Issue 53

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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REGGAE / DANCE HALL 43 7 Issue 52 / 2013 EW VI ER NT I REGGAE ROAST Keeping the sound system alive, this collective support the message of unity and positive vibrations. It is clear that their passion and love for reggae music is evident, with hosting sell out nights, ram- jammed festival appearances and running an independant record label we caught up with head honcho, James Harper. Tab | You started back in 2007, how would you sum up your journey so far? It's been an epic journey so far with lots of highs and lows, but ultimately very rewarding. We are proud of where we have taken Reggae Roast and how reggae has grown in popularity over recent years, but we feel this is just the beginning and the best is yet to come from us. Can you tell us a bit about the idea behind Reggae Roast and how it all came together? I was DJing in a Bar called The Grand Union on some Fridays and Saturdays. The manager told me on Sundays the venue was completely dead and not making any money. I had the idea to have an all-day session where you could get a roast dinner and listen to some reggae during the day hence the name 'Reggae Roast' and as the evening progressed the music got turned up and everyone had a little dance. At that stage I really didn't have any big plans for it. I just wanted an opportunity to play some of my reggae collection that I rarely got a chance to play out. The first event had about 50 people turn up throughout the day. It was a nice little vibe and people must have enjoyed it because the next month about 150 people turned up. The next month had about 300 people and then the following month happened to be a Bank Holiday weekend, and almost 600 people came. None of us could quite believe how many people had come down to this random pub in Kentish Town, especially the owners. We literally drank the bar dry! They even ran out of beer. Those early sessions are still some of my fondest memories You have had some massive guests play at your parties, what have been some of your highlights? There have been so many that it's hard to say but it was incredible having The Wailers play at a Reggae Roast. They were amazing and took us on such a musical journey it was unreal. Also front man whom we do most of our shows with. 'Dubplate Fashion' by Parly B and produced by Tradesman who is siiiiiick and I would say is one of the people forging the new sound of British Reggae. Then Adam Prescott's first official release on the label. A 2 track (12" vinyl and digital release) featuring Charlie P another one of the UKs best MCs at the moment, Charlie also has an album coming out with Mungo's Hi Fi in the next couple of months. How do you find running an independant label? Running an independant label is not easy. It's There is a good energy to the music that brings out the best in people and that is very important. Most clubs you go to it's not like that. Even now you see very little, if any reggae coming out on the major labels so it is up to us independents to get the music out there. We need to keep that fire burning. What are your thoughts on the competition surrounding the different sound systems today, what are your top ones? There is massive competition. It seems like in recent years sound system culture has had "There is a good energy to the music that brings out the best in people and that is very important." Collie Budz smashed it. Rodigan played a few months back and that was one of my personal favourites. But there have been so many and they have all brought a different vibe and something special. You also have your Reggae Roast label, are there any releases that we should be keeping an eye out for at the moment? Yeah the label is going from stregth to strength and if you haven't already checkied out our soundcloud page take a look, you can hear all our releases as well as get free downloads, free mixes and also hear recordings from some of our live sessions. There are also links to where you can buy our records if you like what you hear and want to support the label. We have some great releases coming up. "Only Wicked People" by Ramon Judah the Reggae Roast a lot of hard work and it never ends, but it is a love affair and when you love what you do it doesn't seem like work. Well at least sometimes it doesn't! Ultimately we love the music that we put out and want to share it with the world and if we don't do it then no one else is going to do it for us. You have to love what you do to run an independant label because if you are doing it for the money then you are in the wrong game. We just want to spread the message in the music and do what needs to be done to get it out there. How important is it for you to keep reggae music alive and to spread this positive message? It is very important. Reggae is positive music with good vibrations and a conscious message. When you come to a reggae dance you see people smiling and being good to each other. such a huge revival. People all over the UK and Europe in particular are building sounds and reggae as a whole has had a huge resurgence, but I don't really see it as competition. I see it as a positive thing as the more people who are into sound system culture and reggae the better. It is a movement and a scene and its getting stronger all the time and that can only be a good thing. Reggae Roast are currently making plans for our own sound system too. That is the next step for us so watch this space. The sound that are currently running rings for me has to be Mungo's Hi Fi and they have been a big inspiration for Reggae Roast. You've just got back from Glastonbury, it must have been nuts! Did you have fun? Yeah Glastonbury was nuts. It was an epic adventure and it couldn't have gone any better. I have played there for a few years now but this time was the first time we were given our own stage for the whole of Friday night and it was amazing. There were massive queues to get in our venue and the vibe was awesome. Usually reggae gets fobbed off to a Sunday afternoon slot where everyone is just chilling out so it was wicked to be given a primetime slot on a Friday night which allowed the time to build the vibe throughout the night. There was a huge increase in the amount of reggae at the festival as a whole this year and I think it highlights how popular reggae has become in recent years. We also played on the Mungo's Hi Fi rig on the Blues stage in the Silver Hayes Area (formerly The Dance Village) and that was also amazing. One of my favourite DJ session ever. We have been asked back next year already to run our stage again so we are over the moon and hopefully it will be a regular fixture. If you were invisible for the day what trouble would you get up to? I guess I'd have to go and take a leak in David Cameron's coffee cup. How rewarding would that be? Keep updated with parties, releases and tunes at Follow @REGGAEROAST

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