Big news from famous Reggae Jam Festival out of Germany: Reggae Jam goes to London this August for the first time.
From the Rivers of Bersenbrück (Germany) to the Heart and Soul of UK’s Reggae scene, one of the most popular reggae festivals in Europe is finally coming to London. Since 1994, the superstars of reggae have been doing the honours and filling the sacred walls of the monastery garden in the small northern German town with Caribbean “joie de vivre”. For the first time in its 28-year history, Reggae Jam is celebrating its out-of-town premiere – and not just anywhere, but in the London borough of Brent, the nucleus of Jamaican vibes. Bob Marley lived in this multicultural melting pot in the 70s. From Brent, stars made in Britain like Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs or Gappy Ranks carried reggae from here into the worldwide panorama.
Hailing from Westmoreland (Jamaica) Nerada Brissette, known with the stage name of Nerry, has been around since the mid-90s and performed at most of Jamaica’s major music festivals. Nerry not only sings, he’s also a player of various instruments. But there is no other instrument close to him than the “bass”, according to Nerry’s personal opinion. He’s currently working on his first album, which he is producing as his solo debut entitled “Call Me Nerry”. The singer toured in Europe, to be exact in Germany and Austria, back in 2008 with Freddie McGregor. He’s been touring the USA since the beginning of the pandemic early this year. Nerry is the perfect representation of reggae music and its demands. He maintains an authentic sound and never fails to captivate his audience. His soulful, smooth and raspy vocals are rarely heard those days. His last single “Babylon have the nerve” featuring Gentleman and Freddie McGregor is actually getting a great forward all over the World. We have interviewed him.
Gege Vibes: How did u approach to your musical journey?
Nerry: Music is in my blood as long as my father is also a singer and a player of instruments. It all started singing in church, where I also learnt to play different musical instruments. In the high school I sang with a group called “Soul 4 Soul” then I started singing at the hotels and at the end in the concerts.
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.
Frank Filograna is an italian reggae dj & producer based on Salento (South Italy). He is 31 years old, but already active from about sixteen years.
At the beginning he was a component of ”Selection Master”, a very musically prolific crew from his area. Secondly, he founded his label “Filomuzik” and soon after it becames part of the independent “Unemployment Records”, with witch he realizes many international collaborations publishing roots and dub vinyls.
Actually he is a member of ”Veebrazion”, an historic local sound system from Salento and also responsible for programming and promoting musical events in his peninsula.
His style is a roots/dub with a touch of hip-hop and soul, influenced by the Jamaican and Uk scene.
Among his productions we can often find also remixes. In this field, when Frank is attracted by some specific world success, he tries to reinterpret them in very personal reggae-hiphop key.
This is also the case of “Rockstar”, whose melody of the refrain and the Post Malone flow have captured Frank so much to take him, together with Adriano Sure, to give life to a captivating version of this worldwide hit. Then, Frank Filograna started the collaboration with Fabi Benz, a popular dj’s and producer from Germany. This link up allowed Frank to meet the boss of Germaica Digital (the prestigious german label well known for the production of Riddims as Doctor Darling Riddim) that decided to produce it.
Gege Vibes interviewed Swaggi Maggi, baddest dancehall dancer from Berlin in Rototom Sunsplash (Spain) for the rubric “Dancehall & attitude”. She was part of the official Rototom’s dancehall dancers team last august.
We talked with this great dancer, choreographer and promoter about her artistic history. She has spoken about the importance to learn this kind of dance in Jamaica with the experience of Latonya Style, a woman that represents an inspiration for her. Maggi now is finally part of DanceJa team. At the end she explained the dancehall scene in her country : Germany.
Sentinel Sound is Germany’s most famous Sound System reggae and dancehall, and it is between the most prestigeous ones in the whole Europe.
The team, named World Champion Sound System, has turned the whole planet in the name of this kind of music, winning lots of world clashes like the one of Brooklin in 2005…
Gege Vibes has video-interviewed Olde, a member of the crew, mc and dj, before Sentinel Sound’s show at Palarock of Aradeo (Salento) together with Sud Sound System.
We are in Salento with Sentinel sound before the show of tonight in Aradeo with Sud Sound System. Are you happy to be here today?
Oh yes, we love Salento and so more, the winter is a pleasure time. The people really enjoy what we do and the music, so it’s really a pleasure to be here again.
What about the beginning of your music journey and why did you create a sound system?
Right now we get a new generation of Sentinel Sound. There are Nadia and other members who all create and found Sentinel Sound. For us it’s an honor to play in a famous and big sound system because Sentinel Sound is such a longest team over all the years, in the past. They did so many like historical takes. We’re so thankful, for the chance to play something like this.
And you are a Sound System from Germany. Recently you have celebrated the 17° anniversary of Sentinel Sound. What does reggae and dancehall music represent in your life?
The way of playing music, because music is our life. You know, we play every weekend. We do this like a job, a side job, so we give all time into this project and whatever we do, we do it for Sentinel, for reggae music. For us, music is life.
What about your clashes and the victories? Like in Brooklyn… Why don’t you tell us something about your clashes history?
Yes, in Brooklyn it was the most famous one, for Sentinel Sound was the first big global battle for Sound System. This clash made us famous, gave us a name. Got us recognized as a big Sound System. But we have another clash coming up, so we are not quite yet!
A big clash is coming up in the United States. You can find all the information on our social networks. Me and Daniel organized everything, he is the other one of the “clash team”. It’s really interesting! It’s a big live, for sure and there will be lots of Sound Systems.
You look satisfied! What about your project with Lion D? You’re the producer of his mixtape.
Yeah, it was nice, a really nice project and he’s a cool guy. It’s very cool to work with talented artist, ‘cause if you make a mixtape project you actually need to “mix”: for example, I made up an Acappella, a special instrumental version, putting little parts together for making the mixtape, you know, more fancy; if you work with a big big artist, you need to call him, to text him, and it takes 2/3/4 days. Instead, whereas you work with such an artist and he is interested to work WITH you, then 2 hours later it’s done, ready. Lion D has been like a friend who looks at you from outside, together we focused on what they want, it was very very cool!
So I bet you like the Italian scene!?
Oh yes, just think of this month, we came 4 times! In one month! So, Italy love Sentinel Sound and we love Italy!
What about your future project?
Well, mainly playing around the world, spread the “message”of Sentinel Sound: reggae and dancehall. As we have some hashtags saying like #TravelingInTheNameOfReggae. So, we go around the world, throughout different places, different cities, different countries… just to spread the message. It’s all we want!