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Interview: Kubix

Interview: Kubix

Interview: Kubix

By on - Photos by Franck Blanquin - Comment

"Jamaican artists don't hesitate to choose French backing bands for their shows over Europe"

Sampler

Kubix is a talented and dynamic guitarist and producer based in Paris. He played with many different artists such as Mo'Kalimity, Brahim, Barrington Levy and many more. Going on tour with some of them enabled him to build progressively a significant experience. He is also active in music production and already released 2 albums (Brahim "Sans Haine" and Sly meets Kubix "Tears of Freedom"). United Reggae met Kubix to look back at his debuts and coming projects.

Kubix

How did you start in music ?

I come from a musical family: everyone around me could play an instrument. My father’s guitar has always been a sort of iconic object. I started guitar when I was 14. Afterwards, I played in a band when I reached 17. This was the time of my first performances on stage, where I played not only reggae but also rock and soul.

In my 20’s, I met L’équipée Zion band. We worked together until 2005. I experienced with them my first big concerts, albums and tours. In these days, I linked up with many people who pushed me to continue in the music industry and to cooperate with different musicians.

My father's guitar has always been a sort of iconic object

Which was your most memorable collaboration?

All the artists I worked with played a positive part in my personal development. Any single singer and musician, whether is French or Jamaican, has definitely been fruitful to me.

Backing band is a very good school. I learnt how to work faster and under pressure. The Barrington Levy’s show is a good example: we received the tracks just a few days before touring Europe. But I like working without a safety net.

I am playing with several backing bands like KGB and French Roses Band. I also do replacement jobs with the Homegrown band, Dub Akom, or Moonband...

What are your musical influences?

I’ve always been eclectic, listening to rock, rythm'n'blues... Like all of us, I started listening to reggae with foundation artists as Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse... Then, I made some deeper research to get a closer feeling of the Jamaican culture. The albums I discovered had a really strong influence: “Jesus Dread” from Yabby You was one among many...

Backing band is a very good school. I learnt how to work faster and under pressure

How did you end up doing production?

I started with Sly (from Sly and the Dubbers band). At that time, I was doing some riddims by myself. Then, Sly came to my place and sang on a few tracks. Those tunes were recorded spontaneously without any commercial purpose. A musical magic overwhelmed and encouraged us to get started with an album. We co-produced together that project named Sly Meets Kubix "Tears of Freedom".

Before I collaborated with Brahim on a musical level, there was first a real meeting of minds on a human level. Since a couple of years already, I had been playing with him. That musical encounter gave birth to a strong bond over time. It came up natural to create something in common. In 2012, we finally co-produced Brahim’s album "Sans Haine" along with Baco record (Danakil, Natty Jean).

From now on, I’ve decided to put aside my production activities.

Tell us about your collaboration with Mo’kalamity and The Wizards?

Originally, I was not part of their band. Seven years ago, I replaced their guitarist. Then, I continued to work with them on stage and recording studio. Lately, we’ve been recording the next album at Studio Wise. This third album ended up being really nice. You can feel a great and unique complicity within the band. That complicity encourages creativity and enriches musical exchanges. Before the recording sessions, I gave Mo some guitar lessons. So that she was more naturally able to transcribe her emotions into music, and to make compositions her own. All in one, the album conveys this intimate and personal inspiration.

What is the breaking news for 2013?

First, we’ll release the third album of Mo’Kalamity and the Wizards I told you about. Afterwards, I’ll keep up presenting Brahim’s last album on stage. For the coming summer, I’m planning to go again on European tour with Barrington Levy.

KubixUntil then, I scheduled a few concert dates here and there with artists like Derajah, Ijahman Levy... I’m also preparing some attractive live music replacements and even some trips abroad.

Last but not least, I composed 12 riddims for a mixtape to be released in may, alongside whole leap of artists, French and Jamaican.

Do you plan any solo album, Dub album or something else?

Yes, I do have a few ideas in mind, but it’s still work in progress for the time being...

What do you foresee on Reggae Music for 2013?

I believe it’s a very tough environment, because you are constantly fighting to make a living out of music. It’s complicated... there are many talented musicians out there who are having a hard time finding a job.

You are constantly fighting to make a living out of music

Medias don’t support Reggae music, simply because it suffers from a bad reputation and it has not always been taken seriously. It is hardly mentioned in the press or TV!

Paradoxically, we can observe a tremendous success of Reggae concerts and festivals. Those reggae events have been so popular that they are often sold out.

Another positive thing: Europe is a fabulous pool where you can find many highly qualified musicians, who even studied the Jamaican music in depth. Today more than ever, Jamaican artists don’t hesitate to choose French backing bands for their shows over Europe.

Translated from French by Ping.

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