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

BRAND NEW 2020 / “Mama Africa”- Playing for Change ft. Andrew Tosh

“This song was originally written and performed by the late, great Peter Tosh and speaks about the beauty and strength of Africa. We united Peter’s son, Andrew Tosh, with Donald Kinsey and Fully Fullwood who performed with Peter many years ago and added musicians all over the world from Africa to Jamaica to the USA. Turn it up and feel how the heartbeat of Africa resonates through this uplifting song.”-said Playing for Change Management about one of their latest releases.

Released three weeks ago, “Mama Africa” is a unique tribute to the Motherland with the contribution of Andrew Tosh. Join the movement to find out a lot of other unique songs around the World featuring international and street musicians, recording artists such as Stephen Marley, Manu Chao, Bunny Wailers, Bono Vox and many more, but especially follow the humanitarian projects of Playing for Change foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world, creating hope and inspiration for the future of the planet.

No matter who you are or where you come from, we are all united through music is the shared vision between PFC co-founders, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke. In 2002 they decided to hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. This musical journey resulted in the award-winning documentary, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.”

In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me.” Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around the World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around the World, and building a global family.

(Playing for Change press release)

 

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VALENTINE’S DAY RELEASE/ “Lovers” – Christopher Martin – Prod. by Soundbank music

Christopher Martin, one of the most sensational vocalists from Jamaica, released his new single titled “Lovers” today 14th of February which matches perfectly with Valentine’s day. The single produced by Soundbank Music, based in Stockholm (Sweden), is available on all major digital platforms worldwide and distributed by The Orchard/SwingKids. Check it out. 
Eugenia Conti

Interview with the recording artist Bamm Holt: “I’m ready to tour the World keeping the heritage of my grandfather John Holt alive”

Bamm Holt, recording Artist from Jamaica, based in the U.S., 27 years old, well known as John Holt’s grandson and Junior Holt’s son, is ready to tour the World keeping the message of his great predecessor alive but showing his own musical skills as well. We interviewed Bamm while he is in studio recording his new album that will be released early in 2020.

“Bamm Holt is ready. Mi neva waan people hear mi song dem an’ sey, ‘A John Holt grandson dat an’ him soun’ suh?!’ Right now, mi ready fi di world”, you declared in a previous interview. How much do you think is important to continue to preserve the heritage of your grandfather, the legend John Holt, to impact the World in a positive way?

It’s very important to keep the heritage of my grandfather alive. His influence on the reggae world is so emblematic. His songs gave you messages of love, encouragement and even a party vibe. It’s a honour to be his grandson. That’s why keep his name alive is my main goal right about now.

“Mi glad to finally get it out. Wi making different music, something dat people can look forward to listening”, you told the american medias.You sound like a very versatile artist. You can easily switch from reggae, raggamuffin to hip hop. Which is the musical genre that you feel you are most used to?

 I feel like I’m most used to Reggae, as it was the first type of music I heard the calling of reggae from the day I was born. Coming to America at a young age I grown to love hip hop. But reggae will always be my first love.

“One Thing” is your song produced by Gold and Goals Productions that got great feedbacks online. We could appreciate you in a brilliant reggae-fusion version. Your father, Junior Holt, is gonna be also a big inspiration for you. What is the main thing that you learn from him in this artistic journey?

Thank You. “One thing” is also one of my favourite songs.

Yes, my father is a main influence on my career. He taught me to never give up. In life, music, doesn’t matter.

You keep to represent for Spanish Town, your parrish in Jamaica, but from a while you are living in New York. As you said the approach with this city make you understand your attitude for hip-hop music too. Which are your biggest influences of the USA hip-hop scene? And with who would you like to have a feature in the next future?

When it comes to hip hop I don’t really have an influence. I just figured out that Jay Z and Kanye West sampled one of my grandfather’s song in one of their albums. I think it was Encore. It would be a pleasure to work with them.  

You are actually working in the American market already and you are ready to drop your new album early in 2020. What do you expect from the European market and what are your goals in this side of World?

I really don’t know what to expect from the European market but I hope my music will get a good reaction over there too. I know they are in love with reggae. I just want to provide them with that musical genre. My goal is to hopefully tour that side of the World soon, by the grace of God. In the meantime look out for the “1000 Volts of Holt”, a tribute/remake for John Holt with me and my Father Junior Holt.

What is the main message you want to convey to your peers who are trying to undertake your same career?
The main message I want to convey to my peers is that music lives in all of us: young , old, new and the faded ones. It’s just you to find your right tune.
Can you give a special greeting for Gege Vibes Magazine?
Big up Gege Vibes for this interview. Major plans for the future. Going to mash up the new year.
Eugenia Conti

Gege Vibes interviews Sevana / From Jamaica to the main stage of Rototom Sunsplash 2019

Gege Vibes team met Sevana during Rototom Sunsplash 2019 after her show on the main stage of the Festival. Sevana has grown a lot in the last year recording some hits like “Nobody’s man”, sharing the stage with some great singers like Protoje, Chronixx and Romain Virgo, traveling all over the world. “It’s a blessing”, she said about her career and she kept repeating it during our interview. Sevana, alongside with Koffee and Lila Ike, is certainly the new wave of this young women’s movement from Jamaica. She also explained how important it is for females in the same business to support each other and not fight each other.

Interviewer: Eugenia Conti Shooting: Andrew Lives Editing: Drummstudio Audio e video owned by: Gege Vibes Magazine Special thanks to: Rototom Radio

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).