. 37 on Billboard's Emerging Artists that seeks to highlight the top performing and rising acts.[34][35]

On March 27, 2022, Alkaline headlined his third New Rules Festival at the Miramar Regional Amphitheater in Miami, Florida, with featuring acts like Mavado, Kranium and Wayne Wonder.[36]

On June 22, 2022, Alkaline had his music featured on Givenchy's Men’s Spring Summer 2023 RTW Show in Paris, France, which was directed by fashion designer Matthew M. Williams.[37][38] In the same year on July 2, 2022, Alkaline returned his New Rules Festival to Kingston, Jamaica at the national stadium car park.[39] On behalf of his New Rules organization one million Jamaican dollars was donated to the Jamaica Society for the blind.[40]

2023–present: Givenchy Campaign, The Ripple EFFX edit

On January 9, 2023, Alkaline was partnered on Givenchy's spring-summer 2023 men’s global advertising campaign wearing the latest collection with photography from Matthew M. Williams.[41] It was announced that Alkaline will serve as the face of the SS23 campaign.[42] His fifth EP The Ripple EFFX was released on December 9, 2022, and went on to win EP of the year at the very first annual Caribbean Music Awards on August 31, 2023.[43][44]

The fifth staging of the New Rules Festival returned to New York in the city of Mount Vernon on September 3, 2023, with featured performing acts like Mavado, Charly Black, Skinny Fabulous and 450.[45]

Controversies edit

Corneal Tattoo edit

When Alkaline first appeared on the Jamaican Dancehall scene in 2013, he became known for his distinctive look, with the bleached skin and blond dreadlocks but the most controversial was his alleged tattooed eyes, which prompted others to follow suit.[46] He caused quite the stir as he claimed to have Corneal tattooing in his eyeballs.[47] Lauded as a publicity stunt by the Jamaican public, Alkaline received much backlash for the controversial move but also gained a heavy music following. An ongoing theme in much of his breakout music was the year "2016", which generated much intrigue as he never explicitly stated the year's meaning or significance.[48] He would keep up the charade for about 3 years, until he finally revealed the "tattoos" to be nothing more than a stunt.[49] As the Jamaican public ushered in the year of 2016. He soon revealed that the significance of 2016 lay in the fact that he was giving himself until that year to have his music speak for itself, and no longer require publicity stunts for any form of media coverage. This prompted the release of his debut album, New Level Unlocked.[6] He has since halted wearing the black contact lenses that would cover his cornea.

Discography edit

Albums edit

  • New Level Unlocked (2016)
  • Top Prize (2021)

Mixtapes edit

  • Alkaline Mixtape (2014)
  • Raw as Eva (2014)
  • Showcase (2015)

EPs edit

  • 123 EP (2014)
  • Gone Away - EP (2014)
  • F*ck You (2014)
  • Ride or Die (2015)
  • The Ripple EFFX - EP (2022)

As featured artist edit

Year Single Album
2014 "Press Play" (Remix)

(Rkade ft. Beenie Man & Alkaline)

2016 "That Love" (Remix)

(Shaggy ft. Alkaline)

2017 "Formula" (Remix)

(French Montana ft. Alkaline)

Jungle Rules
(WSTRN ft. Alkaline)
2018 "Nonchalant"
(A Boogie wit da Hoodie ft. Alkaline)
International Artist
(Keith Sweat ft. Roi Chip Anthony, Ray Fade, Alkaline & Akon)
Playing For Keeps
"My Girl Remix"
(Chip ft. Alkaline, Red Rat & Stefflon Don)
2019 "Just The Style"

(Kranium ft. Alkaline)

Midnight Sparks
"Rich N Comfortable"

(Star Captyn ft. Alkaline)

"No Negative Vibes"
(Walshy Fire ft. Alkaline & Runtown)
Walshy Fire Presents: ABENG
2020 "Incognito"

(Stalk Ashley ft. Alkaline)


Awards and nominations edit

Year Award Category Series/album Result Ref.
2014 MOBO Awards Best Reggae Act Nominated [50]
2016 MOBO Awards Best Reggae Act Nominated [10]
2017 MOBO Awards Best Reggae Act Nominated [50]
2023 Caribbean Music Awards EP of the year (Dancehall) The Ripple EFFX - EP Won [43]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Biography: Alkaline". reggaeville.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Alkaline Documentary Part 1A, retrieved 16 August 2021
  3. ^ Biography: Alkaline. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  4. ^ JACKSON, KEVIN (3 July 2014). "Holiday time for Alkaline". www.jamaicaobserver.com.
  5. ^ "Alkaline's album outshines Sizzla's and Agent Sasco's on Billboard chart", Jamaica Star, 6 April 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016
  6. ^ a b Leslie, Soje (6 April 2016). "Alkaline New Album 'New Level Unlocked' No. 1 On Billboard". urbanislandz.com.
  7. ^ Grizzle, Shereita (2016) "Alkaline's Album Success No Surprise – Producers", Jamaica Gleaner, 23 April 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016
  8. ^ Kenner, Rob (2016) "Billboard's 10 Best Reggae Albums of 2016: Critic's Picks", Billboard, 23 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016
  9. ^ Loop News, Loop (16 December 2016). "LOOP HOT IN 2016: Alkaline was 'King of the Dancehall'". jamaica.loopnews.com.
  10. ^ a b Jackson, Kevin (2016) "Spice among 5 vying for MOBO Best Reggae Act", Jamaica Observer, 21 September 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016
  11. ^ Stamp, Marc (20 February 2017). "Red Stripe sticks by Champion Boy - Will not pull Premier League advertisement with Alkaline". jamaica-star.com.
  12. ^ Banton, Richard (24 September 2016). "Alkaline Eyes Clothing Line". radiodubplate.com.
  13. ^ Leslie, Soje (7 December 2016). "Shaggy and Alkaline Collaborates On "That Love (Remix)"". urbanislandz.com.
  14. ^ Leslie, Soje (11 January 2017). "Beenie Man Urging Alkaline Should Perform In Jamaica This Year". urbanislandz.
  15. ^ Soje, Leslie (2 March 2017). "Alkaline and Mavado To Perform Together At "New Rules" Show". urbanislandz.com.
  16. ^ Leslie, Soje (26 March 2017). "Alkaline Pulls Massive Crowd To New Rules". British Linkz.
  17. ^ ALKALINE's BIGGEST performance IN JAMAICA, retrieved 30 March 2017
  19. ^ Alkaline interview live On Fox 5 News yesterday August 10 2018, retrieved 22 March 2024
  20. ^ Alkaline interview live On Fox 5 News yesterday August 10 2018, retrieved 22 March 2024
  21. ^ "TriniJungleJuice - Trini Jungle Juice: Caribbean & Urban Event Listings | Caribbean Events :: Trinidad, Toronto, London, Miami, New York, LA, DC & Other Cities". www.trinijunglejuice.com. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  22. ^ Maxwell, Shelley (3 May 2018). "Caribbean Concerts 13th Year Anniversary Celebration Sunday, August 12, 2018". redcarpetshelley.com.
  23. ^ Staff, British Linkz (11 September 2018). "Alkaline's New Rules, New York Concert surpasses all limitations". britishlinkz.com.
  24. ^ Grand Theft Auto, V (10 December 2019). "Introducing iFruit Radio All-New Station Hosted by Danny Brown and Featuring Skepta". Rockstar Games.
  25. ^ MAWULI, DAVID (1 May 2019). "Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Alkaline, Davido, Wizkid, Kuami Eugene, Kidi, others for Afro Nation Ghana Festival 2019". www.pulse.com.gh.
  26. ^ Ghansah, Emmanuel (2 May 2019). "Afro Nation takes a sharp curve at Accra on its way to Portugal". ghanamusic.com.
  27. ^ Shuzzr, Rickardo (11 February 2021). "Alkaline Announces Album Ahead of Upcoming Florida Performance". Shuzzr.
  28. ^ Williams, Shirvan (29 April 2021). "Alkaline Makes Historic Appearance On Audiomack's "Fine Tuned"".
  29. ^ Watson, Cheyenne (29 April 2021). "Watch Alkaline Perform "Cree" & "Ocean Wave" for 'Fine Tuned'".
  30. ^ PR, JuJu (27 April 2021). "Alkaline Reveals Top Prize Album". britishlinkz.com.
  31. ^ Mallick, Dani (25 May 2021). "Alkaline's 'Top Prize' Album Gets A Second Prize Debut On Billboard". Dancehallmag.
  32. ^ billboard, Alkaline (29 May 2021). "Chart History | Alkaline". www.billboard.com.
  33. ^ Charts, Billboard (29 May 2021). "TOP CURRENT ALBUM SALES". Billboard. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022.
  34. ^ Charts, Billboard (29 May 2021). "Emerging Artists". Billboard. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022.
  35. ^ HARDY, SHANAE (26 May 2021). "Dancehall Artist Alkaline Continues His Ascension on Top Prize". Miami New Times.
  36. ^ Shuzzr, Rickardo (30 March 2022). "Alkaline Rules in Miami, New Rules Festival Returns". www.einnews.com.
  37. ^ Mallick, Dani (23 June 2022). "Alkaline Soundtracks Haute Paris Runway Fashion Show". www.dancehallmag.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  38. ^ Banning, Tristan (22 June 2022). "GIVENCHY PRESENTS MEN'S SPRING/SUMMER 2023". sidewalkhustle.com.
  39. ^ Samuels, Emma (27 June 2022). "Alkaline, Skeng And Macka Diamond Impress At New Rules 2022". www.dancehallmag.com.
  40. ^ Samuels, Emma (27 June 2022). "Alkaline's New Rules Festival Donates $1 Million To Jamaica Society For The Blind". www.dancehallmag.com/.
  41. ^ BAUGH, CLAUDINE (9 January 2023). "Givenchy Creative Director Shares New Alkaline Photos From SS22, SS23 Campaigns". dancehallmag.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2023.
  43. ^ a b MCDONALD, AMAYA (1 September 2023). "The First-Ever Annual Caribbean Music Awards: What You Missed And Full Winners List". www.dancehallmag.com.
  44. ^ CONNECTION, MUSIC (5 September 2023). "CARIBBEAN MUSIC AWARDS PREMIERES IN BROOKLYN". www.musicconnection.com.
  45. ^ MALLICK, DANI (30 July 2023). "Alkaline's 'New Rules Festival' Returns To New York With Charly Black, Libianca, And More". www.dancehallmag.com.
  46. ^ Bassil, Ryan (2014) "Jamaican Dancehall Artists are Blinding Themselves by Getting Eyeball Tattoos", vice.com, 20 January 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2016
  47. ^ Jamaican Newcomer Alkaline Tattoos His Eyes (Entertainment Report) MARCH 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2024 – via www.youtube.com.
  48. ^ Alkaline: Goes To Extreme For Attention, Defends Eyeball Tatoo, retrieved 17 August 2021
  49. ^ Jamaican, Staff (20 December 2015). "Dancehall Artiste Alkaline Reveals That His 'Tattooed Eyeballs' Are Actually Contacts". I Am A Jamaican.
  50. ^ a b MOBO Awards 2017 - Best Reggae Act Nominees Announced (reggaeville.com)