New international interview! We have the oportunity to interview the jamaican artist October Reign. Musician and member of Rootz Underground. October is also a great singer, and present a brand new reggae album by himself.
Nueva entrevista internacional! Hemos tenido la oportunidad de entrevistar al artista jamaiquino October Reign. Músico y miembro de los Rootz Underground. October es a su vez un gran cantante y cuenta con un nuevo álbum de reggae solista.
1) What are your feelings about your 2016?
This year, 2016 has been great. I decided to make it great deliberately, because I knew what I wanted. I was able to work and produce music, which is always good.
2) Can you tell us something about your debut solo album Soapbox Empire: Generation? We loved it!!!
Give thanks! Soapbox Empire: Generation is the first of a trilogy album. The concept is based on life’s simplicities, which is everything. We have been taught to pay attention to the life’s difficulties. My intention is to let this first album create the second and the second create the third. I am just following the energy as it guides me. I have an idea what the other two albums will be, but it is not definitive. It will be based on the energetic relationships of each album. The Soapbox Empire trilogy has been a part of my life. Everything I have learnt and experienced is in the music. It is living and breathing. It is life itself happening in real time as long as my consciousness remains intact; it is who I am and who I am becoming. On a musical level it is a mix of genres and musical ideas. As a producer I had to gauge the musical extremes and in betweens and create something from a neutral perspective. The music was created from outside the proverbial box, looking in.
3) One of our favorite songs that we play on the radio is "Legally". The song has a powerful message. What are your thoughts about the legalization?
I like the momentum that “Legally” is getting. Give thanks. Legalization of marijuana has been a long time coming. But we have to be careful, because those in power have tricks up their sleeves. They stay on power by using’ isms’ and ‘schisms’ as Bob Marley said. The marijuana industry is the next big frontier, the new wild, Wild West. Inevitably, I think small farmers will be squeezed out in the long run to make way for the big industry. In terms of recreational use, I am all for it. Jamaica is a far way from full legalization, but it has been decriminalized. Carrying up to two ounces is allowed, ‘Legally’ is a cautionary expression. Where marijuana is legal, it will be heavily taxed. People will never stop smoking marijuana. They will loosen up the reigns but on the other side are heavy taxes and regulations.
4) How was the connection with the legend Dean Fraser?
Dean Fraser and I worked together in Jah Messenger band with Luciano, and since then we have been friends. I even lived at his house for a period of time. Our relationship developed in the studio and on tour. When he went to work with Taurrus Riley, I followed him for a few months. Over the years we have maintained a good friendship. Anything I ask of him he does and vice versa.
5) Do you know something about the South American reggae music?
Yes! I do know Cultura Profética, Soja and Natty Vibes are leading the way. I am aware of the local reggae scene and it is vibrant. Good vibes.
6) Can you tell us about the actual reggae scene in Jamaica that do you like?
The younger generation has found a way to captivate the world again with the reggae revival movement. For me, reggae was never dead, it was just consumed differently. Real reggae lovers were starving for new material. There was this myth that there was no demand for reggae, so there really wasn’t any good music on the radio. Reggae is now back in Jamaica on a bigger scale. We were making music, but it wasn’t consumed here. Bands and artistes would make music here, then go abroad and tour. Now, there are reggae shows and concerts and festivals in Jamaica and we love that.
7) What represent ROOTZ UNDERGROUND for OCTOBER REIGN after all of these years?
Rootz Underground was a great learning experience. We spent over 12 years together as a band. I have always treasured my time with Rootz. The members are my brothers and we are still close friends. They fully support October Reign. I invited them to my album launch in Kingston. We played ‘Wordsmith’ and it was good having my brothers bless me up on stage on that special night. October Reign is my main focus right now and will be for a very long time.
7) You also toured with amazing artists like Luciano, Beres Hammond and Buju Banton. What are your feelings about these legends?
I did a few shows with Beres Hammond while working with Buju Banton under Penthouse. His performances always light up the stage.
Buju was an amazing artist to work with, we were very close in age, but his street smarts were beyond his years. His knowledge of life and the world was poignant. His experience in the ghetto contrasted to my experience growing up in rural Jamaica. He saw a lot of things I didn’t see. My life was the beach and bush. He had more life experience and I admired how he translated that into music.
Luciano is a great human being, good heart, gentle and kind. We share the same birthday, October 20. He is the kind of guy who welcomes every idea. Very good for your ego. He goes off and processes everything then comes back to you. If there is something he doesn’t like, he won’t hesitate to tell you. He is very intelligent and he chooses his words carefully. He is direct, but kind in a criticism.
8) What are your 2017 planning?
I try not to use the word “plan,” to me it is like disconnecting yourself from the possibilities. We are creating our future and we don’t want to disconnect from energy. When you plan it is more of a linear path. Thinking linearly could possibly cause you to miss those opportunities that can help you. In creating, you have to open yourself to possibilities and read the signs. In 2017, with all the possibilities that are coming my way, I will use them to create a mix tape and a studio album and possibly some tours. I am comfortable creating, until the people demand to see me. I am content with making great music and observing people enjoying it.