Irie Ites Q&A - April 2009
Rootikal: Could you tell us about your musical background and the path that lead you to
start Irie Ites?
Irie Ites: We love reggae music from long-time. It's our passion. We love roots music -
roots music is the foundation that can never die!!
R: The reggae scene in mainland Europe has grown incredibly strong in recent years, what
to you attribute this to?
I I: We attribute this to the fact that the European scene is really serious. There are several
labels and big sounds and now, step-by-step, the scene is growing.
R: As Irie Ites you also produce the Jamaican Bashment festival in Le Mans, your hometown. Can you tell us about any future plans for the festival?
I I: We would love to hold a third festival, but the problem is that we lost big money on the second one, and we don't want this to happen again. So we're thinking about collaborating with another promoter, but it would need to be someone really serious and involved in the reggae business. Maybe our event could link up with UK Cup Clash or with another serious soundclash promoter in Europe. For the moment though, we haven't had any proposals like that!
R: How do you think that the 'daggering' ban in Jamaica (where excessively sexual music can not be played on the radio) might affect Jamaican music in general?
I I: The attitude of the new generation affects the reggae business everyday. That's the reality. As we said to John Holt few months ago, for us this new generation is damaging the foundations that veteran artists like him set up a long time ago... It's a real shame to us.
The reggae business is too ruff right now and at the same time it has to be said that it is really small. Look at the latest tours: Perfect & Gyptian get 40 reservations in Lille, which is one of the biggest town in France. But at least they performed live inna club! In Bordeaux they just performed a PA with a sound system instead of with Mafia & Fluxy and the band! The problem is that when we are in Jamaica we always hear that the reggae business is really big, and the artists always think it's much bigger than it actually is. The truth is that the reggae business is really quite small and is a struggle, and the ruffness doesn't help it at all! That's the strict reality.
R: Irie Ites has already worked with many top Jamaican artists, who else would you most like to record on future projects?
I I: We would love to work with US / UK soul & hip hop scene, fi voice wicked artists like Lauryn hill or Wycleef - it's a dream of ours. At this time we are building some new hip hop West Coast riddims and reggae-hip hop riddims to open up a different sound to the one drop and roots music we started with.