Interview with Courtney ‘Bam’ Diedrick – Grammy Drummer touring the World with Damian Marley

(Cover Photo credit: @radiantsun9)

Courtney Diedrick, also known as “Bamdrumz”, is the official drummer for Damian Marley. We meet him in O2 Academy Leeds (Uk) during Stony Hill European Tour 2018. Straight from Jamaica, and exactly from Brown’s Town (Saint Ann), “Bam” informs us about the legendary drummers who inspired him during his journey: Carlton Barrett from Bob Marley & The Wailers, Sly from Sly and Robbie, Squidly Cole from Stephen Marley, Deleon White also known as Jubba from Dubtonic Kru and many more. He feels good to inspire the new generations today, especially in his community, because he believes this is the meaning of playing music.

Secondly, he underlines the attachment with his family and to the brothers John, Rayon and Sean. All his siblings are musicians and they helped in molding his career prior to furthering his studies at Edna Manley College of Music in Kingston. His older brother John met Damian in Montego Bay and later introduced Sean aka “Young Pow” for the audition as keyboardplayer, who surprisingly saw that drummers were also being auditioned, so he passed on the news to “Bam”. His history began much earlier when he started playing in church at age of 16, later on in Hotels, teaching music in high school and now touring the world with “Jr Gong”. He still remembers his level of anxiety when he went to audition to play and he could see a long line of drummers from around the world waiting for their turn. Despite the insecurities of the moment, Courtney “did his thing” and reached the goal. He discussed the importance of never forgetting that positive vibration that musicians should feel when playing their instruments. He tries to treat every opportunity he gets to play with passion as if it was his first time playing the drums: “Playing with Damian is a great feeling that will never leave me because the moment you lose that feeling, you lose everything”. 

Then we talk about the most beautiful memories of his tours in the world: “We have a lot of highlights and many other stuffs that have happened on the road, but to visit the Mother Land Africa was a huge deal for me, it was always my dream even before I started touring.”. “Bam” tells us how much his origins have influenced even his style of playing. Reggae is a music full of feelings that reminds us of the past, for example slavery: “You can feel emotions in reggae – he continued – and my playing has a lot to do with my roots and my culture”.

Courtney is the Grammy Drummer of this year with “Stony Hill” Album. Nicely, he gives thanks to all the fans for it sharing with them his happiness about this result:“I rememeber all the nights that we spent in the studio with my crew without getting any sleep and now this great joy finally pays off”.

  (Photo Credit: @itseltonbrown)

He didn’t work only with Damian Marley but with several international artists as Mick Jagger, Nas, Kieth Richards, Eric Clapton, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Playing for Change P.F.C., I-Taweh, Jah Cure and many more. Playing for Change is a project between street musicians and mainstream ones from all over the World. This group is the perfect example to show people we are more alike than different and it doesn’t matter our culture or the color of our skin. Reggae music is a universal language.

One of Courtney’s future projects is to give more light to the jamaican drummers featuring them on a documentary. Another project is about his productions that are in a pause right now, but will be out soon.

Passion, talent, determination, attitude, gratitude and humbleness are just some of the features that makes Diedrick so popular and respected in the actual worldwide musical scene. We are waiting to hear his riddims and to appreciate him in the role of producer as well.

Eugenia Conti

 

Interview with Answele / Humble and Talented 20 Years Old Artist from Jamaica (Young Pow Prod.)

After the journey of Gege Vibes in Jamaica last summer, we were able to appreciate closely the vibrations of the Caribbean Island from a musical point of view. Bob Marley’s homeland is not only today represented by the Reggae. In fact there are many branches of the genre that have developed over the years and the new sounds that have been created. We could say that today the jamaican music influenced many other genres contaminating it. The Jamaican talents who try to follow their way through their artistic skills are multiplying more and more. Finally the mentality to prefer music and believe in his own dream to the ghetto’s life is being consolidated. Especially in the very young artists. Then I’ve interviewed a singer and musician originally from the area of ​​Trelawny (Jamaica): Answele, only 20 years old. He grew up becoming passionate about music after being in church almost every Saturday at a very tender age, as a lot of jamaican people. The faith is important there as much as music. It was precisely in his parrish that begins his career starting in to play the drums in that place.

“The problem was that my true love for music was for the reggae and not for the liturgical one, but it was not accepted in my church or at home where my father disapproved my behaviour for disobeying to his instructions to don’t perform in reggae and dancehall parties”, Answele said.

But the guy continues to trust himself creating a small label to appear on the scene with the first recordings. In 2016, he experiments different musical genres such as lovers-rock, Hip Hop, Hard-core Dancehall and meets the Jamaican producer Sean Diedrick, owner of the brand Young Pow Productions and historical keyboarder of Damian Marley, as well as Winning Grammy co-producer of Stony Hill Album. Young Pow invests a lot of energy producing the new Answele’s Ep and recording the songs in the famous Big Yard Studio and Tuff Gong Studio, the Bob Marley’s one, both in Kingston Capital (Jamaica). The new Answele’s work is coming out. Let’s hear what his feelings are before the international launch of it.

Your passion for the music started in the church’s environment when you were only a child. Say us something about the beginning of your musical journey

 It was a bit complicated. Parents were strict so i was basically disobeying rules. I was engaged in a lot of singing activitIes at church and I was very good at singing harmonies too, but I would listen mostly to reggae songs on the radios and all I knew is that I enjoyed the sounds and I was having fun singing them among my peers.

 When you grew up from a child to a boy you understood that your real inspiration was the reggae. What represent this musical genre in your life?

I think the way to express myself through my lyrics, the consciousness and a little of my style of music. I enjoyed listening to Reggae artists nation wide and I could feel their music from within and how inspiring it was to me. I was thinking : “I want people to feel it when they listen to any of my songs”.

 How much your community influenced your music and your style?

 My community does play a part, but telling the truth I sing about topics that happen globally across the World every day. Everywhere there are people who are either not with you or genuine people who wants to see you in the way that you aspire to become. As well as there are people who needs motivation through listening music.

What about the creation of TeamTripleWorks music and the collaboration with the great producers Young Pow and Sherieta?

 TeamTripleWorks music was officially created by me and two other associates Bvrban and Ricky Cee in 2015. We all had different talents, I am the harmony vocalist & Graphic Designer, Ricky Cee is the engineer and Bvrban is the beat maker. Then a year ago i was introduced to Young Pow and I met Sherieta few months later, they both loved the sound of my voice and decided to play a major role in my production.

“F U Poverty” is a released dancehall single with a strong lyric. What is for you the way to forget the poverty and to be successful?

 Staying Focus and continue working hard.

Your new single “Stayed” is out in the digital shops. What about the meaning of this song?

 I think I stepped a little out of the box to compose “Stayed”. This song is about a thing that happens every day : men cheating and regretting it afterwards. The speciality about this tune is that I got the instrumental from Young Pow during a time I was thinking about a complicated relationship and it influenced the entire song. This song is on the tracklist of Destiny Riddim, a compilation of different jamaican artists including Popcaan, iOctane, Black Am I and more.

What are your future projects ?

Well I have a new EP (Short Album) that is releasing soon from Young Pow Productions which will include 6 tracks. “Stayed” is also apart of it. The remaining five songs are fire so I am urging the mass to look out for this EP, trust me, the tunes them nuh normal !

Eugenia Conti

 

 

DESTINY RIDDIM 2018 / The new compilation of Jamaican artists is out now (Prod by Young Pow, Baby G & Sherieta)

Destiny Riddim is the new coolest reggae product of 2018. The compilation is produced by Sean Diedrick aka Young Pow, the Grammy Winning Producer of Damian Marley’s “Stony Hill”. The Album just won the highest award in the music industry; Baby G, the legacy of King Jahmmy and Sherieta, well known singer, songwriter and Jr Gong’s backing voice. Mainstream names as Popcaan and I-Octane participated in the project with their versions, but on the Destiny Riddim there was also space for some new talents from the Island as Answele. All the artists were really glad to be a part of.

The entire juggling, distributed by the label Ghetto Youths International, is available on iTunes opening this link  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/destiny-riddim-compilation/1342995687

TRACKLIST

  1. Where di Fire Gone – I Octane
  2. Lucky You – Alaine
  3. Where we come from (Remix) – Popcaan
  4. Destiny – Press Kay
  5. If You Knew – Christopher Ellis
  6. Stayed – Answele
  7. Fire Burning – Black Am I
  8. Jah Jah Don’t Leave Me – Irie SoulJah
  9. Morning Thunder – SowFlo

CHECK THE PROMO VERSIONS OF I-OCTANE AND ANSWELE

The best of Gege Vibes 2017 / Special Second Anniversary Greetings Video

The 31st of December 2017 Gege Vibes Magazine has celebrated his second anniversary ending a very intense year full of worldwide experiences. Gege Vibes moved from Italy to Uk, touring in Netherlands and in Jamaica. We thought to realize a video recap of 2017 to summarize all the emotions. Under the link is possible to read the video’s descriptions.

 

1) Luciano Messenjah Greeting. We met Luciano after his great show in Utrecht (Nl) where he performed with Freddie McGregor. Our interview together was the most spiritual of the year and I could feel the positive energy inside him. He taughts me the importance to feel the rasta vibes in the heart.

2) Swele Greeting. Swele is a new talent from Jamaica. He’s only 20 years old. His history and his voice passionated Gege Vibes Team that decided to promote him in Europe waiting for his tour 2018.

3) Italee Greeting. I had a special interview with this strong jamaican lioness during the last edition of Casalabate Music Festival in Salento (Italy). Every year the last performance of this festival is the selection of David Rodigan. The Queen gave thanks to Gege Vibes Magazine to carry the flag of reggae in the medias area.

4) Sean Paul & Chi Ching Ching Greeting. In 2017 we followed a lot  of Sean Paul & Chi Ching Ching’s shows in Uk, Italy and Jamaica. We selected some shootings of their live on the prestigious stage of Reggae Sumfest – Montego Bay (Jamaica) and in Gallipoli (Italy) where Gege Vibes interviewed the multiplatinum singer and his artist.

5) Julian Marley Greeting. One of the son of reggae Legend Bob Marley. He announced his new album coming soon. We are waiting for his new tour to set the shooting of the video interview together.

6) Spice Greeting. We interviewed Spice in Salento (Italy). We talked about the role of the woman in the dancehall and about the explicit sexual lyrics in her songs. Definitely, the female dancehall boss has the lady side, but also the gangsta side.

7) A little immersion in our cultural trip in Jamaica of this summer with Richie Stephens and the Ska Nation Band following “Kingston-Salento International Tour”.  We selected the performances of Richie Stephens, Ska Nation Band and Sud Sound System in the museum “Jamaican Institute” and a frame of Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band’s show in Reggae Sumfest Jamaica.

8) Mr. Vegas Greeting. The “blessed” jamaican artist donated his greeting before his show in Salento for “I am Black and White – Christmas Concert” promoted by Adriatic Sound.

9) Sean Diedrick aka “Young Pow” Greeting. “2018 is all Gege”, said the brilliant producer that is popular as Damian Marley’s keyboarder too. In 2018 will be surprises because it’s the year to build big stuffs together and to spread the vibes of all the nice Young Pow’s productions through our channels.

10) Courtney Bam Diedrick Greeting. Bam Drumz is the historical Jr Gong’s drummer. He represents for our column 2018 “Drums & Rhythm” . We will go deeply in the magic world of the percussions interviewing the best drummers of the worldwide scene. Stay tuned !

11) Damian Marley Greeting. We had the pleasure to see once again a performance of Jr Gong last june in Gallipoli (Italy). So we interviewed Damian one month before the release of his last album “Stony Hill”. Some months later, in November to be exactly, ‘Gong Zilla’ won the Mobo Award for the Best Reggae Act. Naturally, the video ends with the special greeting of the best Bob’s legacy. 

Thanks to the artists, producers, musicians, dancers, editors, video-makers, photographers and all the awesome people that supported it. This is the loop. Blessings and prosperity be yours through the new year.

Eugenia Conti

 

Video Interview with Sean ‘Young Pow’ Diedrick : “I’m proud to be a Jamaican, Brown’s Town, Saint Ann… Yeah”

Gege Vibes Magazine met Sean Diedrick after Damian Marley’s show in Gallipoli, Italy (2017). Sean is worldwide known as the historical Jr Gong’s keyboarder but he also really popular as ‘Di Producer’.

He introduces us the world of Young Pow Production explaining his last works in studio with Mavado and Damian Marley for “Stony Hill” Album. Pow told us his impressions about the third tour in Africa of this summer “Stony Hill to Addis”. We talk also about his unreleased projects in co-production with Baby G as the one in collaboration with Sean Paul, out very soon. Young Pow Production supports a lot of new and middle generation’s jamaican artists as BUGLE, T.I.F.A., Swele, Xklusive and more. The mission of Young Pow’s label is to give an huge promotion to the young and worthy talents of the Island, especially from his area Saint Ann. “I’m proud to be a Jamaican. Orange Hill, Brown’s Town, Saint Ann… Yeah”, he said to our microphones. CHECK IT !

Interview : Eugenia Conti Editing : Shaban Sante Shira Jr II Shooting : Francesco Sciolti Venue : Postepay PARCO GONDAR