lunedì 5 novembre 2018

Shiraz Lane live @ Pato Klubi, Kouvola.

 - I have an ocean of memories 
reminding me what I used to feel.
Can't help but wonder
how everything could have been- 

On Saturday we got the chance to see again the wonderful Shiraz Lane. We had already seen them performing in Tuska Open Air during the summer, and it was LOVE.  After the RQLSummerTour ended I had only one thing in mind : do my best to see them performing again ; and then, here there is, a gig in Kouvola very close to here, and in a super cool location so why not going ?!
The location is Pato Klubi, which is situated into what looks like an old factory renovated as a event venue and art gallery. One more word about the venue : the crew working there was super nice and really made us feel welcome. 

It's about  8p.m., here are the guys coming from a door at the back of the room, some girls start whispering to their friends "here they are", "look !" , and..... here they are ready to make the people dance and sing for a good hour and half.  The nice thing  with Shiraz Lane music is that it gets you, and no matter what you had in mind, the second they get on stage, they are able to make you forget everything and just enjoy an hour of pure music, they have a strong energy and an even stronger way to interact with the audience.  This was their last gig as headliner since very soon they will be supporting the Swedish H.E.A.T. with One Desire around Europe.

Saturday was one of those night where you wish it'll never come to end.  
We are very happy to "host", Shiraz Lane here on our website, because it shines trough a lot, their determination and love for what they are doing. 

Keep up with the awesome work guys ! 

A bit before the gig we got the opportunity to have a chat with Hannes, the singer, so stay tuned because soon, VERY soon, we will share on all our medias the interview ;). 

sabato 6 ottobre 2018

"To the Foundation" new album for Forelock & Arawak -New release-

Finally the day we have all been waiting for what feels like an ice age has arrived  : Forelock & Arawak  second album ; produced by the one and only Paolo Baldini , “To the Foundation” is finally out !

Forelock & Paolo Baldini 
Photo by : Il marza

The album arrives signposted by the two singles “Roots and Culture” (released in march 2018)  and “Islander taking over” (may 2018) ; singles that have been the soundtrack to our summer while waiting for this masterpiece to be out in every digital stores.

The album features three Jamaicans artists : Luciano (in the “man next door”), Micah Shemaiah (in the “no tarry yah”) and the recently deceased Juba Lion (in the “deliverance will come”) ; singers with whom Forelock had a real connection and collaboration in the recents months. 

Forelock describes it with these words : “if Zero, the previous album released in 2015, was a way to announce the departure point of a musical team and the desire to break away from musical fashions, “To the Foundation” takes a strong stance on how music and its evolution proceeds to the present day. The call to get involved, to achieve something that goes beyond the packaging of a product, is the concept that will hopefully pass through this research into and discovery of the so-called Foundation” 

The role of Paolo Baldini was fundamental to generating a sonic environment where Awarak’s music, the lyrics and voice of Forelock and the sound of Dubfiles intersect under a single alchemy.

We have been listening the album track by track, personally I feel very attached to the track “Roots and Culture” but the whole album is something spectacular, 12 tracks of pure music. 

For sure “To the foundation” will be the sunburst soundtrack to our cold and dark winter.

lunedì 1 ottobre 2018

The skatalites live @ Tavastia 26.09.18 -Reportage + interview-

RQL summer tour might be over, but RQL never stops. 
The fall season of gigs was opened in the best way. 

Tavastia, Helsinki. 26.09.2018

After a few years, the legendary ska band from Jamaica the Skatalites came back to Finland with their awesome vibes and music. The night started around 20.00 with the Finnish reggae band the Domingoes, starting to get the people in the mood, but only when the Skatalites are on stage the the people really start to go crazy and getting 100% into the reggae/ska vibes.

As is usual since the begging of the band, the gig started with the band and the audience counting down from 10 to 1 and then shouting for freedom, its at the end of the word “freedom” that you can officially say “the gig has started”. The gig started with “freedom sound”, continuing with James Bond theme (which btw you should check out, because its spectacular), Guns of navarone, el pussycat and so on……. 

After a few tunes here it comes, the queen of ska is about to come up on stage, Im talking about mrs.  Doreen Shaffer , which is the only original member left and the member founding of the band back in the 1964. Her appearance on stage has really set everyone crazy. Her voice and attitude are simply amazing and genuine, the night went on with sugar, sugar , nice times and simmer down are few more tunes that ; kindly Brough us at the end of an evening that we will never forget. 
When the night arrived to an end they have played my favorite ever “Rock fort rock”, which from the crow going crazy I understood that I wasn’t the only one loving that song.

The nice thing about this band is that you can Cleary see the love and passion these musicians put into their music, they have been around for almost 55 years and I guess there is nothing better that seeing people still enjoying themselves to the maximum and seeing people from 0 to 99, living their better times accompanied with your music. 

In the end we also got to interview the keyboard player Ken, so you better keep reading ;) 


Hello ! First of all great show tonight !!

So this wasn’t your first time here in Finland, you are back after a few years ; how were the vibes and how did you find the people ? 

-It was fantastic, I have always loved Finland. Is one of my favorite countries in the world. One of the best times we ever had on the road was when we were playing at Ilosaari rock (back in 2005), we stayed in Joensuu, each one of us had a cabin on that lake ; if you go on google images you can find the photos we got on that lake ; they also took us on a boat ride, we went swimming…..
We have good friends here.
The 1st time we went to Russia we stopped here, we played at the “world village festival” and in Turku in a club with another band. Then we drove to ST. Petersburg and one of the funniest stories  is when we got to the boarder we encountered to a lot of troubles getting the Russian visa, when we got to the boarder which is in the middle of the woods, there was two guys about 20 years old, and all they wanted was our autographs, they didn’t even looked on the day on our passport, they didn’t even look at the page I swear. They we just “we want your autograph”. 

For how many years have you been in the Skatalites band ? 

-I have been in the band for 30 years now, not steadily, I took some long vacations, there has been some keyboard player instead of me in these 30 years but for 20 maybe closer to 25 it was me.  Im also the manager, that happened officially in 2000. When I first got in the band, they weren’t playing that much, everybody moved from Jamaica to USA to work, and I was like “man is a year that Im in the band and only 10 shows, let’s do something here “ so I helped them because I was American they were Jamaicans, elders Jamaicans so it wasn’t to easy for them, there is no record, no label, no support financially, we just said “we gotta do this” , actually Bunny Wailer was doing it in the states in 1989, I was in connection with the people that was putting out the tour, Bunny was very open to us being the support in a tour that was a financial disaster, but at least we got publicity from it. We did our very own tour in 1990, our first headline tour, it was the first Skatalites tour and it hasn’t stop since ; everybody loves it. Unfortunately we lost most of the original members. Lester Sterling is still alive, but he’s not playing with the band he’s pretty elder, he’s 82 now, still performing once in a while but not really doing this long tours like we do every month or so.  Doreen I don’t know how she dose it, sitting on the bus, traveling, riding 6-7 hours…. But she loves it. Everyone of the Skatalites has been performing until they have not been able, until they collapsed on the stage, our drummer  lloyd Knob, died two weeks after 14 shows in South America, that’s the way they wanna live ; people say “when are you gonna retire” , but what that means ? I seat home and do nothing ? Because if you are a musician , what are you gonna do ?  I mean you can hang out with your friends so much, but its boring you know ?

How do you think the reggae/ska scende changed through the years ?

Oh wow ! See that’s my other story. Because I watched personally watched the entire development, what’s known as 3rd wave ska scene, I watched happen. When I first got into reggae, in Boston there was a band called “Bim Ska Bim" , who had been seen playing in the head role of Alfonso in the second album. And that music was playing on the radio and every day I would hear advertisement for this band playing at this huge club in Boston, and I was like “what is this stuff ?” This is punk ska, I really didn’t understand because I grew up with 2 tone, I personally didn’t know know what Jamaican ska was, I didn’t even know it came from Jamaica, because I knew The English beat, a little bit of The Specials and not really anything else except for when Sting started doing crossover with reggae/rock ; The Police was always one of my favorite bands, Talking heads was one of my favorite bands, I love crossover, I’m not a purist, I love fusions, jazz/rock fusion was my big thing in the 70s. So when I heard the Skatalites I was like “what is this”. People said “oh you gotta go see them, its ska like the English beat”, I loved the English beat so I went to see them, the show was cancelled because of snow and was reschedule, so they finally started play advertisement on the radio, it wasn’t not even builded as the Skatalites, when they played the record they said “Rolando & Alphonso and his orchestra” and then they cut the track and it was James Bond, I heard the scratches and I was like “wait a minute this is 1988 what’s going on with the vinyl so I figured “this band must be old”. So when I went to see them I wasn’t surprised to see these little judge hairy, with this grey beard, skanking away, sitting down already ; he was 60 so was sitting on a chair playing and all guys had grey hair and it was just amazing to me ; I though immediately on a band called “Crusaders” because they played a “Crusaders” tune, it was the old early 60s jazz. I was like this is David Bromberg went reggae here, so that was it for me. I said to someone in the audience “dude if I could be in any band this is the band for me”.
My dad was a jazz tuba player and I grew up with traditional jazz, so when I heard the skatalites I was like… very cool stuff to me.

What is music for you ? 

-Pretty much joy, I feel like I get payed to ride around in a bus, deal with the bureaucracy, airlines and travel situations and then finally they let us have fun and bring joy to the people. You know in these times its nice to see people really enjoying themselves to the fullest, tonight was just amazing. I was so hoping people would come . Because we didn’t know who was gonna come, we haven’t been in Finland we don’t ever remember how long, I think it has been something like 10 years. 
The whole music, especially near the world economy crash in 2008, the whole scene changed ; the computer has taken over everything with digital downloads, and this and that ; and we are not so current with music video and all these kind of stuff, we have a bazillion of youtube live that people and organizations make but we didn’t put  energy and money into making music video, people complain about this stuff but we have been around for 55 years, you can’t say that. We have a little problems in stay current but we do our best, our Facebook is pretty good we try to keep it real, the music is definitely kept real, thetas what most people care about, the people that like our kind of music. You know our age range is from 7 to 97, and people dance they move some parts of their body when they hear the music and that’s what is all about, we get our energy reciprocal . We make them dance and liveliess makes us playing better and more lively and just like that. 

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 !!!