venerdì 21 settembre 2018

Interview with Groundation -Rototom 2018-

During the RQL SummerTour we got the chance to interview and meet many artists. Each of them left us feeling extremely good, happy but most important with a piece more to add to our cultural luggage. Life is a journey where we never stop learning. 

Today in the occasion of the release of their new album "The next generation", available in every digital store and available on a physical copy on their website (here). We are happy to host here on our website the amazing Harrison Stafford from Groundation, with whom we got the pleasure to have a short but awesome interview right after their show in Rototom Sunsplash. We hope you will enjoying reading it, as much as we enjoyed recording it ;).

Hi ! We never had the pleasure to meet before, would you like to introduce yourself to our listeners ?

-Sure ! My name is Harrison Stafford, singer of Groundation. Groundations is a group which has been around for 20 years. We have done about 9 albums and its roots reggae like Burning Spear, Bob Marley but it's a fusion with jazz, polyrhythmic harmonic movements ; well its a roots reggae - jazz fusion

What did inspire you to make this fusion ?

-It's a part of me. Growing up my father was a piano player a jazz piano player, my grand father played saxophone. So Miles Davis and Charlie Parker were the music I grow up with, since I was a baby. And roots reggae from my older brother. I was maybe 9 years old when I listened to Bob Marley and Burning Spear. The vibrations culture. Roots reggae was "my" music and jazz was my father's. I started playing jazz when I was a teen-ager, like 15 or 16. Reggae is my beginning.

So music is something that is in your family, because basically everyone plays, but what is music for you ?

-Music is life. Music is the original language you know. Before there was crying and drumming in the wilderness and that was how we communicated. So music to me is a fundamental. Everybody knows earth, from its iron core has a vibration, the universe has a vibration. Every human being who is living has a beating heart, has a vibration. So music is life. If you surround the world with positive music energy would be positive and people would be positive and healthy and strong. If you surround the world with negative music, there will be negative people and they are gonna be sick. 

Was this your first time in Rototom Sunsplash ?

-No, We have been around many times. The first time was 18 hours drive from West France and we arrived just in time to go on stage, quickly and it was raining. It was in Osoppo Italy. Long time ago 2005. So that was our first time. Since then we played six times. 

Did you find any differences between the first time and today ?

-Not in the public, in the people. Reggae music brings a certain person. Open minded, seeking, hopeful, joyful. So wether your are in Italy or Spain we are all brothers.

We know you have been working on a new album (which btw was released today !!) that will be released soon. What it is about and what did inspired you to make this album ?

-The next generation. Which is very close to my heart. I have three children, so in my life the next generation is very important, I see it everyday. As we get older we begin to look and see what it is we're passing to our children. We find this world is not a good place, so we need to pass on tools who's gonna make them strong, make them overcome obstacles and give them strength for difficulties to handle them. So the inspiration for the next generation, this album, was there in my life. And its coming from the previous Groundation. The previous album is called "Miracle" and its about the female, the empress, the mother of creation and from male and female is the child, the next generation.

lunedì 3 settembre 2018

Project Open Arms, #ReggaeCanHelp + Interview with Ras Kuko

For the thousands of men, women and children who brave the sea often to escape war, always in search of a better life, the difference between death and survival is sometimes only a rescue boat from charities like “Proactiva Open Arms”. Forced exodus, the struggle for each person to live in dignity, and the fight against oppression are all cornerstones of Reggae philosophy. 
This new project aims to support the volunteers of Proactive Open Arms to continue saving lives”

The new album “Open arms project - Reggae can help” is the work of the Spanish musician from Madrid, Ras Kuko ; who moved by the work of the NGO “Proactiva Open Arms” decided to join forces with artists from different parts of the world to create this record. In addition to give more visibility to the work that Open Arms makes with its rescue ships, the album will also be used to raise founds that will directly contribute to the mission this organization.

We had the chance to hear about this wonderful project during a seminar in the Rototom Sunsplash’s social forum, and also got to have a short talk with Ras Kuko in person before his performance. 

“Hi Ras Kuko, first of all are you ready for the show tonight ? 

-I’m always ready, because I love the music. What I really love about music is this : playing live. All the studio work, the rehearsals has one aim : to share the music with the public live.

Would you like to tell us something about the album “Open arms project”, whom profits will go to Proactiva Open Arms ?

-I just released my own album, but I wanted to do something else.I decided to involve other artists from Jamaica, Italy and Spain. To make it really an international effort to help Open Arms. I only involved artists who really wanted to be in this project, who wanted to do it with the heart and not because they “had to”

Which artists can we find in the album ? 

“We are fighting against a global problem affecting many people from various countries, for this reason, “Open Arms Project - Reggae Can help” was realized in collaboration with artists from all over the world.”

We can find  Warrior King, Skarra Mucci, Summerr and Ras Takura, Ras Kuko, Emeterians, Lasai & Yeyo Pèrez ,Little pepe & Malaka Youth ,Ras Tewelde and Raphael , Quino, Big Mountain, Apache & Mr Dalias and Idren Artstrong.

All the artists said “Yes” right away
We have two ridden, one is roots and spiritual riddim and this one was the first one. But this one was just for the singer. So I did one more riddim.  Ocean riddim & Open arms riddim and we will play this tonight with the band and many wonderful guests. 
All the internet rights will go to the Open Arms association. So downloading the album or even one song, is a way to help not the Open Arms people but the people who need their help. “

Open Arms Project - Reggae can help, is available on all digital platforms. All the proceeds from this project will be donated to Proactiva Open Arms. 
You can find the album in these platforms : I-tunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon music.

"A  person alone can’t do much, but all together we can change the world” 

giovedì 30 agosto 2018

Meet Paul Moldovan, the romanian dancer dreaming LA -Interview-

So here we are with a new interview for you !

Today we have the pleasure to introduce you to this fantastic dancer and choreographer  from Romania, currently living and working in China and dreaming of LA. 

Enjoy the interview ! 

We still didn't had the pleasure to meet you. Would you like to introduce yourself to our listeners ?

Hello there. My name is Paul Moldovan, I’m a 26 years old dancer from Romania who decided to turn his hobby into a profession and this was actually the best decision of his life.
Dancing took me in almost every corner of the world. From all around Europe to USA, China and even Middle East.
I danced for a lot of Romanian Singers and almost all the big TV productions, such as “The Voice of Romania”, “X Factor” etc. Worked with brands such as Chio Chips, Coca Cola, Martell. And even had the luck to dance and choreograph at some point for international singers. 

How did you started dancing and what is dance for you ?

Before dancing I used to play basketball in my small town local team. I was the captain of the under 18 years old team. But at some point I turned out 18, so theoretically I wasn’t able to play there any longer, which came for me as a blessing because anyway, deep inside my heart, I didn’t want to do that anymore. So I finally had the guts to try out some street dance classes. I always liked watching tv shows about dance or dance movies such as “step up” “you got served” but I never had the courage to try going to dance classes until I quit playing basketball. 

Dance for me is my mentor. It guided me through life since I was 18. After I found it, I don’t really remember having lots of moments when I fell lost, I knew that whatever situation I had in my life, good or bad, I could rely on dancing to express and release my feelings. And at some point it became also my profession, the good partner who helped me getting an income without having to spend the regular 9 to 5 in an office, and the partner who made me feel blissful at every new achievement, collaboration, project I had until now.

You have been a dancer for Faydee, tell us something about that experience ?

It was January 2017. I recently finished dancing in the X Factor 2016 season and also recently came back from Los Angeles where I spent 5 months. I got a call from Rares, the other dancer who performed for Faydee telling me that the team is looking for a new dancer and Faydee liked me based on my videos and my activity. So I started my journey with Faydee team, first concert being in Dubai. I just couldn’t believe what was happening at that moment. That was just the beginning. Soon I started traveling all sorts of countries in his World Tour, having the chance to see and explore amazing places, and perform in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans of him. This period of time I also had the chance to choreograph some of his songs like “What is love”, “On my Way”, “More” and his Media Music Awards 2017’s show in Romania. Beside the professional relationship between us, it was also a nice friendship, having fun with nonsense topics or really deep conversations. Even if it’s almost one year since I start working in China and stopped my activity in his team, we still keep in touch. 

Which is the best memory you have as a dancer ? 

There are lots of good memories. Almost every moment is really special in its own way. But I definitely remember when after only one year of dance I won a national street dance championship with my own dance team, or when I was on stage for the first time with a singer which happened to be the retro legend Snap! for whom I also did the choreography at Transilvania Music Event 2014. When I passed the audition for The Voice of Romania after only 3 months after I moved to Bucharest and really started dancing as a profession, was also an unforgettable moment, or the first concert with Faydee in Dubai. 

What are your plans for the future ?

My plans for the future are to move to my dream city, Los Angeles and step up my career even forward by dancing for the biggest singers of the world in their tours. I don’t have the exact details of my future plans, I’m growing as a person everyday, learning new and different things, so I really want to give life some space to surprise me. 

It was a pleasure to meet Paul, and know more about his works. Keep up the great work and we really wish your dreams will come true ! 

lunedì 27 agosto 2018

Rototom Sunsplash 2018 -Last days-

Rototom Sunsplash was the lat stop of the RQL SummerTour. We can’t say that the “depression post festival” didn’t hit us, cause we will be lying. 

The 25th edition of the festival that gather over 200.000 people from over 60 countries from all over the world was simply the best way to end our tour. Even tho it was only our second time in Rototom this one has been the best one, and we will keep the memories from this edition till the end.  Everything was simply great and everyone was so nice from the security to the staff, from the stage technicians to the artists. 

The last two nights have been filled with love, dance, and a fantastic line up. 

Night 6 started with the Spanish Green Valley, and there couldn’t have been a better way to start the day, the band itself is a hit of positivity, sending out messages of love and happiness.
Followed by the Italian wave made with one of the  biggest Italian reggae artists Africa Unite & Train to Roots featuring Nina Zilli, Raiz, Michela Grena & Giuliano Palma. Useless to say that they really got the audience crazy, there wasn’t a single person not dancing during their set. 
The Italian Reggae All Stars were followed by the great one and only Mellow Mood.

The very last night there was the usual parade that ended up in front of the main stage, where a huge heart was drawn on the ground and where everyone got into, to show that we are ONE LOVE.  While on the main stage we had names such as The Mighty Diamons, Konshens & Dub Akon, Tarrus Riley ft Dean Fraser & Black Soil Band, Orishas. The bands that kept us dancing till the last seconds of this editions were again Train to Roots followed by Villa Ada Posse that kept singing till the sunrise. 

Seeing the sunrise coming over Rototom and the people starting to pack everything and leaving has been pretty melancholic. Because that sunrise meant that the festival was over. That everyone would go back to its “normal life”, but I’m pretty sure everyone of us went back home a little bit different  and with something more than when we arrived to the festival, for sure we are going back home with a huge bag of amazing memories. 

“25 years ago 4 kids, three students and a bakery, had a dream, a small project that 25 years after became a global event. If you have a dream believe in it, go for it and you will succed” This is one of the sentence Filippo Giunta (one of the 4 founders of the festival) said during his  wonderful speech after the last gig on the main stage. 
Below is the link to the speech video, I suggest to you all to give it a look and a listen, because you will get the chance to know better what Rototom really is. Rototom is LOVE. Rototom is a place where there is no discrimination, where every one in welcome, and everyone is treated the same regardless their nationality, their religion or sexual orientation, Rototom. Is that place the even tho is only a week a year you can feel home ! 
As a media we couldn’t be prouder to support and promote all year long this festival, that is more than just a festival ! 

Rototom see you next year !!!

sabato 25 agosto 2018

Rototom Sunsplash 2018 - Day 5-

In its 25th years of activity, one of the main feature of Rototom has been spreading love.  Love trough music, love in welcoming any kind of guests from older to younger, with all kind of different abilities. Love thrugh respecting nature.
This year Rototom decided to show love throwing an helping hand to Proactive Open Arms.
So far in 2018 more than 1500 people lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea, many of which were children, many of which were parents.

The NGO working between Lybia and Italy have it worse, being both countries committed in the inhuman behaviors of blocking NGO boats, closing their harbors and denouncing NGO volunteer workers. 

Rototom people gathered in the social forum to listen to Leticia Cabo Lozano, Manuel Blanco, Ivan Prado, Miquel Ramos and their brave and heartbreaking stories, to say NO to all this, to show that this year motto "walking together" is real and it means that we are marching together along with our most unfortunate brothers and sisters on the way to a better world. And to give a real support to Open Arms, all the proceeds obtained through the system of reusable cups has been destined this year to the humanitarian rescue vessel (to read more check this POST

In the end the amazing Ras Kuko presented his project Open Arms Riddim, project dedicated to raise founds for the NGO Open Arms. 
As radio we also had the chance to talk with Ras Kuko, before his powerful show on the Lion stage, so stay tuned to read the interview in the next days. 

A few musical highlights from day 5 night ; after Ras Kuko we had the chance to see Zion Train performing on the Lion stage as well, for their 30th years anniversary concerts. The incredible dub band from UK featuring the Italian Dub master Paolo Baldini, Raiz, Dubdadda, Paolo Polcari & Nish Wadada (which we got to interview after the show, so stay tuned ;). The show was an explosion of energy, love and fun.

A rush on the main stage area allowed us to see two more gems performing, Protoje and Alborosie two icons of the Red Gold Green movement. 

mercoledì 22 agosto 2018

Rototom Sunsplash 2018 - day 3 & 4 -

Rototom Sunsplash is an ever moving, ever dancing collective being. Thousends of cells, the Rototom people, breath together and make it alive year after year, now for 25 times. It seems there's no rest for the red gold green people. But ... but if you make an effort to have a walk in camping site around 8:00 am, when the die hard have finally returned from the last happenings in the festival area, you will enjoy an unbelieveble silence, broken only by some very small kid chatting. The peace after the storm.
Day 3 and 4 have been full of interesting things and musical guests. Just to mention a few highlights:  the Skatalites, energy and pure ska-fun who lighted up the night on the main-stage area, with people crazily dancing on and off stage; Tiken Jah Fakoly and Jah Shaka on the 18th ; Kabaka Pyramid, Andrew Tosh with the Peter Tosh tribute band, Skarra Mucci on 19th . And workshops, art, children at play and circus and delicious food. If Rototom Sunsplash didn't exist, we sure had to invent it ...

domenica 19 agosto 2018

Interview with Paolo Baldini -Overjam 2018-

A few weeks back during Overjam reggae festival we got the chance to interview a the Italian Dub Master Paolo Baldini, who will perform also in Rototom Sunsplash tomorrow 20th of august on the Lion stage with Zion Train. 

Enjoy the interview ! 

Hello Paolo, 
We never has the chance to meet before. Would you like to introduce yourself for our listeners ? 

-Im Paolo Baldini, Dubfiles, I’m producer for Tempesta Dub, which is an indipended label whithin “La Tempesta” records. Im also a producer for Mellow Mood, Awarak & Forelock and for 3 allegri ragazzi morti. I have a background as regga musician as I played with B.R. Stylers  at the beginning and then for almost 10 years with Africa Unite, and here Iam now.

How did the love for music start ? 

-Well, at the beginning of 90’s I started to get close to music. At the time, for a young kid, musicians were very strong models. So many kids got started with a guitar, a drum….. This was how I started to neglect my studies and concentrate on music and at mid 90ìs I got hit by reggae. 
At the beginning it seduced me in its more psychedelic form ; dub, English dub…. The first reggae show I went were Zion Train at the beginning go the 90’s, so I walked a long path so far. I got acquainted to roots reggae and Bob Marley only later.  Dub sound was the most seducing part for me.

You talked about Zion Train, you will be at Rototom with them. How that feels ? 

-Im really happy. Zion Train have been how it all began, way before really understanding all the point of traditional reggae movement. When you approach the sound system culture, especially the English one, you enter in a certain “flow”. Instead I was just a Zion Train fan. I didn’t know anything else. I used to buy their records and they were for me just my icon. They have been so important for me, I started to play bass guitar trying to emulate their lines. 

I can image the feeling then. What would the kid you once were feels about this ? 

-That kid would probably fall in love with himself at the idea of such thing.

When you started, did you think to get to the point of playing with your favorite band from childhood, to produce big names and all this ? 

-I didn’t expected this, but I imagined this all the time.  Because dreaming, or imagining happy things coming, is the right way. Of course is up to you to keep up with the delusions and the satisfactions to be faithful to your vision. I was quite lucky, but also very determined. 

Yesterday (during Overjam festival) you performed and on the dub stage. Was this your first time here at Overjam ? 

-No it wasn’t. I played here already at the time of Riversplash. But it was the first time with the Dubfiles Project.

How were the vibes ?

-It has been beautiful, as I come from months of touring with Mellow Mood. I had the time to do Dub files and every time is a great feeling. 

We heard from the Overjam University, that you just finished the dub version of “Large” . How’s the feeling ? 

-Well it’s exciting. When you produce an album, you always think to the potential dub version in post production. Very often, while mixing an album I naturally set aside something for the possible dub version. 

What projects do you have for the future ? 

-Im working on Forelock new album, which will be a wonderful piece, a lot of energy around it. So I have very high expectations. I’m very happy and it will be done in the next weeks. It will be out in the autumn. And of course Im also working on a few things for my Dub Files project.