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Improving reggae interviews

Posted by akee123 
Improving reggae interviews
May 13, 2014 11:54PM
Has anyone else ever become frustrated at the often predictable way interviews with reggae stars play out?

99% interviews fall into one of these categories

A. Historical review (I.e. What was it like to work with Coxsone?)

B. Softball questions ( I.e. Why did you give the album this title?)

Questions I wish people would ask:
How does new and easily accessible technology influence the roots sound?
Reggae has had many ups and downs. Where were mistakes made in the down periods?
Can reggae gain in popularity while becoming less relevant to the mainstream?
In recent years Veteran singers have had success when they have connected with producers who are clearly influenced by a traditional orgNic roots sound. Why don't more veteran artists choose similar paths?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2014 12:55AM by akee123.
Re: Improvng reggae interviews
May 14, 2014 02:25AM
Interviews are just like records. Yeah some are crappy but a lot of good work has been done too. Not sure what or where you're reading, but maybe that's part of your level of satisfaction.

Your "wish" questions don't really interest me but they might interest others. Plenty of different interests and value sets out there.

Either way, if you want these questions answered just roll up your sleeves and get at it. Do good work and post here when you have some results. We all like good information, and we like contributors.
Re: Improvng reggae interviews
May 14, 2014 10:45AM
i'm not on the radio anymore, but if i was, i'd appreciate a thread here of good interview questions.
i know i wound up using many cliche ones about
their thoughts on the state of reggae w/ digital takeover etc..
a
Re: Improvng reggae interviews
May 14, 2014 03:28PM
DJ No-Ital here - I have screwed my read, green, and gold tam with the built-in dreads onto my head and am ready to answer I-man's questions:

1. How does new and easily accessible technology influence the roots sound?

The new technology makes it possible to drive all roots-y sound out of a record as cheaply as possible. Nah deal wit vynyl recards; nah deal real instruments; nah deal with analog sounds. All digital, seen? Using the latest technology, InI can sound like a dread robot, seen?

2. Reggae has had many ups and downs. Where were mistakes made in the down periods?

Yes, I. Many bombaclaat opportunist make music for artistic sakes, instead is making di dunza. This obscures the true purpose of reggae music - to enrich di producer mon and provide di artiste with seed money for establishing his gangsta empire.

3. Can reggae gain in popularity while becoming less relevant to the mainstream?

Yes, of course it can. History is replete with example after example of things becoming more popular by becoming less relevant - why after I post this message, I myself, am going out to get a new Sony Walkman.

4. In recent years Veteran singers have had success when they have connected with producers who are clearly influenced by a traditional orgNic roots sound. Why don't more veteran artists choose similar paths?

Since I-man is wearing my red, green, and gold tam with the built-in dreads, I am able to answer because di tam gives me special insight as to what is in the mind of other "veteran" artists. The answer I am getting is... kittens. Too many kittens.

DJ No-Ital OUT!
Re: Improvng reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 12:50AM
Thanks for the response...I'll try not to have any serious dialogue here.


Quote
Walter
DJ No-Ital here - I have screwed my read, green, and gold tam with the built-in dreads onto my head and am ready to answer I-man's questions:

1. How does new and easily accessible technology influence the roots sound?

The new technology makes it possible to drive all roots-y sound out of a record as cheaply as possible. Nah deal wit vynyl recards; nah deal real instruments; nah deal with analog sounds. All digital, seen? Using the latest technology, InI can sound like a dread robot, seen?

2. Reggae has had many ups and downs. Where were mistakes made in the down periods?

Yes, I. Many bombaclaat opportunist make music for artistic sakes, instead is making di dunza. This obscures the true purpose of reggae music - to enrich di producer mon and provide di artiste with seed money for establishing his gangsta empire.

3. Can reggae gain in popularity while becoming less relevant to the mainstream?

Yes, of course it can. History is replete with example after example of things becoming more popular by becoming less relevant - why after I post this message, I myself, am going out to get a new Sony Walkman.

4. In recent years Veteran singers have had success when they have connected with producers who are clearly influenced by a traditional orgNic roots sound. Why don't more veteran artists choose similar paths?

Since I-man is wearing my red, green, and gold tam with the built-in dreads, I am able to answer because di tam gives me special insight as to what is in the mind of other "veteran" artists. The answer I am getting is... kittens. Too many kittens.

DJ No-Ital OUT!
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 08:13AM
Always need good questions. I will make sure to ask some of these great ones come June! Bless

~Highest Heightz Every Time~
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 12:06PM
I've seen interviewers (including some from this board) ask artists good questions that more often then not get dodged by the artists.

"I don't know anything about that.... I just know about music, cooking and being there when di shots a fyah! Now for Jah's sake someone send me a next softball question"
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 12:53PM
Does anyone have a question specifically for Clinton Fearon that they might like answered? Hoping to have the opportunity next month.

Love that reggae!
Re: Improvng reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 03:53PM
Quote
akee123
Thanks for the response...I'll try not to have any serious dialogue here.

My apologies, akee123, from those questions you posed in your original post, I didn't think you were being serious.
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 04:49PM
I have been doing interviews for almost 3 decades. I originated the press tent for ROTR in 1990. Equally important to the questions is LISTENING.
Quote
Dr Suess
I've seen interviewers (including some from this board) ask artists good questions that more often then not get dodged by the artists.

"I don't know anything about that.... I just know about music, cooking and being there when di shots a fyah! Now for Jah's sake someone send me a next softball question"

If artists are dodging the questions then it's the responsibility of the interviewer to make it right. I've had it happen numerous times. Yes even about music and cooking. My response was to then ask "So while you are cooking do ideas for music come to you or when you doing music you're thinking about food?" It got a laugh from the artist and then he responeded about food, music and eventually answered the original question I asked.
Re: Improvng reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 05:00PM
First of all, for radio interviews, it get's tricky as most people want to hear music as opposed to talking in the first place. And also remember that the main purpose for artists to partake is promotion of an album or gig so these types of "softball" questions are crucial. Its not like you are interviewing a politician and need to put them on the spot. I prefer "call ins" or "on air promotions" over interviews as the artist can call in or drop by and promote themselves as they see fit. To really get deep, you need an artist that has stuff to say like Kabaka or Prezident Brown. I prefer to keep them quick and painless and get back to the music. I am sure that I will be interviewing some SNWMF artists on air coming up, let me know if anyone has specific questions for specific artists and I will consider them.

DJ No-Ital! effin hilarious Walter

Positive Vibrations w/ DJ Treez | Tahoe's Reggae Show | Thursday Nights 9pm | 101.5 FM KTKE | truckeetahoeradio.com
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 06:27PM
There is this one foreign radio host in the press tent who always asks these long drawn out 23 part hard ball questions sometimes, most times, not even pertaining to the artist, then he doesn't really listen, just starts elaborating or asking another way too political question. Guys seems nice enough, and is on top of a lot of social issues, but is UBER ANNOYING! Is it just me? Asking an American reggae artists about the apartied and genocides in African nations. Or a Trini artist about Jamaican policies! SMH

~Highest Heightz Every Time~
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 07:13PM
I agree 100% with you Danny C. Who ever is running or hosting the interview should cut this person off in a polite way. We try to do that at the ROTR press tent. Try to keep the focus.
When it comes to radio I don't do interviews I have a conversation with the artist. It's much more inimate. I think it depends where you are located and broadcasting. In larger areas or cities I agree with DJ Treez that people are more interested in the music but where I am they like the conversation. I have had conversations with the Cedella Booker (Bob's mom) Hugh Masekla, the late Miriam Makeba and Olatunji, three times with Leonard Peltier before they stopped allowing jailhouse interviews and the list goes on and on. I had a 30 minute conversation with Olatunji that went to a very spiritual level. When he came to play he send his grandson to find me because he wanted to meet the woman who moved his heart........ I cherish the time I spent with him. Those times are soooooo worth it.
Re: Improving reggae interviews
May 15, 2014 11:58PM
More questions to ask...

Ask Burning Spear about why he changes musicians constantly? ( seems fair)
Ask the Marleys if they ever seriously considered doing a project with Bunny and Andrew Tosh?
Ask Bunny why he doesn't use producers other than himself?
Ask JA veterans why producers like Roberto Sanchez are able to get artists to maximize their talents?

Good one for any artist...."how do you define success?"
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