Weareriddim interview RAS JAMMY AND ADDIS PABLO PRESENTS SUNS OF DUB…
There’s a rumbling sound coming out of Jamaica that is a little bit of old and a little bit of new, a bit of borrowed and most certainly true. Ras Jammy left his home land, the most southerly island in the Caribbean island chain, Trinidad, four years ago to embark on a musical journey.
He landed in Jamaica and his 4/4-time heartbeat took his feet to Augustus Pablo’s legendary Rockers International record shop in Kingston. He spoke exclusively to Riddim Radio about his walk and today we present the first half of that interview…
RR: How did you become interested in music?
RasJammy: My interest in music came naturally. I had at first an interest in how it makes you feel, you know?
I naturally had an interest in what can be done within the realms of music.
It started with reggae for me with a lot of music being played at home while I was growing up.
RR: What kind of music would you listen to growing up?
RasJammy: My parents would listen to various types of music. My mom would listen to Tracy Chapman, lots of calypso, a real variety. My uncle and aunt would listen to a lot of reggae.
But I was always interested in different genres because my mom listened to so many different things. I have always been interested in everything.
It all solidified with reggae and dub though because of the connection to rastafari.
I wanted to be involved in creating music somehow.
RR: Where did you grow up in Trinidad?
RR: Why did you choose Jamaica?
RasJammy: Just from following the culture of reggae, dancehall and dub music I developed a passion for it and I just immersed myself in it. Reading about it, listening to it, watching videos and documentaries. I thought Jamaica was the best place to start to make things manifest.
RR: What took you into making music?
RasJammy: I took the initiative. Four years ago I decided to go to Jamaica…for music and as a rasta.
I applied to UWI and I was there for three years but I have to admit that my focus was not really on school but on music.
Before that I more or less focused on my other company TriniYard International. We do a party called SunDance every May. I do a lot of marketing and promotion for artistes, and I started doing some producing in Jamaica.
RR: How did you get into production?
RasJammy: I taught myself and Addis (musician, producer and son of legendary roots reggae and dub producer and musician Augustus Pablo) would guide me here and there.
Addis and I just came across each other on the internet, on Facebook. We reasoned once and then I went to Jamaica.
I messaged him to tell him I was coming to Jamaica and that was it. We never really planned to link-up or anything.
One day, I went down to the Rockers International record shop in Kingston. That was Augustus Pablo’s shop from the 70s and right now it is the last record shop from that time still standing in Kingston with that essence of how it was in the 70s.
Addis was there and we ended up reasoning and made plans to meet again.
A month went by and when we finally met again he played me some sounds on his laptop and we chose one to work on that same day. Everything kinda happened instantaniously.
And that was the first thing we released. We released it in 2011. It was called “For the Love of Jah”.
So that first riddim featured all those voices: Ginjah, Bobo Kush, Kamray, through TriniYard I had links to other artists like Norris Man, Jah Bami, Khari Kill. Jah Bami is part of Suns of Dub right now.
We focused more on digitally crafted riddims because that’s what we have the capacity for right now. We firmly believe that live music is the essence of the sound.
At the same time we’re working with the Rockers International catalogue and we’ve started to refresh some of the catalogue.
So we have that live stuff already, that Augustus Pablo created in his time and we really give thanks for that.
RR: Why do you think it is important to keep that bridge…
RasJammy: It is not so much about the bridge as it is that real reggae music is live music. Dub has grown so much that it has its own subculture. Every genre has a certain sound and you can really differentiate it, even the producers have a certain sound, King Tubby has a sound, Augustus Pablo has a sound, King Jammy would have a certain sound, so you have a way of identifying it with the live elements.
There are more digital elements within the dub sound now and dub has also found its way in trap and dubstep as foundation elements. It’s just a matter of the evolution of things.
RR: We were listening to the Major Lazer & Walshy Fire mixed tape. How did that come together?
RasJammy: In Jamaica, there is Kingston Dub Club. I was there and Addis was in New Jersey.
Walshy was there, I think he had had a gig at UWI the day before. Early last year I reached out to him and sent him some of our stuff on SoundCloud.
I just approached him.
Instantly he knew who I was. He told me had listened to the material and was interested in the music.
Looking back I think even the place that we met was significant.
He said he was leaving in the next three days and he would like to meet.
I called Addis and he got a plane ticket and came down the next day.
We linked up with Kali P, a mutual friend of ours. We all linked at Kali P’s studio and just hold a vibes and we just said: let’s play some of the things we have. And after a few tracks he was blown away.
He said our music is needed, it needs to be heard, so he would like to work with us on whatever level he could and that was the best way to do it.
Subsequently we sent all of our stuff over, more than 100 songs.
So the 31 songs you see on the mixed tape, that is just a tip.
The mixed tape is like a preview of what we have to offer as Suns of Dub.
The ironic thing is because of how Major Lazer and Walshy, Jillionaire and Diplo have all enjoyed so much rising success and we did our first European tour everybody got busy right after. It took about six months. It was very hectic.
It was a real joy to do. We just thought, let’s not try to rush it. Let’s just get it right.
What was really good is the link comes out of friendship too, it isn’t all about business.
Included among the 31 tracks on the Official Suns of Dub Mixtape are interviews with Ras Jammy and Addis Pablo.
Words: Tracy Assing http://weareriddim.com/ras-jammy-and-addis-pablo-presents-suns-of-dub-2