Kenyan-born, Australian-based artist, Elephant Wise, talks to NiceUp about his debut album, The Reasoning
and reggae works happening across the Tasman.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into reggae?
Well I’m a fifth generation coolie from Kenya and my mother is Swedish. In Kenya reggae music is a part of day-to-day life so it was just something that was around me from day one.
Later on in my teens I moved to Europe where I saw reggae music go from a small movement to absolutely exploding with tons of reggae sound-systems and festivals popping up everywhere.
It was around that time I started getting into the whole sound-system culture but it wasn’t until later on after moving to Australia in 2005 that I started working the mic and eventually becoming a reggae artist.
While Big Youth was in Aotearoa at Soundsplash 2006, he stated that “Reggae is a seed that we planted and now this tree is bearing fruit.” Here in the Pacific and specifically Aotearoa this fruit is bands like House Of Shem, Unity Pacific, Katchafire and Sweet & Irie to name a very few.
The album is cleverly named Localize It, a word play on Peter Tosh’s 1976 album Legalize It. In the same vein as Peter Tosh’s No Nuclear War album, Sweet & Irie sing the lyrics ‘sending French letters with reggae sounds,’ in tribute to Aotearoa’s own Herbs. This reference shows that the fruit never falls far from the tree. (more…)
Major Lazer is a red-beret wearing, microphone-ammo-belt sporting, rocket-powered hover-board riding Jamaican commando who lost his right forearm in a secret zombie war back in 1984.
His arm has since been replaced by a state of the art laser-gun and he is here, in the dancehall, to fight the never ending battle against mummies, pimps, zombies, vampires and all other evil types, so we may party safely…at least for tonight. I smell a comic/cartoon series, merch, ring tones, figurines, applications, adventure game etc.
As usual, Diplo does the expectedly unexpected. Teaming up once again with Switch after collaborating with M.I.A and Santagold, they hit Jamaica and into Tuff Gong Studios to work with some of J.A.’s hottest artist (as well as a couple of US female rappers, Amanda Blank and Mapei who truly hold their own alongside some heavyweights). And what can I say, just the idea of it, ya’ nu they’re gonna burn the spot like a laser copier, an’ make ya dancehall vibrate like a nokia. (more…)
Bradley Miller, aka Johnny Ringo, was one of many talented deejays to rise to prominence during the dancehall revolution that swept over Kingston’s sound systems in the early 80s. Ironically though (seeing as he took his name from a legendary outlaw from the old west) he was one of the only top-ranking deejays to emerge from the city’s east side.
Dancehall Legend, released on Musical Ambassador, is essentially a rehash of Ringo’s 1982 Cool Profile LP, which featured Ringo toasting over impeccable Roots Radics riddims largely sourced from the Edi Fitzroy’s classic Youthman Penitentiary. With riddims of this quality it’s hard to go wrong, and for the most part he doesn’t. (more…)
NiceUp talks to Auckland-based selector, producer and musician, Willi the Kid, about his latest project – The Solomonic Band.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your history in the NZ reggae scene?
I was born and raised in the heart of Grey Lynn, Auckland city. I started DJing at around the age of thirteen under the guidance of The Chaplin and Bass Steppa Sound who are also from Auckland. At around seventeen I started playing bass guitar for a group called The Midnights, Earthtone Rockers and also working on other one-off projects.
I really started getting into events when I was about nineteen or twenty with the bigger underground dances that were happening like the Base FM vs Fleet FM sound-clash. (more…)
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, JP Money is a versatile MC, promoter and producer.
In 1999 he and his business partners decided to try and develop and change the party scene in Jamaica by forming the Jamstar Entertainment Group which encompasses film, music production and concert promotion. Their aim was to give party-goers an experience rather than just a party. Through this they developed a brand called Stainless which grew not only into a concert but also a mix-CD produced by DJ Karim, a long-time friend and Jamstar franchise artist. (more…)