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Is D.R.E.D.Z. the Next Generation of Jamaican Dub Poets? Learn 7 things about them

In September, upcoming Dub Poets & reggae band, D.R.E.D.Z.  was among the featured artistes on the Youth Stars segment of Youth Talk on ROOTS 96.1FM.  These three young men- Kadane Cespedes, Rashiem Shepherd and Oraine Meikle have been engaging with the creative arts industry in Jamaica independently for several years. But in college, they decided to combine lyrical and musical talents to form- DREDZ. The name D.R.E.D.Z.stands for Drums, Rhythm, Expression, Dynamic, Zeal – D.R.E.D.Z.
(From L-R- Kadane Cespedes, Rashiem Shepherd and Oraine Meikle)

(From L-R- Kadane Cespedes, Rashiem Shepherd and Oraine Meikle)

The DREDZ philosophy is, Live Love Life, Each one Teach one. Here is our conversation with DREDZ.

Where did the name “DREDZ” come from?
Originally, it was put together by batch mates of Rashiem during our time at Excelsior Community College. At the time Cespedes and Meikle were in high school and we had to find a name that would capture everything.  We were planning to enter JCDC and had to have a name so this is where the acronym was derived from and this acronym still holds its meaning.

Describe your art.
It’s a way of life. More like a learning and teaching experience. In our art we speak about everyday issues happening in society. This has a free flow to it and the positive energy is transmitted through our art form by spreading love and upliftment.

What makes DREDZ different from other dub poets?
We operate more like a family and there is unity among us. We don’t just do dub poetry, the name suggests that we live it – Drums, Rhythm, Expression, Dynamic Zeal. So when we perform we take on the role of the character and put our whole selves in it so that the energy is felt.

In this country we don’t really have dub poets doing gospel…..DREDZ do! You don’t have a lot of Dub poets who are versatile in their approach and delivery of the style of poetry….but DREDZ is dynamic. DREDZ is out of the box in our approach… Just take a look at the hand, which finger stands out? The big finger. So we’re” big fingerish” in everything.

What inspires your art?
Life inspires our art form… Apart from Sheldon and Keith Shepherd as well as Nomaddz, life is the key element to our art form.

How long have you been participating in JCDC competition?
We’ve been in JCDC for about 7 years as a group but individually everybody has been entering for a longer time.

What are some social issues covered in your dub poetry?
Remember life inspires our art form so as many social issues that are within life, we cover. From politricks to poverty to crime to police brutality and the list goes on

Which piece is your most popular and why?
Irie, because people gravitate to the message and love the fact that it a big up Jamaica.
Secondly. Superdubbers as it introduces DREDZ to the world as superheroes doing dub poetry…
Also, House fi live Inna is another favourite for the people as they will always be able to relate to the rent house situation and also the fact that it has that jamming vibe.

And jam we did! Thanks for sharing with us!

D.R.E.D.Z. performed House fi Live Inna. Listen to their full radio performance. on ROOTS 96.1FM- Youth Stars feature in September 2015.

Follow DREDZ on Instagram

Join the Facebook group DREDZ

 About Youth Stars on ROOTS 96.1 FM: 

Youth Stars is a 10-minute feature programme aired on Jamaica’s number one community radio station, ROOTS FM. The feature airs every other Monday at 5:45-5:55pm during Youth Talk. Youth Stars aims to provide greater exposure to young Jamaicans with true artistic talent who desperately want their music to reach a wider audience but do not have the means to get it done.

If you want to be featured on Youth Stars contact us at (876) 366-0874 or email [email protected].

Listen to ROOTS 96.1FM online

 

About the author

Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt

Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt is a journalist who practises her craft everyday. Ashleigh-Ann loves to tell stories, human interest stories or stories of the heart. She hopes that by sharing these stories, she is ultimately helping persons to lead better lives. Check out her other stories on her blog, http://livewellja.com/