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Interview: Eazydread

Interview: Eazydread

Interview: Eazydread

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"Coming from The Seychelles, you just have to love reggae music"

Eazydread – aka Jean-Paul Boniface -  is young and roots, even if he is happy to “mix it up” with other styles, and his “local” area encompasses The Seychelles, England, France, and South Africa. Here he tells Norman Darwen about his background.

Eazydread

Can you tell me about what attracted you to reggae as a youth?

Well, as a reggae artist in the Seychelles, my uncle, Bones (aka Peter Boniface) influenced me a lot. I grew up with Bob Marley’s music and posters all around. But, coming from The Seychelles, you just have to love reggae music. There is a big Rasta community and it’s part of the culture.

Who are your main influences?

The person that really influenced me is Lee Scratch Perry. While I was studying sound engineering, my whole studies and research was around him. I met him after his concert in Camden Town in north London and instantly felt the part of legend in him - as an artist he is complete.

There are a lot of roots Rasta living on the islands in a roots way, thanks to the amazing nature inna countryman style

Can you tell me about the reggae scene in The Seychelles?

Well, when arriving in Seychelles, many people feel like they have arrived in Jamaica, only the nature is really amazing. There are Rastas and red, gold and green everywhere - especially on Praslin island which is The Rasta island (out of 105). I mean, we have got the same creole background. So reggae is takin’ over, especially since people like Ras Ricky or Mercenary started doing concerts everywhere, every weekend... the scene is local. Some artists like Eric Donaldson come now and then. Roots in The Seychelles is big thanks to Mercenary and there are a lot of roots Rasta living on the islands in a roots way, thanks to the amazing nature inna countryman style, although on the main island there are a lot of Rasta gangsta hustler into Vybz Cartel and bashment. But once you get out of town it's all roots and we even have a Nazarite temple on most islands (up the hill), recognised by the government... but thanks to the weather and the nature there, most Rasta are roots Rastas eating Ital, farmers or fisherman, and living their belief in the roots.

You worked as drum ‘n’ bass artist Spektakillaz - how would you describe the relationship between reggae and drum and bass?

For me everyt’ing comes from reggae. You have ragga jungle and now dub step is big. Even hip-hop or modern t’ings like Sean Paul comes from reggae... So the transition is natural, it’s just a modern evolution. You got the same bass-lines and melodies - and the same message: One love!

Tell me about your recording history and the background to your CD “Step Into Zion”…

EazydreadWell I started early... I was playing music in front of 2000 people at 17 years old. It was a bit much for me, although my uncle had prepared me and my cousin (Boniface, the R’n’B artist on Sony Music) well. I started producing at 20 years old, but then I suddenly stopped while I was studying... after all this time, I feel the urge to produce and taking a break was inspiring. The production I did was under the French label Spektakillaz and was released as an LP in France in 2001. When I was living in London I was working in a studio as an engineer - it's called EC1 and is meant for youth in difficulties socially

I know that the Seychelles is multi-lingual - how important is it for you to sing in Creole?

Creole is our identity. You could be white, purple, or blue and be from The Seychelles. The proof of our identity is our language because you need to born there to be able to speak it. That is our passport.

You've been doing some recording - what can we expect from you in future?

Well, I had a little daughter not long ago, named Edith...but she getting big now and I am getting over it. I was also travelling around South Africa and Madagascar to get inspired. So it's about time I get back to the studio. Bless up and more love.

Zion is a state of mind so if you feel good within yourself, then nothing can affect you

Anything else you want to say?

Zion is a state of mind so if you feel good within yourself, then nothing can affect you... Babylon make it hard fi’ we, so we have to take it slow and ease up the vibes more down here. One love.

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