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).

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.

#TB Rototom Sunsplash 2018 / Konshens talks about his latest album “It feel good” while in Spain

 

We met Konshens in Benicassim (Spain) during Rototom Sunsplash 2018, #25yearswalkingtogether Edition. We have interviewed him the day before of the performance with Dub Akom Band on the festival’s main stage. The worldwide dancehall paladin talks with us about his latest album “It feel good” out on all digital platforms since last March 2018.

“It Feels Good” does not have a particular message behind it, but precisely aims to make people feel good by experiencing a full immersion in the dancehall’s flavors. Many producers have collaborated with his own company Subkonshus on this project: Stephen di Genius Mc Gregor, Rvssian, Record Label Empire and more. There are many mainstream and upcoming artists featured on it as well: the prestigious american rapper Rick Ross in the track “Big Belly” ft Rvssian, the jamaican veterans Shaggy in “Body Happy” and Tarrus Riley in “Mirror”, Kosa in the song “In my sleep”, the new talent Satory in “Days of my life”, Bakersteez in “Dance with Girls” and finally Chris Brown in a new remixed version of his greatest hit “Bruk off yuh back”.

Interviewer Eugenia Conti

Shooting Noctis

Editing Young Man Productions

ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH 2018 DAY 01 / Stars of the main stage : Julian Marley, Cocoa Tea Ft Koffee and Ben Harper

The first night of “Rototom Sunsplash 2018 – 25 years walking together” was explosive. The day one of the biggest European Reggae Festival started last evening with high-level performances. On the main stage there were Julian Marley from Jamaica, Cocoa Team ft Koffee from Jamaica and Ben Harper from Usa. Julian Marley & the Uprising gave us a great show as usual. “Juju” conquered the spectators reinterpreting some Bob Marley’s hits like One Love and Exodus. The brand new album of Julian Marley will be out very soon. Then there was the turn of Cocoa Tea that smashed up the stage. His energy was incredible for the whole performance and his special guest Koffee was the real revelation for the Rototom’s crowd. Koffee is only 18 years old, but her talent and intelligence is impressive. She was defining herself blessed to have the opportunity to share the stage with a veteran name of the Jamaican music as her mentor Cocoa Tea. Last star on the main stage was Ben Harper. Ben leaded the massive during the show with his historical band the Innocent Criminals and the sound of his own guitar. After it everyone moved in the dancehall area to enjoy Spice’s performance and the New Level Bcn Crew, sound system from Spain. Spice confirmed yesterday in Benicasim her title of “Reina of Dancehall” and we must give a big up to her official dancer Rebel as well. Tonight we’re attending legendary names on the main stage: Groundation (Usa), Sly & Robbie, Yellow Man, Johnny Osbourne, Bitty McLean (Jamaica/Uk) and “dulcis in fundo” Jimmy Cliff (Jamaica).

Article Eugenia Conti

Photo Gallery Noctis

ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH 2018 is #25YEARSWALKINGTOGETHER Edition

#25yearswalingtogether is the slogan created by Rototom Sunsplash to celebrate his 25 Edition. A fourth of century is already passed but not the memory of the places where everything was started : in Pordenone and Osoppo, Italy. Actually Rototom Sunsplash is organized every summer in Benicassim, Spain . In these 25 years a lot of people was reunited in the mighty name of the stars of reggae and their philosophy. More than 3.2 million people reached Rototom Sunsplash along the different editions, coming from all the Continents of the World. Today this Festival is considered the biggest one in Europe and one of the most important in the World. On the stage, along the different years, more than 2,300 artists alternated. This summer it will be exactly from 16th to the 22nd of August. ’25 years walking together ‘ means prestigious artists of the old and the new generation will be there performing in unity.

Check The entire line up 2018 on the official website : https://rototomsunsplash.com/it/line-up/

Julian Marley and the Uprising, Tarrus Riley, Jimmy Cliff, Spice, Cocoa Tea ft Koffee, The Mighty Diamonds, David Rodigan, Spice, Konshens are only some of the popular singers and bands will perform on the main stage or in the Dancehall area. But remember there are more than two stages. There are 5 options : Main Stage, Dancehall, Lion Stage, Dub Academy and Carribean Tempo. Plus Rototom Sunsplash is not only music. It’s even “Foro Social”, culture, experiences, great food, camping, African Village, Beach, workshops for dancehall dancers, social projects, press conferences, stands and many many more. That’s why we will delve into a different topic about Rototom #25yearswalkingtogether every week before it starts. We guess this edition must be rich of unforgettable vibes.

 

Eugenia Conti 

DJ’S & SOUND SYSTEM RUBRIC / Video interview with Jamie Rodigan from London & Pakkia Crew from Rome

Nice session of interviews for Gege Vibes during the last chapter of “Start a Fyah”, a party powered By Start Eventi every month in Salento, South Italy. The first interview is with Jamie Rodigan, dj from London and son of the international reggae institution David Rodigan. The second one is with Pakkia Crew, the green family, sound system from Rome that last April celebrated ten years of musical activity.

Interview Eugenia Conti

Shooting Carmen Ruggeri

Editing J Lof

Special thanks to : Start Crew / Get Up Music