Jamaican Music Music Interviews

Reggae Interview Series: Reggae Music In Geneva, Switzerland

Written by Xavier Murphy

Asher Selector is one of the pioneers of reggae-music in Switzerland. Since the early 1990’s he has organized reggae related events in Geneva. He currently has a successful online reggae radio show called Raspect Radio. Below is a recent interview we conducted with Asher.

Question: What is the reggae scene like there?

in switzerland and specialy in the city of ” geneva ” where I from because switzerland have 3 official language and part in one love ……….. the reggae scene and I start around 75′ with BOB MARLEY muzik than come
dillinger / third world / peter tosh / linton kwesi johnson ( poertry ) …………. and from them time it don’t stop to grow ……………………. but is from around early 90′ that it realy start to come bigga and bigga with some big festival & show ……………………. and right now from the 2000 you have new sound system or selecta everyweek and dat is all over europe ……….. last week 4 december 2004′ it was the first swiss champion sound with 6 sound in
action ……… so I would say yes it grow every day more and more but the problem is nuff youth around here don’t care about the lyricks or don’t overstand it so dem promote nuff slackness / violence and nuff lyricks who
dis the ladies dem ……………….. so we show dem to the maximum the positivity of the muzik with our sound system ” POSITIVE AIRLINE SOUND ” and is 100% counciouss lyricks we promote with our sound or raspect radio http://www.live365.com/stations/raspectradio ……….. blesssss ……

Question: How about the ska scene?

same things around here you have a big scene of ska lover’s but is more all style of ska …………… from the skatalites / prince buster to the hardcore ska ” ska punk ” …………. and you have people who love only
the old ska jam style ………. but every year you have a few ska festival and specialy one who is very full full every year is ” ska against racisism ” ……………………. but inna the dance when you pull up some ska
oldies the crowd always get mad for it !!!

Question: What first drew your attention to Reggae?

ahhhhhhhhhhh very good question …….. for tell you the truth the love of the muzik with bob marley around 75′ and in dem time I don’t overstand nothing about the lyricks just the vibes / the power / the feeling / the emotion / the soul of it I use tu feel it very much …………. and litle by litle more and more ………………… I use to listen
third world / dillinger / u-roy / tappa zukie / Prince ” stone ” Alla / bob marley from first things on the morning and I use to go sleep with the cassette ( tape ) on …………….. and than I discover steel pulse / aswad / black slate
the uk roots scene of the early’s 80′ biiigggggggg ……….. but you know here in europe the life is so materiel and no time for a litle spirituality dat when reggae muzik touch us it go straight to InI soul and heart …………. love ……..

Question: What was the first Reggae song you ever heard?

oula la la la …………… sorry is to long for me to remember !!!

Question: Who and what are your influences?

muzikaly as a selector I would say dat my favorite dance use to be JAH LOVE MUZIK in jamaica around 83′ / 86′ and I use to go nuff a dem dance because the spirituality of GOD is there inna di dance with the muzik / message and the crowd ………………. yes definitly JAH LOVE MUZIK from day one ……but I have to say dat ” YOUTHMAN PROMOTION ” was is my favorite one also from the 80’……… and the eary killermanjaro / volcano
………….. Now I have to give a big big chant out & big up & raspect & Irie love to the HIGH TIMES shop in kingston mall and specialy the selecta from it Mr delroy ” Issachar ” bailey for all the big RASTAFARI strenght I
get deh so !!! LARGE UP !!! and Mr ” congo ashaty roy ” from the congos heartikal love ……………..

Question: What style of reggae is played often in your country? [Dancehall, Lovers Rock, Conscious etc.] What style do the majority of fans seem to prefer?

here is all style inna di dance and the roots rasta reggae foundation’s tune are very appreciate here …….. all big tune from gladiators to johnny clarke and studio one very Irie love ……… the lovers rock not really big here ……………………. is more ska / studio one / big roots / rub-a-dub digital 86′ style / and right now is ragga ragga………………………..

Question: Was the fact that Reggae is English and Patois a barrier?

no I don’t see it as a barriere like I say before I start fall in love with
reggae muzik without overstand ( understand ) nothing just the love / spirit
/ outcry of it …………

Question: Is Reggae mainstream and is it played on the radio there? Videos
on TV?

in switzerland reggae muzik is still not inna the big media like radio ot tv but litle by litle it a come and is only shaggy or sean paul you will hear on the radio or video tv ………………. but yu still have a few reggae programe on some of the radio but is very poor and we affi fight for it !!! for 10 year’s I use to have a reggae programe in the national radio one hours a week but a new director come in and give me only 30 minutes ………. so after 3 months of only 30 minute I left the radio and with some bredrin I open a 24 hours reggae radio non stop at
http://www.live365.com/stations/raspectradio …………………. you all welcome to log on ……. Ises …

Question: How is Reggae influencing your culture?

100% …………….. because when I was youth it take me out of drugs and badness and more I start to overstand it I fall in it more & more ………… than in 81′ I make my first experience in kingston for around 3 month …………………and is in them time dat my eyes start to get open everyday more and more ………… GIVE JAH THANKS and Ises ……………. and I use to live in the mountain of St james with a RASTA family ” TEG REG LARGE UP ” 83′ and all 86′ and more ……………….. and is realy in that time dat I live the life of a rastaman physically & spiritualy to di max and give me nuff strenght for the day we are living right now …………. bless up

Question: If someone traveled to visit your home and wanted to hear reggae music what would they have to do?

them have to look at the poster or flyers around the wall in town because is nuff reggae dance and right now is Prince Alla in my place for 2 months and we go all over europe with the sound vibes ……. and is pure goody vibes the massive love it to the max ……….. or look at www.raspectshop.com for some info …………………..

Question: How would you describe your country’s reggae sound and development?

is developping more and more everyday but is more new selecta and not really the full sound system ……. but you still have 2 or 3 sound with dem own materiel for make some big dance ………. in switzerland you have some 100% roots muzik and nu roots muzik dance like uk steppa style and you have some all style bashement sound inna stone love style because in europe stone love is a big big sound and nuff sound follow dem plenty ” big up ” stone love family ………. tomorow is 4 dance in 40 miles around so you can see dat is taking over the people …………. me I would select all style of riddim and some hip hop or different riddim home remix but is
100% positive lricks so for me is no barriere in the muzik but I will never promote some negative lyricks …………………. but nuff people know me for have some big and hard to find oldies selection’s and dat make the crowd crazy …………..

Question: What are some of the names of the popular local artist? Who would be the top 5 artists?

muzik backing band you have 2 good one GANGLORD & NEW LAND BAND roots dub band RESTLESS MASHAITS good band all style inna the roots flavor MOONRAISER

Now sound system I would say: ( not talking about me ) the longtime one ROOTS OPERATOR from zurich / but in the new sound some bigga one for me and for must a di massive are: BADDIS SOUND / RUFF PACK swiss 2004′ champion ) / NEW GENERATION SOUND ……………………….

Question: How did you get interested in Reggae?

JAH JAH KNOWS ………….. is just a call me get ……………….. sorry is hard to answer this question ………….

Question: Who is your favorite Reggae Artist?

my favorite one’s are ( and dat from longtime ): BOB MARLEY / JACOB MILLER /HUGH MUNDELL & YAMI BOLO / JUNIOR REID …………….. favorite band are steel pulse / aswad / misty in roots & black slate all from uk in the eary 80′ ……………….. favorite dj is / CHARLIE CHAPLIN / natty remo /brigadier jerry / anthony b / sizzla ( some songs not all ) / capleton ( some songs not all ) and more ……..

Question: Where do you think Reggae will be in 10 years time? And in Your country?

is a very good question …………… because here reggae is always calling nuff people and dem come to the dance and buy muzik but the problem is all the idiot sex lyricks or violence promotion in the lyricks make nuff
people left listen dancehall reggae for dat …….. so is mostly young generation who support it and soon them grow up we see them less ……………………… but in the same time is good because is the young generation who gona rule tomorow so if we tell dem from now dat only LOVE is the ANSWER is a possibility dat tomorow will be betta inna dis yah dark world ……….. Ises ….

Question: Do you think there is anything preventing Reggae from flourishing for you
and your fellow artists there?

yes the lyricks like I just say …………….

Question: How are you involved in Reggae?

or I am inna the heart of it and organize show / festival / dance /productions from the early 90′ is betta for you all to go look at www.asherselector.com you would see all the love we have for the spiritual muzik of jamaica ………………..

Question: In some countries you might see people wearing a Jamaican-style hat with fake dreadlocks attached when they attend reggae concerts and other events.Do you see anything that you see in your country?

not really king because we are looking to jamaica plenty ……………….. but I would say nuff dreadlocks just have dread pon them hair and shave the bear but is not for me to judge dem and I would give dem more strenght and let dem know dat rasta livity is 100% and not some % of it !! is nuff people not having dreadlocks pon dem are heartikal reggae lover’s

Question: Have you ever been to Jamaica?

yes nuff time ………………. first in 81′ …………….. I can not say I love it and in the same time I love it to the max ………. you know what I mean ………… but jamaica open my heart and eyes fi life ………. culturaly love …………….

Question: Do you have many/any Jamaican people living there?

not so much im my town around 5 / 10 but in zurich the other side of the country more …………

About the author

Xavier Murphy