Category Archives: World A’Reggae

Damian Marley on Family and Recording with Nas 2011

Damian “Junior Gong” Marley Interview  –  Perth, Australia 2011

By Mumma Trees

Ed. Note: In Australia for the 2011 4-day Good Vibrations Fest, Damian Marley, along with his latest collab partner Nas, were featured artists on a stellar festival lineup that included Faithless, Ludacris, Janelle Monae, and Erykah Badu. Prior to the show, Perth radio personality and journalist Mumma Trees caught up with the young Marley in Miami via phone.  Featured photo by Jan Salzman. Watch the Damian & Nas video “Nah Mean” below or on our YouTube channel.  

Early Days & Inspirations
Damian Marley by Lee Abel
Damian Marley * Photo Lee Abel

How did you start, Damian, what made you get up there and do what you do?

Well, I mean I think it goes without saying that I have an obvious influence from my family, you know my father, and of course, my older brothers and sisters are all involved in music. But growing up as a child, I used to go to a lot of concerts in Jamaica and watch some of my personal musical heroes, which would be people like Shabba Ranks and Supercat, who are some of the earlier Dancehall artists. I used to watch them perform and that’s really what got me into wanting to perform myself.

That’s interesting because your brothers are singers, but you have chosen the deejay style.

Yeah. And that’s definitely because of that same influence… like the first music I bought for myself was Dancehall music.

Are there any current Dancehall artists who are doing things that you admire?

Yeah, I mean, lots of them, I am a big fan of music in general, you know wha I mean, so I try my best to keep up-to-date with what’s going on, especially in Jamaica. I mean lots of them, you have Mavado, Gyptian, Tarrus Riley, Wayne Marshall, Vybz Kartel, you have loads of them, and I am a fan of their music.

You mention Vybz Kartel, what’s your opinion of the slackness in Dancehall music coming out in the last few years from artists like him?

I mean, the music I bought as a child was slack also. And I am a big advocate of freedom of speech. You have to be free to say something negative, to be free to say something positive. So I am a big advocate of that. And realistically, you know music is an honest way of making a living. You know, somebody could be out there doing something that isn’t…. Music don’t really hurt nobody. So if Vybz Kartel is making an honest living for himself, you have to respect that.

Damian, Stephen, Julian Marley
Damian, Stephen, & Julian Marley – W. Palm Beach * Photo Lynn Dearing 2010

Were you close with your brothers and sisters growing up?

We were very close growing up. Every vacation, summer holidays, I would always go and spend a few weeks with them, and you know, we were very close from when I was a child.

When you have performed with your brothers, it has been as the “Ghetto Youths Crew,” are you still working together on that?

Well, we still are a team, but performing as the Ghetto Youths Crew, we haven’t done that in many years now. But we still definitely work as a team. We have a whole lot of new young artists we are working with and getting ready to release some projects next year.

Collaboration with Nas

Your latest collaboration with Nas has been a huge worldwide hit. Can you tell me about the album title Distant Relatives?

Nas and Damian Marley
Nas & Damian Marley in Florida *. Photo Alex Broadwell

It’s called Distant Relatives because of different reasons. Nas and myself, being that we are ‘distant relatives,’ Hip-Hop and Reggae as two genres of music being ‘distant relatives.’ Then on a bigger scale now, all of humanity, because the album itself has the concept of Africa intertwined throughout the whole album. We are trying to say that all of humanity comes from the same birthplace, Africa. So, all of us as humanity are ‘distant relatives.’

Speaking of Africa, I have seen videos of you and your brothers performing in Ethiopia. Have you performed in any southern African country? 

I have performed in Ethiopia and Ghana, but those are the only places in Africa I have visited so far. But for sure, my father’s song is the national anthem of Zimbabwe. So, that’s definitely a place I want to go and visit.

You had a couple of big tunes a few years ago produced by Baby G, The Mission and One Loaf of Bread. Are you planning to do any more work with Trevor Baby G?

It’s funny you say that because he is actually here in Miami. We have been doing some work together over the last few weeks. We’re trying to get a few Dancehall tracks together, so actually, I have a few tracks with Baby G being released in the next few weeks.

You are coming to Perth as part of the Good Vibrations festival, a great national festival, what can we expect from your performance here with Nas?

Nas & Damian Marley
Nas & Damian Marley, Pompano Beach, FL *. Photo Alex Broadwell

You can expect the best of both worlds. You can expect a great coming together of two genres of music. We do some of the tracks together that we have on the album, then the both of us give a little bit of our own catalogue of music. You gonna get a nice mix of Hip-Hop and Reggae.

Do you have a message for the Perth people?

Yeah man, tell dem Love and we will be there soon. Respect.

Nas & Damian “Zilla” Marley – “Nah Mean” from 2010’s Distant Relatives LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windrush & the History of Reggae in the U.K.

Windrush Generation – Caribbean Migration to the UK from 1948-1970

Remembering the arrival of MV Empire Windrush in Essex on June 22, 1948. Hundreds of workers and their children arrived from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and other islands in response to the post-war job shortage.

The Windrush arrives in Essex, UK, June 22, 1948 with Caribbean workers

From the BBC:  Click to listen to the documentary British Music’s Caribbean Roots 

“The Windrush generation has made a significant contribution to British black music for many generations – from grime to UK garage, to drum to jungle, to gospel to Lovers Rock, from Roots and Dub to Ska, to Reggae and Calypso. Narrated by Young Warrior, the son of historic dub legend Jah Shaka, we explore the colourful roots of how British black music has entered the UK mainstream and how it is now embedded across many music genres.

With first-hand accounts from record producer, Dennis Bovell, DJ, David Rodigan, singer Marla Brown (daughter of the late great Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Emanuel Brown) and musician and son of Bob Marley, Julian Marley, we explore how Calypso and West Indian culture made huge inroads into the UK mainstream in the 1950s and signified the birth of British black music.

We look at the 1960s which saw Chris Blackwell, founder of Islands Records, bring Millie Small to Britain with My Boy Lollipop and the birth of Trojan records with the release of “Do the Reggay” by The Maytals in 1968, which was the first popular song to use the word ‘reggae’ and defined the developing genre by giving it its name. We also explore the music of the 1970s which saw the first major influx of British reggae with bands such as Aswad and Matumbi and hear about how Jamaican music began to influence British pop music with the rise of bands, such as The Specials and Madness.”

Read the BBC’s June 22, 2020, Windrush Generation overview here.

UK Reggae: David Hinds/Steel Pulse Interview

David Hinds: On Tour, On New Album, on United Front for Africa

Interview and Photos by Jan Salzman / Edited by M. Peggy Quattro

July 14, 2008 – Malibu, CA – Steel Pulse has been one of my favorite bands for about 25 years. In 1985, the popular band from Birmingham won the coveted Grammy award for their album Babylon The Bandit. More Grammy nominations came for Victims, Rastafari Centennial, Rage and Fury, Living Legacy, and African Holocaust. Steel Pulse has recorded 16 albums throughout their illustrious career.

David Hinds – Malibu Inn

David Hinds, central songwriter and lead singer, hails from Birmingham, England. His music has always been tinged with political opinions; he makes his stand in the name of justice. There are also spiritually uplifting songs and deep love songs. This year celebrates 30 years since the release of their first album, Handsworth Revolution, in 1978. David is eloquent, kind, and remains boyishly cute after all these years. Together with his associate, vocalist and keyboardist Selwyn Brown, they form the core of Steel Pulse. I caught up with David Hinds recently at the Malibu Inn. After a tightly packed show, he took time to answer a few questions. Here is my interview with David Hinds: Continue reading

Dancehall’s Beenie Man & Bounty Killer-Clash of the Century

Beenie & Bounty – The Digital Dancehall Clash of the Century!

beenie man bounty killa verzuz clash 2020
Beenie Man and Bounty Killer Bring the Dancehall Vibe to Verzuz Soundclash

Kingston, JA – May 23, 2020 – Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, the two Dancehall legends that dominated Reggae’s DJ scene in the ‘90s, live-streamed a lively sound clash battle that was viewed—and engaged with—by virtually a half a million global fans.

The once-feuding competitors stirred up some dance hall memories: 1) remembering the traveling dance hall sound systems of the 50s and 60s when rivals-of-the-time would battle it out with rapid-fire lyrics relating to politics, women, sex, and the socio-economic injustices of the time, and 2) the “sonic dominance” of the traveling 70s, 80s, and 90s mega-sound systems.

Continue reading

Maxi Priest: This is My Life – A 2015 Interview & 2020 Update

by M. Peggy Quattro

maxi priest reggae report
Maxi Priest, It All Comes Back to Love 2020

Update 2020:  Due to Covid, Maxi is currently unable to tour. He is, however, busy on social media staying engaged with his fans and promoting his latest LP, It All Comes Back to Love, and his latest music video “I’m All Right,” featuring and produced by our friend Shaggy! Watch the video at the end of this up close & personal interview

(This article is from my 2015 interview)

Maxi Priest with Easy to Love CD
Maxi Priest – Easy to Love CD 2015

No doubt, Maxi Priest is one of the hardest and longest-working men in the Reggae biz. In town to perform for the ONE Caribbean Fest, and, following an exclusive Meet, Greet, and Eat fan luncheon at Miami’s HOT 105 to promote his Easy to Love CD, the supercharged singer sat down inside the Miramar offices of VP Records for a long-overdue catch-up interview.

Our connection goes way back. Maxi Priest has been featured on no less than five Reggae Report magazine covers, and from 1985 to 1998, he was featured, reviewed, interviewed, or mentioned in innumerable issues. In fact, since storming the music scene from his South London base in 1985, Maxi Priest has not stopped writing, recording, performing, promoting, producing, or rockin’ n’ rollin’, all while circling the globe .  Continue reading

Tribute to Mother Booker – A Life Abundant with Love 2008

South Florida Sends Cedella Marley Booker Home:  A Loving Tribute in Word, Song, and Dance

By M. Peggy Quattro

April 23, 2008, Miami, FL –
One week following Mother Booker’s journey to Zion, hundreds in the South Florida community joined hands and hearts at a memorial service inside Miami’s beautiful Garden House at Fairchild Tropical Garden. The lush botanical garden is only minutes from Ms. B’s home, a large residence on a sprawling estate. In the late ‘70s, son Bob Marley bought the home in Pinecrest for his mother, and it is where Ms. B lived a life surrounded by her children, grand and great-grandchildren, and the home where, on April 8, she passed on in her sleep, surrounded by her loving family.

The Booker/Marley family, in paying tribute to their matriarch, also paid tribute to her devoted friends and fans when they presented an exquisite memorial service that honored the “smiling woman of song.” The setting was amazing and beautiful, from the gorgeous green of the garden and tropical trees to the touches of Africa and Rastafari that adorned and decorated the intimate Garden House. The presentation was fit for a queen, and in South Florida’s eyes and hearts, that is exactly who Cedella Marley Booker will always remain. Continue reading

Stephen Marley: The Angry Lion Takes Control – 2010

By M. Peggy Quattro

With the release of “Mind Control,” the debut chart-topping CD from the second son of Reggae’s original lion, Stephen Marley raises the bar and sets the standard for the future of Reggae music. Not bothered by the inevitable comparisons of looks and sound to his famous father, Stephen is honored by the resemblance and proud to deliver the same message of love, unity, and awareness that made Bob Marley a household name.

Personally, this is one CD I cannot listen to enough. From first hearing the title track, you know that this is going to be a breakthrough album. Each song that follows is a musical journey that permits the listener to become intimate with its creator. Stephen is fearless in displaying his political and social consciousness, as well as exposing a personal vulnerability seldom witnessed in Reggae music. Continue reading