Reasoning with Addis Pablo and Ras Jammy  Image

by Federico Di Puma

We had the pleasure to spend some time with Addis Pablo and Ras Jammy aka Suns of Dub just before their first appearance here at Rototom Sunsplash 2014.

JAmusic: Thanks for being here with us guys. You had your first show at Rototom in the Dub Academy, what was the plan going into the set?

RJ: Well, some heavy dub, easy roots. A new style dub that we like to call “new age dub” Suns of Dub genre of style original rockers. Some Hugh Mundell, Augustus Pablo, some never before heard stuff. Suns of Dub usual style.


JAmusic: Can you tell us something about yourselves? How did you meet and how did you start to collaborate?

RJ: We’ve been working together for about four years now. We met in Kingston and it was an easy transition from meeting and just starting to work. It was never difficult, we just linked up and we have similar interests, similar mindsets regarding the music and where we wanted to see ourselves within the music industry you know? And helped us to grow individually and also as a unit within Suns of Dub. Addis is taking on his solo melodica projects and I’m doing more production and dubbing works. And in these years have been good from Jamaica to Mexico, United States and so on. It has been a good year because we started our tour in Europe and we keep moving.

AP: Yeah we met through the internet first and then Jammy was in Jamaica soon after that so we linked up at Rockers International record shop on Orange Street in Kingston, and from there it has just been a natural connection.

JAmusic: One of your projects was the Selassie Souljahz In Dub, how did you started working on that?

AP: Well the idea came to the production: Royal Order Music, I-Vier and Jah Y-Zer. They asked us to do a dub version and possibly a melodica version of the tune, and they gave us creative freedom to mix it the way we wanted it with them giving some inputs. So from there we did a few different mixes and then they chose.

RJ: Yes we did 7-8 mixes but then on the iTunes version they selected 5 versions.


JAmusic: How’s the process of building a tune? Yesterday at the Reggae University you said that Dub is like deconstructing and recreating a tune, how do you work on that?

RJ: Well Addis will primarily have a song in mind and he would begin working on it, and I would put some inputs here and there because you know he’s the technical genius, and then as it progresses we would decide if the riddim is good for voicing an artist or not, or if it’s better to do an instrumental track or I would do a dub mix and then we decide on what type of project we want to move forward. We like to work on creative and intuitive kind of projects, natural things you know? For example we released Marcus Garvey Track on his birthday. And we like to work with artist from all over the world: Mr. Williamz from Uk, Zebulon in Trinidad and so on. Next week we’ll head for Singapore and we’ll work there too.

JAmusic: There’s a mixtape out from Major Lazer, how did the project start?

AP: Jammy was in Jamaica last year, in June, and Walshy Fire from Major Lazer happened to be there too at the same time. So Jammy and him started reasoning about our projects and what we were doing and wanting to do.  And before that our production contacted them as well to talk about the same things and he remembered. I was in the USA at the time and came back to Jamaica a couple of days back and we met all together and talked about the work and how we could have put it and presented it. Walshy Fire believed in what we were doing and their music of course was good so we tried to work on it as much as we could to do something at their level.


JAmusic: Yesterday you spent some time at Reggae University here at Rototom, what do you think about the idea of having in a festiva like this music but also events that can explain what is the culture behind it?

RJ: You see Reggae is not just another genre it’s a culture and as every culture it has sub-cultures. It’s more than just a music and it’s great that a festival like this, which is one of the major festivals in Europe and in the world, brings together the culture and explain things. It’s a very great idea and we enjoyed being part of it.

AP: Yeah exactly. It’s important because Reggae music is not just about smoking or a hippy kind of vibration. It’s very important for us to study our history, especially for Jamaicans, because lots of the people from the press that we met know about the music and have studied it or researched it so it’s good to bring on these information. And for the artists as well, young artists should be aware of history both locally and abroad so it’s good.

JAmusic: Addis can you tell us something about your album “In My Father’s House”? What was your approach for an album like this? Was it difficult?

AP: Well essentially the producers at Jah Solid Rock contacted me in December 2012 saying they were interested in working on my first album, but at the time I was working on another project with Rory Stone Love and other people, but we decided to start working and he and the House of Riddim composed most of the rhythms and I just put my vibe naturally with the melodica and the natural vibes from Rastafari. It was a very good feeling and it’s my first album and the fact that people appreciated it and it came out naturally with no pressure, and the artwork is great too so it’s a good presentation and we give thanks.

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