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Interview: Dub Akom

Interview: Dub Akom

Interview: Dub Akom

By on - Photos by Jennyfer Papin - Comment

"We begun as a band, and the label started in 2007"

Sampler

Dub Akom

Being in Dub Akom means a busy time

One of this summer’s best riddims comes from the southern part of France. Stars such as Konshens and Lutan Fyah ride the pulsating hip-hop-tinged Bonafide riddim. Dub Akom is the production crew behind it. And they have more things on the stove - backing Pressure, Etana and Protoje on some of their European tour dates. United Reggae got a chat with David, drummer and producer.

Dub Akom is a label, backing band and production crew based in Marseille, in the southern part of France.

I reach David on the phone, and he speaks excellent English with a heavy patois accent.

“Marseille is different than Paris. It’s no business city. It’s the sea and the sun,” he says, and continues talking about the local reggae scene:

“It’s getting better. There are some local bands, but no big scene. It’s hard to make events here. Artists don’t stop in Marseille when they’re on tour,” he concludes.

Faby – bass player in Dub Akom – is also present during the interview. David asks her questions in French when he needs to find the right words.

“We begun as a band, and the label started in 2007. Murray Man was the first artist we recorded,” explains David, and continues:

“Then we did the Vitamin riddim in 2008 featuring Jah Mason, Lutan Fyah, Natty King and Edge Michael. After that we did the Highlight riddim with Pressure, Jah Mason, Natty King and some youths from Jamaica. These two releases resulted in a two riddim album put out on CD.”

Dub Akom releases

The story of Bonafide riddim

Bonafide riddim is Dub Akom’s latest riddim. It was first released as the single Weak from Konshens.

“We had some good response and we said like ‘yo, it’s time to make a series on it’.”

Dub Akom managed to find some great artists to voice the riddim. Both newcomers and more well-known ones.

Dub Akom - Bonafide riddimTwo of the more interesting new names were South African singjay Jahnett Tafari and Ricardo Clarke from Bahamas. David explains how they got in contact.

“We have worked with Black Dillinger [also from South Africa] before and one day I sat behind my computer watching a Black Dillinger show on Youtube and saw Jahnett Tafari. He had some good feeling, so I looked him up on the Internet and linked with him. I sent the riddim and he came back with this huge cut. Maybe we’ll record some new cuts with him,” he says, and adds:

“I already knew Ricardo Clarke. He has made music with a friend of mine, so I tested and sent him the riddim.”

Busy through the summer

This summer seems jam-packed for Dub Akom. They are the backing band for several Jamaican artists coming to Europe for festivals and other gigs. Previously they have worked with Jah Mason and Lutan Fyah. This year Pressure, Etana, Burro Banton and Protoje will be added to the list.

“It’s odd sometimes just being the band,” says David, and explains what makes a great backing band:

“It’s important when the artist come to have rehearsal time. But we almost never rehearse with the artist as we don’t have the time,” he laughs:

“The artist must feel good about the structure and the riddim. It must sound good for the artist.”

Dub Akom

Dub Akom begun the festival season on June 25th with Sun Seine Festival 2011 where they had to back Chezidek, Lyricson, Anthony John and Jah Marnyah.

“It’s challenging,” says David:

“You have to know 15 or 20 tunes by each artist. The artist usually sends us the playlist and then we discuss it.”

New productions this fall

After the summer when things have cooled down Dub Akom will go on with production again.

“We have recorded Jah Mason and Queen Omega on a new dancehall riddim. It will hopefully be released in September or in October.”

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