In 2011 I conducted my very first video interview for Reggaeville ever with Komlan and Zigo of Dub Inc at Summerjam. Today, more than 11 years later and blessed with a little more grey hair, Aurélien “Komlan” Zohou joined me once more in front of the camera to partake in Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? to discuss not just the band’s splendid latest album Futur but also their emotional and deeply touching documentary Jamais Seul as well as a very special show ahead. Besides the interview we take a look at recent releases from Etana, Ini Kamzoe and XTM.Nation that present part three of the Fatis Tapes In The Oven series.
Reggae and Jamaican music have a long, rich and intriguing history to look back on. Many individuals have contributed their talent, energy and spirit to make it what it is today, have dedicated their life to the genre, have fostered, developed and enriched the music. For a good while I wanted to find a way to highlight these veterans and exceptional members of the Reggae fraternity, give them a platform to honour their committment and contribution and give them all the space it needs to tell their individual story as well as Reggae history – at a special place. Take Me Places is now this new video interview series on Reggaeville that I am extremely happy and excited about. Producers Gussie Clarke and Donovan Germain, drummer Sly Dunbar and bassists Jackie Jackson and Flabba Holt make the first season and took me – and you, the viewers – to special places of their choice where the virtual journey starts. We visited studios, offices, yards. We found open doors and open hearts. So, I hope, you have open eyes and ears to experience personal stories in personal spaces!
Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? kalled and Kabaka Pyramid answered all the questions! The talent from Jamaica just dropped his second studio album The Kalling, once more produced by Damian Jr. Gong Marley, and great excitement about it is the least you should feel. By now the record has earned the artist a Grammy nomination already, so we had to find out all about this impressive body of work: How were the vibes in the studio with Damian? What impact did the pandemic have on the record? What influenced the decisions for the music sampled on it? Or how can you preserve your mental health in difficult times like these? Ever optimistic Kabaka Pyramid reveals it all and as you watch the new episode you will also find out about other new releases from Hirie, Unlimited Culture and Cedric Mython. They are out just like the third season of the amazing Harry J Couch Series with vocalists like Zhayna and Hector Lewis on the mic.
Third Time’s The Charm is the title of his brand new album, yet everytime is charming when Protoje joins Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!?. Enjoy a intriguing conversation about the inspiration, the producers, the music video directors, and the very first helicopter flight for this record. New releases by Tanya Stephens and Through The Roots are part of the show, just like a little recap of Burning Spear’s tour through Europe this summer.
What a joy brought this summer as we all got to meet personally again at the various festivals. Reggae Jam in Bersenbrück was one of these highlights where fans and like-minded enthusiasts united to celebrate music, art and Jamaican culture. Naturally the Reggaeville team was on site as well, captured amazing performances with videos and photos but of course, didn’t miss out to also talk backstage. Queen Omega shared fitness tips, Mortimer revealed his excitement about being in Europe for the first time, and Harrison Stafford took us on a tour through the nearby Bob Marley exhibtion “Marleyville”. Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? welcomed Italian Mellow Mood as they got to share exclusive insights on their upcoming album Mañana. Find out all about the record’s art work, producer, feature guests and of course inspiration in the all new episode, and get even more news from Kabaka Pyramid, Damian Marley, Little Hero, Luciano, Lutan Fyah, Reggaeville and Oneness Records.
After three years of break due to the pandemic the 35th staging of Germany’s largest Reggae festival Summerjam took place again on the first weekend of July in Cologne. The line-up was superb, fans enjoyed energetic performances by superstars such as Sean Paul, Shaggy, and Gentleman, and the summery sunshine weather topped up the amazing vibes ultimately. Also backstage the atmosphere was joyous and positive and led to a good amount of intriguing interviews with the artists. Konshens, Sean Paul, Nkulee Dube and the family of Max Romeo were just some of my guests on the microphone that shared their latest news and stories with us. All video interviews from the weekend are online on Reggaeville’s YouTube channel now. A particular highlight is the in-depth conversation with French Reggae duo Jahneration that shared their personal history from Rock’N’Roll beginnings, their creative ideas for not just music but visuals and video games, and also gave an outlook on their upcoming Jahneration Fest in December as they were guests of the Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? Summerjam Special.
Finally the free digital Festiville magazine is back and filled with actual real life events showcasing Reggae music throughout the globe. Besides the comprehensive festival guide the 2022 issue, that was given away as a free print edition at Summerjam festival too, also includes many interesting in-depth interviews with artists such as Clinton Fearon, UB40 feat. Ali Campbell and Burning Spear, who is finally returning to the stages this summer. My personal excitement rose when I first heard Tanya Stephens’ upcoming album Some Kinda Madness this spring, and so I was extremely happy to interview her about this very personal body of work, her “favorite album” as she stated, for the Festiville mag. The full interview is to be found there, just like an excerpt of an intriguing conversation I had with producer Gussie Clarke. For my new upcoming video interview series Take Me Places, which will drop on Reggaeville after the summer, he invited me to his Anchor Studio in Kingston, where we discusses his personal and Reggae history, and his impact on it.
Life on earth, the One Rock as Groundation call it, is full of challenges these days. How this inspired and motivated the Californian Reggae band on their latest album, singer Harrison Stafford reveals in the latest episode of Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? Enjoy his intriguing depictions about the responsibility of Reggae, the relationship with the feature guests and the production process under pandemic conditions, while also catching vibes with Inner Circle just before they and others like Sean Paul, Shaggy, Gentleman and Stefflon Don will be performing at Summerjam festival in Germany. The challenges of humanity are also impressively portrayed in Piero Dread’s latest music video for Treat For The Day.
All together guitarist Ernest Ranglin and saxophonist Dean Fraser experienced and impacted more than 110 years of Jamaican music history. Join the two musicians extraordinaire for Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? as they take you on a musical journey back to the days of Ska, Jamaican independence and the beginning of Reggae music, and find out at the same time about their collaborative album Two Colors that is set for release on May 27, 2022. Another joint effort is the new album Com Fly Wid Mi by Shaggy, a Frank Sinatra songbook produced by Sting, that the two discuss also on the episode, while Burning Spear has the fans looking forward to his tour set for the summer.
Rising star Yaksta has been making waves throughout the past couple of years with his motivational lyrics, his role model life style as a farmer, and a positive and inspiring mind set. On Wha’ Gwaan Munchy?!? he introduces himself and his works, looking back on his upbringing and childhood before looking forward to his plans for 2-0-2-2. Release plans have already manifested for Horace Andy and Earl Sixteen as they just released their new albums, while Mellow Mood and Dub Inc. share their music live again.