Interview with I-Taweh: “My dream is to live long and healthy to see the unification of this human race”

Donavan I-taweh Cunningham was born in the hills of St. Ann, the same parish in Jamaica where the great Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear and Bob Marley all rise from. Like most successful artists, he comes from humble beginnings. Raised in the farming community of Prickly Pole, he spent most of his childhood farming alongside his father and four brothers. As a young child he played music on handmade instruments crafted together from bamboo and sardine tins.
It was the move to Kingston in 1992 that jump-started his musical career. Living between the communities of Mall Road, Grants Pen, Portmore, Rockfort, and Duhaney Park, I-taweh found comfort in the ghetto at the Community Center of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.

This was extremely influential for his music and his mission, where he was amongst some of the greatest musicians in the industry including Dizzy Johnny Moore, Earl Chinna Smith, Nambo Robinson, and Bongo Herman. During this time he was rarely seen without his guitar, and was given the nickname Danny Gitz. Along with the name, his skills and reputation as a musician began to grow, until the legendary Sugar Minott took him under his wing as his guitarist and harmony singer.

In 1998, I-taweh became the youngest member of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Jamaica’s most influential Nyahbingi, religious and cultural group. With Brother Sam Clayton as the leader, they toured Europe extensively until 2007 presenting traditional Jamaican music and educational workshops.
I-taweh produced and composed his first solo album, Overload, which he released in 2011. He has since gone one to self-produce two more albums, Judgementwhich was released in February 2017, and his latest project, Reload, released on January 3rd, 2020.  He is currently promoting his new single “One too many” that is denouncing the brutality of police against black people in the World. He composed this tune after the tragedy of George Floyd, happened in USA. The Artist underlines that every human being deserves the same justice and human rights otherwise there will be never any peace without any justice.

1. As many great artists you came from modest origins. Could you explain us how did you approach to your musical journey in the first place? 
I started out in a tiny community called Prickly Pole. It’s in St Ann Parrish, Jamaica, just a few miles from the home where Bob Marley grew in Nine Mile. My first real musical approach was playing in the church of my community.
2. Who are your biggest artistic inspirations? 
I would say The Wailers and Kenny Rodgers.
3. You’re a Rastaman. Could you tell us something more about the tour u did in Europe in 2007 to educate people to this culture? How it was the feedback here so far?
 Yah man. I’m proudly a Rastaman. The tours I did in Europe were very good for me especially because I got the chance to visit new places, to meet new people to share my vibrations and Reggae music with.
4. Your last project ‘Reload’ was released on January 3rd. How was working at this project with your team?

My latest album “Reload” was released in the beginning of this year, was a very good experience for me putting it together, I wanna give thanks to all who was there with me for the ride. This album is I-Taweh’s greatest body of work-to-date.

All songs are composed, written, and produced by myself through my independent label Tap Nat Muzik.
5. Do the topics inside your albums reflect any of the main dream of your life? 
The main dream of my life is to live long and healthy to see the unification of this human race. I tried my best to express this message through my latest album.
6. Do you believe in the power of conscious music as a privileged way to give universal messages then? Why in your opinion is important that younger artists keep some great values of the past? 
Yes, I do believe in conscious positive vibes. Since I was a little boy ’till now it’s being a positive uplifting force in my life. Today I’m in a point that hopefully I can reach some young minds and souls with my music.
7. Any Future project as soon as everything will return back to normal?
Well, I am always working on projects, the inspirations keeps flowing which I’m thankful for… so I am constantly in the studio recording new songs. I’ll soon update you.
8. Could you give a special greetings for Gege Vibes Magazine readers?
Eugenia Conti

“Tarantella della Xylella” / Nuovo singolo di Rankin Lele e Papa Leu per denunciare la “pandemia verde” avvenuta in Salento

“Tarantella della Xylella” è il nuovo brano del conosciutissimo duo salentino Rankin Lele e Papa Leu, nonché membri e fondatori di Adriatic Sound, per denunciare il disastro naturale avvenuto in Salento negli ultimi anni. La bellissima porzione di Regione Puglia ha infatti subito un massiccio disboscamento degli antichi alberi di ulivo, che si estendevano numerosi e fittissimi sull’intero territorio, a causa di un fantomatico batterio killer denominato “Xylella”.

Il singolo è un grido di liberazione, un inno di consapevolezza e rinascita, rappresenta la sublimazione del dolore per la perdita forzata delle radici più profonde.

Ovviamente dedicata al Salento, in questa canzone i Nostri riportano l’attenzione su una piaga che ha colpito tutta la popolazione locale. Il c.d. “contagio dimenticato” o “pandemia verde” ha stravolto l’identità paesaggistica, ma anche l’esistenza di tante persone, eredi di una cultura e di una economia secolare che in maniera silente e dolorosa sta gradualmente scomparendo da questa area geografica.

I cantanti di Adriatic Sound hanno collaborato in questo brano con Uccio Aloisi Gruppu, per dar vita ad un nuovo esperimento sonoro che scava più a fondo nel solco della tradizione.

Uccio Aloisi Gruppu è una storica band salentina che interpreta musica popolare ed è stato il giusto quid da abbinare allo stile più dancehall/raggamuffin di Rankin Lele e Papa Leu. A rendere tutto ancora più magico hanno contribuito il mandolino del maestro Antonio Calsolaro, l’organetto del maestro Max Pero ed il tamburello di Paquale Pizzolante.

Il risultato è stato decisamente anti-convenzionale, ma dirompente. L’atmosfera della tune è frizzante e gioiosa, rimandando allo stesso spirito con cui un tempo si esorcizzava la paura per un destino amaro. All’epoca si cantava magari per lenire la durezza di un padrone impietoso, denotando che, ora come allora, la musica alleggerisce il cuore, ma è anche lo strumento più efficace per denunciare abusi ed ingiustizie. Il videoclip, non a caso, è stato girato in un uliveto, colpito dalla malattia e ormai privo di vita, in cui danzatrici di pizzica si dimenano a ritmo di questa melodia al fine di descrivere la passione struggente della gente salentina nei confronti della propria Terra.

“Tarantella della Xylella” è il primo singolo estratto dal nuovo album del duo salentino, registrato e mixato a Trepuzzi (Lecce). Tra i musicisti prestigiosi che hanno partecipato pienamente a questo progetto bisogna menzionare il Maestro Garofalo alle tastiere e Fossa Drummer alle batterie, entrambi componenti della band ufficiale dei Sud Sound System.

Eugenia Conti

NEW RELEASE/ Single and videoclip “Dancehall Rapper” by Reddman Uk (Yah man Records Prod.)

The new single and music video “Dancehall Rapper” by ReddMan UK, produced by Morello Selecta for Yah Man Records, gives us one of the deepest sounds of the new year and is accompanied by some of the best views in West London.

As we announced, the scratchy beat was created by the popular DJ and Producer from Salento Morello Selecta and arranged by the virtuous skills of Alessandro Garofalo, historical Italian keyboard player, honorary member of Sud Sound System and Ska Nation Band. The strong voice of the Artist, Reddman UK, spreads a meaningful message for the international Dancehall / Hip Hop musical scene.

“Dancehall Rapper”, song realized by the Salento label, has the aim to retrace the evolution of the musical reproduction, highlighting moments of history and music. Everything started with Audiocassettes, CDs and Mp3s, until the current Era of IG and Youtube. The Artist underlines how each of these instruments  has marked an important part of the global musical history.

The video is directed by Leonardo Urso, who made the viewers fall easily in love with the City for excellence, London City, capturing some magic shootings of a surreal red sky. This song jumps into the analog past to return quickly to the digital present. We could admire in this video the disruptive beauty of nature with the suggestive sunset above the city full of buildings and skyscrapers.

“Dancehall Rapper” is available from June 2nd on all digital platforms and YouTube.

Eugenia Conti

Interview with Walshy Fire: “Whatever platform I’m getting, I try my best to bring my Jamaican culture along with me”.

We interviewed Leighton Paul Walsh, better known by his stage name Walshy Fire via Skype. Grammy Award Winning Jamaican American DJ, MC and producer, Walshy Fire had so many memories to share with us. His musical journey is very long and full of accomplishments. He started with his first sound called Change Disco when he was 18, then he continued to play with CoppershotBlack Chiney and 9 years ago he started his prolific union with the brand Major Lazer. This collaboration made him travel all over the World smashing up every single place. He used a mainstream formula to promote jamaican sonorities and that’s the key of his huge success. Walshy Fire would like to see a different highlight for Jamaican artists internationally like it’s happening right now with his ward Koffee. Not by chance, he got the Grammy to produce her major hit “Toast”.

Walshy Fire with Koffee in Usa (contributed)

 

Walshy produced a whole lot of music and riddims in his career featuring Artists such us Chronixx, Kabaka PyramidCocoa Tea and many more. Right now, he is focused on the online business due the Covid-19 emergency advertising his format “Quarantine Clash”, together with Warrior Sound, to teach more about the soundclash culture in a streaming way on Youtube, Facebook and Twitch. The Quarantine Clash grand finale was on May 31st and the popular jury established as winner of the 2020 Editition Chiquidubs from Panama.

 

Interviewer: Eugenia Conti 

Songs (Promotional use only)

Watch out for this – Major Lazer

Que Calor – Major Lazer

Video directed by Drummstudio Salento

OUT NOW / “Beat of resistance” by Italian Freedom Fighters to oppose the Turkish dictatorship

BEAT OF RESISTANCE is the brand new single of ITALIAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS, a team of 19 artists from all over the Italian peninsula. 14 singers: TREBLE LU PROFESSORE, JULIA LENTI, TONY (Cattivo Sangue), GIULIO FERRANTE (Radici nel Cemento), LIZARD (Shock Very Noise), ROCKY GANJAVOX, CHALA DZ CHAM LOWE ,SPEAKER TEX ,NUR-GUL, SAM D, FILOMENA DE LEO (Medinabox) ,FIDO GUIDO ,TINA MINERVA (La Rocha) & RIFLE. Plus five musicians: RAINA (Villa Ada Posse), ADRIANO BONO (Reggae Circus), POPPY CIRCUITELEMENT (Shock very noise), LUIGI MIACOLA (The navigator), COSIMO MIACOLA (Young T Bone). Released on May 18th, the song is composed with the aim of giving solidarity to Yorum Group, a Turkish band, victim of the repression of the fascist Erdogan. It was created with the main intention of denouncing this form of strong repression, which caused the death of two of its members, following a deadly hunger strike. You will listen to verses full of love, solidarity and especially RESISTANCE. Listen and spread the message.

More infos on https://www.reggae.it/yorum 

Valentina Rubino 

Eugenia Conti

“Gege Vibes Streaming Show #2” features Interviews with Julian Marley, Bamm Holt and Gmac.

 

“Gege Vibes Streaming show” is the new Gege Vibes Magazine‘s format available on Youtube. The purpose is to keep our press contents up during those hard time of Covid-19. Normally, we travel to realize video interviews with Artists after their shows, in Festivals, in studios or during their tours. Right now social distancing and quarantine not allow us to continue to work in this way, that’s why we have decided to introduce the “video calls interviews”. We believe that in this difficult period is very important to keep the positive vibes alive with home entertainment, good music and information.

The second chapter of “Gege Vibes Streaming Show” is fully dedicated to the cannabis world as long as it was recorded on 4/20/2020. We released some brand new interviews featuring recording Artists Julian Marley, Bamm Holt and Gmac.

Julian Marley talked about his last album “As I am”, the power of herb in those times of captivity for the humanity who is forced in quarantine because of the unnatural corona virus and many more. Bamm Holt, who is John Holt‘s grandson, originally from Jamaica but living in USA, told us about his love for reggae and hip-hop. He got skills in both of the musical genres. He also announced that soon will be out his tribute to John Holt called “1000 volts of Holt” together with his father Junior Holt. And on top of that, he is working to release his first solo album as well. Gmac, real name Garfield Mclean, answered our call from his city Kingston and explained us how we have to handle this quarantine as an opportunity to reflect on ourselves and connect with the divine spirit. Basically he suggested us to invest this free time in the best way possible. He also talked about his upcoming album “The legend” produced by the Italian label Morelove Music. In the episode we got some extra special credits. We featured as song premiere of this month “Weed Plan” singed by the historical jamaican artist Mykal Rose, produced by Young Pow Productions and distributed by Ghetto Youths Intl.

Ultimately, we gave a space for the dancers featuring the Italian DHQ from Salento Aurora Rah, who showed us two personal choreographies dancing on Masicka music.

Songs credits (promotional use)
Weed plan – Mykal Rose (Young Pow Prod.)
Energy – Masicka (Genahsyde Prod.)
Ice cream truck – Masicka (1Syde / Mozeeko Records)
Love your life – Gmac (Social Club Riddim – Morelove Music)
Crime – Gmac (StartMeUp Riddim – Morelove Music

Video Directed by Drummstudio

Article and interviews by Eugenia Conti