Jamaican Music Music Interviews

Interview Series: Reggae in Italy

Interviewee Dario from Italian Band – www.duboom.com

ReggaePlus: Reggae has grown in popularity in your country. Artists like [who?] have performed there?

Dario:Many reggae int.l acts performed in Italy during the last 10 years. Artists like Burning Spear, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Misty inRoots, mad Prof., Macka B, Mikal Roze, Black Uhuru, Culture, Gladiators, Steel Pulse, Aswad, Beres Hammond, Shaka, max Romeo…and many many more.

ReggaePlus:What is the reggae scene like there?

Dario:The scene has 3 zones where reggae became the mean genre, from the 80’s: Venice, an island in the north (more roots and militant bands like PITURA FRESKA, RADIO REBELDE, DUBOOM and a lot of singers and minor bands), Salento (southern region) with a dancehall attitude, int.l bands like SUD SOUND SYSTEM . Rome with a lot of sound systems, the most known is ONE LOVE HI-POWAH, and bands like RADICI NEL CEMENTO.

ReggaePlus:How about the ska scene?

Dario:Ska is the music that dominated in Italy the last 2 years. Skatalites, N Y Ska jazz and others bands toured intensely the region where hundreds of ska bands grew up, and some has big success.

ReggaePlus:What first drew your attention to Reggae?

Dario:The message? the vibe?

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

Dario:Can’t remember. The first we played was “Stir It Up”.

ReggaePlus:Who and what are your influences?

Dario:Black UHURU. We love GREGORY, DENNIS, BARRINGTON, STEEL PULSE, but we listen to many styles and we have hundreds reggae records.

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

Dario:I think Roots and Dancehall. It’s hard for a band to mix reggae with other styles because the fans love the originals (but we have to try ‘cuz we’re not originals!)

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

Dario:In the early years, of course. Now the listeners are more deep in the reggae culture and the barrier is minor.

ReggaePlus:Is Reggae main stream and is played on the radio there? Videos on TV?

Dario: Is played on the radio and some videos, but is not mainstream!! Not at all.

ReggaePlus: How is Reggae influencing your culture?

Dario:From skin to the bone! In Venice, a lot of people embraced rasta culture. A few of them now are in Shashamane (Ethiopia) with a project of development (RASTAFARI AGROCULTURAL SCHOOL).

ReggaePlus: If someone travelled to visit your home and wanted to hear reggae music, what would they have to do?

Dario:Visit some good Italian reggae site on the net.

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

Dario: I think that the new wave of reggae bands, playin’ more dub may open the spectrum of reggae style. Until now, the sound is based on roots or dancehall rhythms. Note that the Italian music tradition has roots in the love songs (Napoli sound)– very melodic and the tongue is sweet and not so rhythmic…

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


ReggaePlus: How did you get interested in Reggae?

Dario: It was like a sudden love.

ReggaePlus:Who is your favorite Reggae Artist?

Dario:See influences.

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

Dario:I think reggae never stops flowin’, always regenerating itself.

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

Dario:Politically, Italy now is governed by the right wing….

ReggaePlus:How are you involved in Reggae?

Dario: We play reggae, organise some shows and sound systems and booking for the bands.

ReggaePlus: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?

Dario:Only during carnival time…anyway, the culture is growin’ up. I think it’s important to attract the people, then they choose if they want to go deeper…da youth start thinking reggae it’s ganja, but the time will tell, and reggae culture will conquer their hearts and minds too. It’s not a question of respect. The first thing you can breath with reggae is FREEDOM, then it becomes a lifestyle.

ReggaePlus:Have you ever been to Jamaica?

Dario:Many times in my dreams (not yet).

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

Dario: Some friends.

ReggaePlus:What is the name[s] of the top ‘Sound System'[s] there?

Dario:One Love Hi-Powah (Rome)

ReggaePlus:Do you eat Jamaican food? Like what?

Dario:We try to eat Ital food.

Listen to Reggae From Italy…

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