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Interview: Skarra Mucci

Interview: Skarra Mucci

Interview: Skarra Mucci

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"In the beginning there was ragga and now there is dancehall. I want to bring the ragga back"

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Skarra Mucci

Skarra Mucci is ready for a challenge

On Skarra Mucci’s latest album Return of the Raggamuffin he travels back to the 80’s when dancehall and ragga reigned in Jamaica. He utilizes some of his rap skills and calls himself the lyrics millionaire. And if you don’t believe him – he’s ready for you.

According to Internet encyclopedia Urban Dictionary Raggamuffin is described as a “kind of reggae rap that includes digitalized backing instrumentation. It’s a form of dancehall, and has been popular since the middle of the 80’s.” Ragga is the short form of ragamuffin and is said to be derived from the Middle English personal name "Ragamuffyn", and usually employed in an insulting manner towards street children.

Also, according to Urban Dictionary, the word later came to mean “a person who is shabbily clothed and dirty, often applied to orphans. It was used in this way to describe Kingston ghetto youth, and the youth themselves took on the term to describe their new music.”

Aims to keep reggae music alive

With his fourth album 'Return of the Raggamuffin' Skarra Mucci says he has recorded the “ultimate reggae raggamuffin album”. A bold statement, since there is no shortage of sharp competition. He apparently has a great belief in himself and his skills, and describes 'Return of the Raggamuffin' as a concept album.

“It was made to keep reggae alive and to thank those who still love reggae. It’s my way to say thanks in every way to reggae music. It made me what I am – the raggamuffin,” says Skarra Mucci, and explains the album title:

“Return of the Raggamuffin speaks for itself. The original is back – the raggamuffin. In the beginning there was ragga and now there is dancehall. I want to bring the ragga back.”

Invested in music

Like several other singers from Jamaica, Skarra Mucci has no formal training or education in music.

“All my life I’ve invested everything in music. That's the way I’ve grown to become what I’m today, and for someone who has never been to music school, as a machine building engineer, I had to work harder and the more I work the better I get,” he explains, and continues:

“It’s a God given talent that I’ve developed over the last four decades, and now I’m the real Raggamuffin. I’m getting better everyday, and some call me the dancehall president, so I’m evolving at great speed.”

“One of the most versatile lyricists on the planet”

Skarra MucciSkarra Mucci was born in Jamaica, but left for Europe in the early 90’s. He started singing when he was about six years old – in school yards, in the church choir and on sound systems. But also “here and there”, as he describes it today.

“I was very lyrical, flexible and creative. After three years I had developed my skills and was ready to become a recording artist,” he says.

In Jamaica he recorded for producer Harry J under the alias Likkl D. The title of the tune was Lyrics Millionaire and put out in 1984.

“People started calling me the lyrics millionaire because of my freestyle skills that inspired some Jamaican foundation artist to call me Skarra Mucci. Until today I'm one of the most versatile lyricists on the planet,” he proclaims, and adds:

“And if you don't believe me – anybody, I'm ready.”

Records for European producers

On the album – and for the past five years – he has worked mainly with European producers. Bizzarri from Italy, Oneness from Germany and Weedy G Soundforce from Switzerland are three production crews that Skarra Mucci has recorded for. Why? For three reasons.

“Reggae was born in Jamaica, but lives in Europe,” he explains, and continues:

“And Jamaican labels don't send me enough good riddims, and the producers I’ve worked with in the last five years come first because they made me known to the public as the artist I am. Like Dee Buzz Muzik, Oneness, Soulforce, Dizzlematic, Weedy G Soundforce, Soulove, Bizzarri, Flash-Hit and many more. They are my producers and my family and will always be.”

A versatile artist

But Skarra Mucci is more than a reggae and dancehall artist. In 2010 he put out the hip-hop album 'Skarraschizzo', and his rhyming skills are also shown on some of the tracks on 'Return of the Raggamuffin', most notably on the mighty Big Dreams.

'Skarraschizzo' is his most sold album to date and was recorded in Zürich, Switzerland, during harsh times for Skarra Mucci.

“I did this album at my worse time in Europe. No money to travel to the studio. Got caught on the train going to the studio more than twice,” he says, and continues:

“When it was finished we were all broke, so the album was paused for some years. Then Parra decided to release it. He did everything for this album and it’s my most loved one.”

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