Reggae virtuoso and cultural sensation Richie Spice exhibits his unbridled talent and versatility with the release of his latest studio effort, Soothing Sounds: Acoustic, available worldwide on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 from Tad’s Record. Touted as the Prince of Reggae, Spice (born Richell Bonner in St. Andrew, Jamaica), earns that crown with each selection on this 15-track album, which is testament to its title by presenting the soothing sounds of this acclaimed artist, acoustic and unplugged, for the first time. Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is a masterpiece collection that successfully presents an eclectic mix of musical elements, fusing classic reggae vibes with modern day acoustic rock, Spanish guitar, jazz and African drum beats.
We recently caught up with Richie Spice during his media blitz to promote his new album. Here’s our interview with the reggae sensation.
Question: Most people may remember you when you came on the scene in 2004 with “Earth A Run Red”, but you’ve actually been around for a while before that, when and how did you get started in the music industry?
Answer: The first time I went to the studio it was with my older brother Spanner Banner who took me to the Tuff Gong Studios for the first time and I recorded a song. After that he took me to another studio which was Bobby Digital and even though I didn’t record there I was focus and when on to record my first single with Clive Hunt at Tuff Gong studios in 1994. From there I just kept on recording and here I am, so that’s how I got my start.
Question: Who were some of your musical influence? Who are some of the artist that inspired you to do music?
Answer: As a youth growing up I had a brother who use to work at a radio station, so he would bring home the music so I could listen to them. It was people like Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Beres Hammond and Jimmy Cliff, it was these people that I grew up with and their music became a part of me.
Question: Usually when people think of Richie Spice, they normally think of socially conscious music, so tell us, where do you get inspiration for your music?
Answer: Well, for my music, I listen the Universe, Mother Nature and from the people on a whole. I write about situations I see people facing every day. I’m a people person so for me it’s about the people and bringing their struggles to the forefront.
Question: Can you tell us how this new album came about?
Answer: The new album came through my whole aim of playing a greater role in my music such as producing an entire album. I’ve always kept that in mind and have worked at it until finally it has manifested. As for the first single from the album “Free”, that came from the same process, thought and vibes that I have for the people. In my day to day trotting I see where people have lost confidence within themselves because their mindset is not free. They’re still in some forms of chains and tied up and for me; this song is a reminder to the people that they’re in fact “Free”.
Question: In an industry that has changed so much over the last few years, how have you managed to stay true to your music and still remain relevant in today’s market?
Answer: I am who I am and I have no intention of changing, I stay true to the person I am and I’m noting trying to be fake, so for me I will always be the same. If I try to do something else the people will know that’s not me and realize that none of it is real, so for me it’s about saying to who I am.
Question: What advice would you give to those that are trying to break through in this industry?
Answer: I would say, for them to be themselves, stay true to who you are and what you’re about. Staying focus on what you want and what you need to do to get there is the key to getting in the door of this industry.
Question: What do you consider to be the best thing about being a reggae artist today?
Answer: Well, the greatest vibration is to know that I’m doing something that’s uplifting to my own country and to the world, where people can really gravitate to it and its nothing that’s discriminating to anyone or the youths. I’m proud of where I’m from and how I represent the music to everyone on an international level.
Question: Would you say that your music has changed or matured since you first started?
Answer: I have definitely grown over the years. My writing has certainly matured as well as my performance. Also my views on society have changed along with many other things. I’ve matured in so many ways and to this day I continue to grow.
Question: What can your fans expect from this album?
Answer: They can expect a mellow vibe, calming vibration, a more professional and also an album they can listen to anywhere and at any time.
Question: Any last words to your fans?
Answer: I want them to know that I’m coming with a great album, a masterpiece and I would love for them to support the music. It will be available on iTunes as of October 23rd and is distributed through Tad’s International, so give it a listening ear. I would like the people to continue supporting the culture and the music and to know that I appreciate their support over the years because they’ve also been my inspiration on this journey.
For further information on Richie Spice, including upcoming tour dates, log on to Richiespice.net, and follow his musical mission at Facebook.com/RichieSpiceMusic and Twitter.com/1RichieSpice. For all press interviews, please contact the FOX FUSE Publicity Department at 1-212-300-3813 or [email protected]
1. Tru Love
3. My Heart
7. Heng On In Deh
8. Get Up
9. My Girl
10. All Night
11. More Love (Ft. Snatcha Lion & Spanner