Online Reggae Magazine

Articles

Articles about reggae music, reviews, interviews, reports and more...

Interview : Perfect

Interview : Perfect

Interview : Perfect

By on - Comment

"A lot of myself went into this album, it’s very emotional and it relates to life so much, in every aspect. It’s right in front of your face, it’s everyday life"

Sampler

Perfect

Perfect (born Greg Rose, Bamboo, St Ann, Jamaica) cut his first tune as Little Ninja, before settling on his current stage name due to his perfectionism as a recording artist. Angus Taylor asked this conscious and eloquent singjay for his views on music, slavery, and his second full-length release out on 25th July.


Tell me a bit about your new album Born Dead With LifePerfect - Born Dead With Life.

Well this album is very deep rooted, it’s all live music. It’s also a concept album because we took time out and put a whole lot of work into it. It’s an album that’s gonna make you cry, it’s gonna make you laugh, it’s gonna make you think a lot of stuff, it’s gonna help remind where we as a people are coming from and where we are right now y’know? It’s an album that reminds black people of the struggle.

What does the title mean to you?

We were born – the majority of us here in the Western world – after the abolishment of slavery, we were born… almost hopeless. We were born almost without a future. We were the ones who were less educated. We were the ones who never got second chances. We didn’t have nothing. We were born in a time where there was a dream for us as black youths. And I have seen how we have overcome all the brainwash and everything that has happened to us regarding the system of the Babylonians. We have become great musicians, great ambassadors, great lawyers, great doctors, great teachers, so many different types of profession. So that is really what I am trying to get across with this album – coming from nothing – something!

And how does the experience of making this album compare to your first album Giddimani?

This album is a lot more work because as I said it’s a concept album so I had to put a lot more time and energy into it. Giddimani was almost a compilation of various songs that the public were familiar with. But this album was a concept, I sat down, I thought about it, about what was going to be the next message to my fans. I thought about what to write about, the concept as a whole. A lot of myself went into this album, it’s very emotional and it relates to life so much, in every aspect. It’s right in front of your face, it’s everyday life.

You made the album with Irievibrations. I believe you’ve been on every one of their rhythms so far.

Yes I believe so. I must say that apart from being a musical set of guys they are very good people, very loving friends. Apart from having this music relationship we have a totally different relationship. They are friends, they come to Jamaica they hang out. And we have been building this relationship for over the past four years. Irievibrations was one of the first if not the first European label to record Perfect during the time when I wasn’t really known. They were young, I was young and I saw we could do work together. And they produced 'Rasta Rebel' which was a great song from the Giddimani album. I’ve always wanted to try with people who are trying, I had talent, they had talent, so, come on – let’s do this album together!

It marks an important collaboration between European and Jamaican talent as you say. Is this the way forward for reggae?

Yeah definitely! I mean Europe is the so called back yard of roots reggae music. And I do think it is important for the roots reggae promoters and musicians of Europe to improvise and compromise with the musicians and artists from Jamaica. Because reggae is strong in Europe and Europeans have a very strong influence on reggae and reggae artists. I have a big fanbase in Europe so it’s good for us to work hand in hand. If I can have fans in Europe why not have producers in Europe, y’understand me?

What is the difference between European and Jamaican rhythms?

The sound Jamaica has is the special sound that is unique and it’s very authentic but over the past ten years I have seen that European musicians and producers have practiced a lot. They have crafted their stuff so it sounds so original almost to the Jamaican way of music so I must say… you’ve done it! You have all done it. You have listened to our music, it has been years now that you have been listening to our music, watching the culture and the style and everything. And right now you’re doing it, you’re doing what the Jamaican producers are doing, making good rhythms, and not just making good rhythms but making the roots rhythms. That’s why I love Irievibrations records so much they give me back that roots sound. And I don’t just work with any and every producer on the road. I work with producers where they are hearing what I am hearing. They are playing the sound that I want to be on and I want to listen to, so you have come a long way and… you’re there right now I must say… Europe… you’re there in music. You’re producing great songs. Come on, Junior Kelly has done some great work in Europe with different producers, Anthony B, you’re doing it. Respect to you all, it’s a great job y’know?

Some critics have said that European rhythms are backward looking, to what their makers see as a golden age of roots music, while the Jamaican rhythms are going forward. Do you agree with this?

In a sense, yes. But speaking from my point of view I is a roots artist and I will always maintain the roots sound. I will always be on all different type of rhythms. I ride on rap beats, I go on R&B rhythms and stuff like that, as well as rhythms with new synthesiser sounds and stuff like that. But the roots of the music that’s where my heart is, and wherever it is that I can find that rootical sound, I don’t care where it is. If it’s in Iceland I will head north to it because that’s what makes me feel happy and that’s what makes a lot of my fans feel happy too. That roots sound. I have to keep that roots sound. I can’t let it go no matter what. So if I’m finding the sound right now in Europe then that’s where I’m taking it from.

Let’s talk about some specific tracks from Born Dead With Life. 'Unlock', on the Work Off rhythm, that’s an old ska boogie shuffle type thing. Do you listen to that era of music much?

Yeah, now and again. I listen to all different genres of music. And when I say all, I mean all different types. I don’t get stuck on one type of music alone. I have to widen my musical vocabulary. So I listen to that ska beat when I’m ready, I listen to R&B when I’m ready. I listen to deep soul music, I listen to a little bit of hip hop some times, and I listen to jazz. But that sound, 'Unlock', that rhythm gave me a chance to test out what I’ve been hearing while listening to that music. Because listening to other music helps to give you additional melodies to your melodies and it also helps you to… just play around with existing melodies. And I think that 'Unlock' gave me that opportunity to let myself go and I think it was real good. I got the chance to show my skills on a rhythm like that.

How did you come to work with Chezidek on 'Journey'?

Me and Chezidek are like brothers. Ever since long before we got so popular in the business.

From being from the same area?

Yes. Just five or ten minutes apart. And we’ve always been close with each other, but we have never actually worked before. We have worked on the same rhythms and stuff like that but with regards to a combination, a collaboration, we have never done that before. So I just thought it was time, and I was hearing Chezidek on the rhythm. So I just drove up to his house one Sunday afternoon, he listened to it for a couple of hours and he just went to the studio and got it done. I admire Chezidek so much, apart from being a friend of Chezidek I am also a fan of Chezidek. He has a beautiful voice, I was very happy to do a song with him and we’re thinking about doing more songs together.

On the song '30 Pieces' you talk about reparations and the cost of slavery. What inspired you to make this tune?

Well after all that has happened I have seen the Jews have been recompensated for what has happened to them but I haven’t seen where the black folks have gotten back anything. So it was a question on behalf of all black folks that never got no reparation. I’m just asking the question. I think the song is a great song. And it is a valid question for my community.

What – if anything – can be done to come to terms with what happened?

Something can be done, definitely. Leaders of the world just have to come together and recompensate black people for all that they have done. Because we’ve worked hard and we should get some good pay.

Which form should this response take? Financial compensation? An apology?Perfect

It can be financial but it should be help too. But whatever you’re gonna do it still comes back down to money. If they’re gonna build schools and stuff like that it’s still gonna take money. So it’s still coming from a financial point of view yeah? But I would rather they help us out in terms of making homes for the homeless, schools and bettering the education system in third world countries. Because we don’t wanna just be giving out money because some people just don’t know what to do with money. They haven’t been educated to know enough about what to do with money. So whenever they get money, they just squander it. So a handout – nah! But for building schools, homes for the homeless, food for people in places where there is starvation, that’s what I’m all about right now.

In your lyrics you often refer to terms and events in black history from outside Jamaica, particularly from the United States. How important is it to have an understanding of the past to change the present?

As the good word said, if you don’t know where you’re coming from you won’t know where you’re going. So it’s good for us to know what has happened so we can know what to do to resolve it. It’s as easy as that. It’s good to know all that went wrong so we can do all we can to make it right.

Let’s look briefly at your background. You started singing in school.

Yes definitely. At school I used to keep doing some little concerts and fun days, sports events and after sports events. I was always forced by my friends and teachers to go up on stage and do my thing. And I just went along with them and did what they said. Because if they had never seen something in me out of a classroom of students and said “you’re the one who is going to do it” I would never have done it. So I guess there was something that they saw that meant I should do it. Ever since, we been trying to do it at our best y’know?

Did you ever sing in church?

Yes a little bit, because I used to attend Baptist church with my mother when I was younger and she used to be a Baptist. We used to go to church and when the church was singing you sing along automatically with whatever they’re singing. So yeah I used to sing in church but not like in the choir, just sing with the audience.

Then you worked on the Trendsetter Sound… 

I actually started before Trendsetter but Trendsetter Sound System was the one that started really endorsing a lot of Perfect dubplates and was really like a little camp so to speak. And in the afternoons after leaving my job of pushing the handcart I would go to the residence of Trendsetter where we would sit and smoke ganja and listen to all the rhythms that were hot during that time. And those that weren’t hot too – we used to listen to all different type of rhythms from Studio 1 straight up to Penthouse to Jammys to Digital B to wherever. We just listened to a whole bunch of rhythms and tried to come up with melodies and we just keep on recording, recording and bettering our recording skills.

So which was most important to your musical education – time spent on the sound or in the studio?

It’s both of them. Because time spent on the sound is about helping you to deejay, to be confident within yourself. Just by deejaying around the sound system and seeing your friends and it’s a little vibe and you’re thinking “ok then, these are my five friends here, if there was five hundred would it be the same vibe?” And you see your friends going into a frenzy and giving you the shout out and it gives you that first vibe of what a stage show would be without your friends. So voicing on the sound system was very important. It also helps to build your vocals because in the studio everything’s so tight and compact and you have ProTools and all the sfx and stuff like that. But working on the sound system with a raw mic, straight to the amplifier, that’s gonna help you to train your voice and give it that boost. In the studio now it also goes good because it helps you to better your recording skills, it helps you to know different tracks, how to do harmonies, so it all works hand in hand. They both combine together.

What’s next for Perfect?

I’m thinking about another album. We’re getting ready to release an album but I’m thinking about I’m gonna do next, what am I going to say to the people, what’s the concept I’m gonna come up with. In the meantime I’m setting up some tours up in Europe and across the California region but we have an idea of what the next project is gonna be like. I think we’re gonna be doing an acoustic vibe. More acoustic and with the drums and stuff for this third album. I haven’t really come up with a name but it’s gonna be like a real soulful acoustic heavenly vibe yeah?

Thanks for talking to me.

Definitely. Rastafari. Give thanks every time.

Share it!

Send to Kindle
Create an alert

Post a comment

Identification

Optional, will not be displayed or used.
Your comment

Without html.

Recommended Articles

Interview: Busy Signal
By Angus Taylor

Latest articles

Bunny Wailer in Parabiago and Rome
By Francesco "Versoescondido" Iampieri
Mr Zebre - Anthem
By Alex Dub

Recently addedView all

Video
RDX - Summertime
28 Jul
Video
Brina - Skiza
27 Jul

© 2007-2014 United Reggae. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Read about copyright

Terms of use | About us | Contact us | Authors | Newsletter | A-Z

Partners: Talawa | Jammin Reggae Archives | DA VIBE Jamaica | Elagage Gap | Reggaenet.pl | Canvas Printing | One One One Wear | Raggadaggazine