Interview with Charly Black: “God is in control and I’m ready to release my first album for Universal Usa” (Berlin, 2019)

Gege Vibes met Charly Black, together with his Team Unstoppable, during “Happy Zone” – Europe Tour 2019 – and precisely in the German Capital, Berlin, after his performance live at Timeless Thursdays in Bi Nuu Club.

Charly showed us the moves he did from the beginning of his musical journey until now. His hit “Gyal you a Party Animal” , established diamond single, became viral and gave him a different highlight all over the World in his dancehall career. After it the artist got the chance to travel a lot and learn from his overseas tours, always proud to represent for his original community, Trelawny. His debut album will be released in few weeks and it is produced by Universal Records Usa.

Interviewer: Eugenia Conti Shooting: Andrew Lives Editing: P. Raw Special Thanks: Timeless Sound

CASALABATE MUSIC FESTIVAL / Il 4 agosto la sedicesima edizione sul palco al cospetto di Torre Specchiolla (Salento)

Casalabate Music Festival 2019 è la notte dei Massive B, festival salentino che giunge quest’anno alla 16esima edizione con gli ospiti speciali da New York City, il famoso dj e producer Bobby Konders e la sua crew, che si svolge nella località balneare di Casalabate.

Il Festival è esponenzialmente cresciuto negli anni, acquistando di edizione in edizione un pubblico di estimatori e appassionati sempre più folto anche perché, fin dalla sua nascita, ha avuto come “padrino” d’eccezione Sir David Rodigan, leggendario Disk Jockey e giornalista, ospite sempre attesissimo nelle edizioni precedenti, che ha portato alla ribalta la marina salentina con il suo slogan “Casalabataaaa accendino!!!”, diventato poi un vero e proprio must.

Per l’edizione 2019 sul palco al cospetto di Torre Specchiolla, nella suggestiva cornice sul lungomare di Casalabate, si alterneranno alcuni tra i migliori esponenti della scena Reggae nazionale tra cui Rankin Lele e Papa Leu di Adriatic Sound con Morello Selecta, Petra de Sule con Striunizzu dal Salento, Bad Side Massive, Zakalicious, Fireburn, MoreLove, StartaFyah e, per la prima volta sul palco di Casalabate, Brusco una delle figure più importanti della scena reggae italiana con le sue super hits, conosciute e amate da tutti.

Altro ospite d’onore, direttamente dalla città di Portmore, Jamaica, il recording artist Bay-C, noto membro della formazione jamaicana T.O.K. che, dopo aver creato hit di grande successo con il suo gruppo come “Gyals yuh ah lead” e “Eagles Cry”, è attualmente in tour in Europa per il suo progetto solista “Straight outta Portmore” supportato dal potente sound system Yard Beat.

A tenere le redini della serata ci saranno Bobby Konders e Lando Hype dei Massive B, celebre Sound System di New York fin dagli anni ‘80, popolari a livello globale per aver prodotto artisti del calibro di Elephant Man, Burro Banton, Vybz Kartel e molti altri del genere reggae, dancehall e hip hop.

l Festival è diventato anche un vero e proprio progetto di riqualificazione e valorizzazione urbana, integrando nel proprio programma musicale e di intrattenimento anche CAD Casalabate Art District (già avvenuto dal 24 al 28 luglio), manifestazione di street art, che ha visto artisti locali e internazionali riunirsi a Casalabate sotto la direzione artistica di 167/B Street per ridipingere diversi muri della marina. L’evento ha ospitato nella serata finale il live dell’artista jamaicana Tanya Stephens, da sempre impegnata nel sociale e nell’attivismo a favore della propria comunità.

Eugenia Conti

Africa brings its mosaic of cultures on the African Village of Rototom Sunsplash 2019

We all know the big respect that Rototom Sunsplash Festival always showed for Africa creating an program of the African Village that offers music, reflection, learning and dance. African Village represents the more rebellious side of the reggae world, a revolutionary genre that has always been united to Africa and the African cause. This link once again make itself obvious in the 26th edition of the Rototom Sunsplash festival, which has included some interesting changes in one of its most dynamic spaces, without losing its essence. Show, debate, discover and share is the challenge, as well a drinking in the diversity of a continent that fills Benicàssim with vitality. From August 16 to 22, African Village, and the voices that represent it, take centre stage. The Senegalese human rights author and activist Mamadou Dia heads the African Village for the first time, focusing on some of the most important issue that currently matter to the populations of African both internally and externally. All this, with an extra dose of critical thinking, comments Dia, for whom the fact that a reggae festival incorporates a space “to bring Africa closer to Europe and shorten the distances that still separate us” does nothing but “enrich it even more“.

Ataya represents the biggest change in the area. A focal point of direct and close dialogue evolving around the tea ceremony -traditional in the central strip of the continent, from Senegal to Ethiopia- offering space of discussion to prestigious Africans and Afro-descendants, such as the activist Sani Ladan, the writer Desirée Bela-Lobedde and the journalist Lucía Mbomio. Together each day they will discuss, from 16:00 in the shelter of Ataya, the challenges of African dignity from the perspective of cyber-activism -in the talk We will occupy the NET on August 17-; the anti-racist campaign #Wearemore (Sunday 18), which will be present at Rototom along with other initiatives that have sprung up all over Europe, such as the German #WirSindMehr or Love music, hate racism movement in England.

On August 19, it will be the turn of the session Let’s Talk Politics that accepts the challenge of analysing who represents the African and Afro-descendant communities and how they do so. Building a legacy for the new generation (Tuesday 20); Decolonizing the mind and Sustainable Initiatives to create a more dignified, responsible and supportive society (August 21 and 22, respectively), complete the program of debates during the Ataya.

The dancers MakadyIndee Style and Flora (African Dancers Crew) will bring the modern dance moves, with Cumba from Senegal giving a more traditional flavour to the area’s African dance slot, every afternoon from 18:30 to 20:00. They will fuse the day with the dusk perfectly, welcoming in the sonic universe of African Village, which this year offers a musical journey through Ghana, Angola, Senegal and Ethiopia with six leading bands on the bill and DJ sessions at the rhythm of afrobeat and coupé-décalé until dawn.

Every day (except August 22), from 21:30, the African Stage will be the only active stage after the first concert of the Main Stage. A musical epicentre of which the Guinean-Spanish singer Marga Mbande will raise the curtain on August 16, presenting Moulema Beats, a project with electronic sounds, uptempo and touches of afrobeat that also includes the percussionist Jordi Anchobeta Sanz and the DJ and beat maker Ches. On Saturday 17, the Ethiopian vibes will be brought by Qwanqwa, bulwark of experimenting with traditional Ethiopian music and with several festivals and two European tours to their name.

The sounds of Ghana take the African Stage on August 18, with one of the country’s leading bands set to take the international scene, Fokn Bois, that will play their first concert in Spain at Rototom Sunsplash. Their ascendance has been marked most recently by their collaboration with the singer of Blur and the Gorillaz, Damon Albarn.

On August 19, from the same rhythmic universe will be Kwame Ghana High Life. While, on Tuesday the 20th will see Noche Afribuku take the stage, with another of the powerful shows for this year’s edition: the Guiss Guiss Bou and the DJ set with Celeste Mariposa, who will also perform for the first time in Spain on the African Stage.  

The sets of the African Disco will play through dawn at the festival with Dj Douds(Senegal), the area’s resident, who will be joined on Saturday the 17th by N’Zinga(Spain / Nigeria); the Spanish Dj Diego Armando (Sunday 18); Celeste Mariposa(Portugal, August 20) and Betto Snay from Angola (Wednesday 21).

NO RACISM IN ITALY / Gege Vibes & Timeless Sound set up a business involving Gambian and Italian promoters

In this sad political moment for Italy, with a racist leader and hate feeder like Salvini, I was living in London for work and I had promised myself to never return in Italy if the Lega party will win the elections.

Unfortunately it happened with a surprising broad consensus. The monstrosity made by this Government is to see the “brothers of Italy” united through ethnic discrimination towards other peoples. It is because of the Salvini’s propaganda if many Italians have turned against Africans and have started to be obtuse people who point the finger against the immigrants who live in our Country, sometimes without not even a reason.

I was ashamed for Italy every time I saw the BBC News, which emphasize the racism of my country when until few time ago, Italy was considered the Nation of solidarity and acceptance. Here, as our ancestors of Magna Greece have taught us, “the guest is sacred”. Or at least it always has been…

So I couldn’t manage to sit down and don’t do nothing. I decided to use my company of bookings and promotion of artists called Gege Vibes Worldwide Music Group, alongside the established selecta and promoter Timeless Sound, native of Gambia, to involve young Africans (also coming from the communities, from migrant reception centers or from the streets) in the promotion of events in Italy that will host our international singers or Djs so that we can help the kids learn a trade and build their own upcoming brands. Because music unites, generates integration, helps to understand each other, to socialize …

Jereh Njai, aka Mighty Timeless, is a Gambian resident in Berlin, founder of the prestigious Timeless Sound. He has embraced the initiative underlining how the cooperation between the two cultures could even be a determining factor for the entire Italian economy, just as it has been for years in Germany where Europeans and Africans live together and where integration is not a utopia but a fact.

Mighty is a prime example of this: he created a great business in the German capital relating to musical promotion in which people of all races work in team.

I am sure that together we will be able to achieve great results in unity and peace also in our country, Italy: we have shows scheduled for the summer with aspiring Gambian promoters supervised by us in Naples, Catania, Bologna, Milano and Catanzaro. A meaningful example that this project can really unite every latitude here too.

Our goal is also to allow young Africans to become one day professional promoters or successful artists, offering them the right experience and knowledge of the sector. We also want those who come from a more unfortunate background to choose the path of art rather than crime.

And believe me, it’s a really nice feeling to see what the music could create thanks to the universal language that composes it … What better genre than reggae music that always has professed peace and love to unite populations?

“One love” is precisely the concept to feel that we are all brothers and sisters. We want Italians and Africans to meet together in the same party, to dance, make friends and start collaborations. We no longer want to see people with prejudices and immigrants who feel they are only unwanted foreigners without any space in the society. Some days ago I was talking to Curtis, an eighteen-year-old from Gambia who actually lives in the community in Bologna. I met him in a club during a date of my tours. Curtis is so in love with reggae music that he defines Timeless his father and hero. He also called me his mother. He said that he is very proud of my projects, but that he will make me even more proud of him because he wants to reach a high level of education. He confided to me that he wants to enroll in the University to get a  graduation to become an architect. He is learning to draw on his laptop already. You have no idea how these words filled my heart with joy. These guys are called “Ghetto Youths”. Sometimes they arrive in Italy with nothing, only with their great talent. Many of them know how to sing, others can dance, others want to organize events or study at the University. “Ghetto Youths”, make sure me and Daddy Timeless will do everything to help as much as guys possible. We need to be a healthy example for them because everyone deserves at least one chance to prove its own worth. Music is not just notes in succession, music is the most powerful channel for changing the state of things, music is a life mission …

Eugenia Conti

ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH 2019 is “STAND UP FOR EARTH” 26th Edition

 

The international Reggae of the Rototom Sunsplash puts the finishing touches to its imminent edition with some twenty artists who will grace Benicasim, August 16 to 22. With Anthony BMicah Shemaiah & The DreaditesAaron Nigel SmithAcsel & The Reggae Rebel BandRhomanife and Jamaleònics, to name but a few.

Reggae legends celebrating milestone anniversaries, revivals of classic reggae movie soundtracks, a wealth of female empowerment, and an international gathering at three sound system areas… Rototom 2019 offers all this and more

The Main Stage hosts live shows from some of Jamaica’s biggest artists. It’s the place to see Grammy winning son of Bob, Ziggy Marley, cultural reggae’s 21st century heir-apparent Chronixx, highly creative dancehall “deejay” Busy Signal, and first family of modern reggae Morgan Heritage. A recent addition to the top tier of the lineup is fiery Rasta lyricist Anthony B. Also on the Main Stage are veteran harmony groups Israel Vibration, and Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill, versatile Rasta vocalist Queen Ifrica, deep-voiced cultural singer Bushman, and groundbreaking, trendsetting first lady of reggae song, Marcia Griffiths.

In addition, the stage hosts some special anniversary shows. Devout Rastafarian close harmony group the The Abyssinians celebrate their 50th year, progressive reggae outfit Third World commemorate their 45th, while British ska ensemble Selecter and Rasta prophets Misty in Roots both hit their 4th decade in music.

2019 marks Rototom’s 10th year in Spain, and in honour of this momentous occasion and the growth of Spanish reggae, local legends Green Valleymake a triumphant return to Benicassim. They will be putting on a very special show, filled with special guests.

Also representing Spain on the Main Stage are Navarran future dub duo Iseo & Dodosound with the Mousehunters, Madrid harmony trio Emeterians, and Barcelona’s multi-award winning reggae rumba and funk influenced Macaco

The songs from two of reggae’s greatest feature films are showcased by special collaborative performances. The soundtrack to Ted Bafaloukos’ 1978 reggae film Rockers will be recreated on stage by Bernard Collins of the Abyssinians, Big YouthKiddus I and drummer/lead actor Leroy Horsemouth Wallace. Franco Rosso’s powerful British reggae film Babylon will be revisited by original soundtrack creator Dennis Bovell and the movie’s lead, Brinsley Forde.

Completing the Main Stage lineup are Bob Marley’s grandson Jo Mersa, highly intellectual poet Jah9, veteran mento legends the The Jolly Boys, silky-voiced Protoje-signings Lila Iké and Sevana, hugely popular Californian band Slightly Stoopid and French hip hop collective L’Entourloop.

The neighbouring Lion Stage is a home to rising and seasoned reggae talent. It’s the place to find the African dancehall of Ghana’s Stonebwoy, a new album launch by Jamaica’s Warrior King, the soulful conscious reggae of France’s Nâmaan, honey-voiced Jamaican veteran Linval Thompson, and French sound system and production house OBF with emcees Charlie P, Sr Wilson and Shanti D. A diverse line-up includes Polish reggae ambassadors Bednarek, England’s hugely popular Gentleman’s Dub Club, French rebel singer Tairö, and Italian stalwart Brusco. Two brand new announcements are Jamaican roots revivalist Micah Shemaiah and Billboard chart-topping US-based protest singer and educator Aaron Nigel Smith.

The remainder of the Lion Stage roster is testimony to reggae’s international flavour. Europe is represented by Stand High Patrol featuring Marina P (France), Acsel & the Reggae Rebel band, Istituto Italiano Di Cumbia All Stars and exciting new announcement Rhomanife (all from Italy), Eva Lazarus and Mad Professor’s Young Robotiks Band featuring Lady Marga, Zeena, Redhed QI, Joe Ariwa (UK) and Forelock (Sardinia). From further afield come The New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, The US Virgin Islands’ Reemah, and Puerto Rico’s International Dub Ambassadors. The diversity of Spanish reggae is to be heard in the music of Itaca Band, Lasai, The Dance Crashers, All B, Koers and new Lion Stage addition the Jamaleònics. The festival’s commitment to female energy in dub music is enshrined in Women Soldier, a special ensemble of talented vocalists out of Barcelona and Italy, curated by producer Chalart 58.

Rototom has three spectacular sound system areas, each devoted to a different corner of Jamaican music. The Dancehall area hosts a pulsating party with appearances from UK chart hit maker Stylo G, New York-based Jamaican singer Kranium, Kingston collective Ward 21 and recently added Spanish deejay Mad Muasel. Also in attendance are Jamaica’s Stone Love, Renaissance 30, Freddie Krueger and ZJ Liquid, joined by Japan’s legendary Mighty Crown and Jah Works Sound, Germany’s Sentinel, France’s Drum Sound, Panama’s DJ Chiqui Dubs, Israel’s New Zion Sound, England’s V Rocket and Spain’s Blackup. Italy’s Northern Lights celebrating their 20th anniversary, and Rototom legend Lampa Dread are in residence.

The frenetic sounds of 2 Tone, Ska and Cumbia can be heard in the Caribbean Uptempo area. Highlights of the line-up include Jamaican veteran Winston Francis, the UK’s Natty Bo and former Selecter member King Hammond, as well as Colombia’s Banda Melao with appearances by Colombian and Honduran traditional dancers.

Heavier vibrations await at the Dub Academy. The area has invited an unprecedented gathering of sound systems, including The UK’s Iration Steppas, Jah Tubbys and Sinai, plus the Netherlands’ King Shiloh, Barcelona’s Greenlight Sound, France’s Blackboard Jungle, and Italy’s 48 Roots,  Each of these sonic giants will be bringing to this hallowed ground their own stacks. Further guests will be Mad Professor, the Ivory Coast’s producer Jacin, together some surprise acts.

Reggae’s roots in Africa can be experienced in the eclectic rhythms of the African Village. Artists confirmed for this year are Ghana’s quirky Fokn Bois, Senegal’s electronic Sabar and Mbalax fusionists Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, Ghanian highlife from Kwame, multilingual Guinean female artist Marga Mbande, Ethiopian instrumental quintet Qwanqwa, and Afro-fusion group Sahad and the Nataal Patchwork. DJ sets include Lisbon’s Celeste Mariposa, highlighting and exploring the Afro-Portuguese connection.

UPCOMING TOURS/ Damian Marley Europe Tour 2019 starting next week from Sheffield, Uk

Damian Marley is coming back soon in Europe as every year. Rumor mill said that he is working on a brand new album in studio alongside his successful team but for this summer he is still promoting the awarded Stony Hill Album (released in July 2017). Stony Hill European Tour 2019 is starting next week from Uk. Exactly like last year, Jr. Gong will deliver his first set of shows in Great Britain, with a very special guest on stage as the Jamaican singer Assassin aka Agent Sasco. Assassin has dropped some months ago the brilliant album “Hope River” that received a lot of good feedbacks and highlights everywhere.  Would be interesting assist to this combination during the first three shows in the major famous venues of England: O2 Academies. As Jr Gong’s fans could remember, last summer the Zilla performed in O2 Academy Ritz (Manchester); 02 Academy Leeds, O2 Academy Birmingham and obviously O2 Academy Brixton (London). This time he will be in different areas like O2 Academy Sheffield on the 30th of March, O2 Academy Bournemouth on the 31st and O2 Academy Bristol on the 1st of June (all the tickets in Bristol are sold out already). Then the 2nd of June he will finally return in the Capital, London, as special guest of a huge festival in Croydon Lloyd Park called The Ends. Damian will be the protagonist of the Festival’s last night.

While the protagonist of the first night at the End Festivals will be the American Rap-Star Nas who collaborated with Damian in the unforgettable album “Distant Relatives” (2012. It’s so sad to don’t see them in the line up together sharing the same stage and date, but there will be still a lot of great names opening and after Damian’s performance. Here the exact line up and legend of stages.

Mainstage

  • Damian Jr Gong Marley
  • J Balvin
  • Burna Boy
  • Nao
  • Masego
  • Mansur Brown
  • The Compozers
  • Jaz Karis
  • Croydon Fm

 

Ends & Friends Stage

  • Iamddb
  • Seani B
  • Dj Ace
  • Benjiflow
  • Che Lingo
  • Amber Olivier
  • Miraa May

 

Future Stage

  • Endurance Steel Orchestra
  • Amaka
  • Desta Zion

After the Ends Festival, Stony Hill Uk Tour 2019 will be accomplished and Damian will come on the other side of Europe with a gig in Bruxelles, Belgium on the 4th of June and one in Harleem, Netherlands on the 5th of June. Then, it will be a nice stop in Greece with a couple of shows there: 7th of June in Athens for Release Music Festival and on the 8th of June in Tessaloniki.

We can only guess how all the german, italian, french, austrian, swiss, swedish supporters would be disappointed to be unable to see their idol in their own cities. You could wait for the Europe Tour 2020 or if you truly love Bob Marley’s youngest son could still join the crew in the confirmed and mentioned shows. The tickets are available on damianmarleymusic.com/tour

Check the last Damian Marley’s video featuring columbian female artist Karol G. Music never stops!

Eugenia Conti