In 2002 producer/deejay Suga Roy joined forces with singer Conrad Crystal and since then the energetic force of the duo has been powerfully impacting the international reggae scene. They proved to be consistent hitmakers as several singles reached the charts. Also their three album releases were well received and gained critical acclaim. Although the duo still embarks on their mission to spread reggae's powerful message, Suga Roy has put out a solo project called "Meditation" (available on I-Tunes, while the physical cd is distributed by VP Records). So, time for an interview with this consistent reggae artist.

Q: After so many years working closely together with Conrad Crystal, what made you tackle the "Meditation" project in solo fashion?

A: It has been great working with Conrad Crystal over the years, but during the time working with Conrad Crystal I was working with Fireball Crew as well, so I just feel that it was the time to highlight the Fireball Crew to the world. I didn't stop working with Conrad Crystal. We just came off a one month tour in Brazil in March (2013) and we will be coming to Europe this summer to do some festivals and after we come back from Europe we will be going back to Brazil in September to do most of the festivals over there. Conrad Crystal also has a track on this album because he is a part of the Fireball Crew, but am pushing this name now, Suga Roy & The Fireball Crew

Q: Please introduce The Fireball Crew to us - who's part of it, why are you playing with them, a one-off thing or is it supposed to last?

A: There are eight members in the Fireball Crew. Suga Roy, Rawmed, Shauna, Jahvante, a bass guitarist, a lead guitarist, a drummer, and a keyboard player are all a part of Fireball Crew. Fireball Crew will be here for ever. It is not a one-off thing, we will be coming stronger and stronger with positive music.

Q: You picked an interesting array of classical roots riddims. How did you select them? Why are you opting for this style now? Are there riddims included from favorite producers of yours?

A: The reason why I select these classical roots riddims is because I know that these riddims are the foundation of Jamaican Reggae music, and I - as a new generation artist that come in the reggae music - when I go on the new one drop riddims that is playing now I don't feel the vibes like when I sit and listen the old classic roots riddim. I feel the spirit move inside of me when I listen to the old classic riddims. So I tell myself that I have to do an album with classic roots riddim because I get more inspiration, and yes, my favorite producers are Coxsone Dodd, Striker Lee, Rupie Edwards and Bobby Digital.

Q: Where was "Meditation" recorded? How long did the whole project take to take shape?

A: "Meditation" was recorded at Big Yard studio and Avikon Recording Studio. It took us three weeks to voice the tracks and two weeks to mix all tracks.

Suga Roy (Photo: Irie Ites)

Suga Roy

Q: How do you get your inspiration to write those songs? How are they created?

A: I don't really write lyrics. When I listen the riddim, the instrument carry the melody and the words to me and tell me what to say and when I experience a lot of things through my life and when I see what is happening close to me everyday and out there in the world I just put it together and make a song.

Q: "Meditation" features four combinations with Conrad Crystal, Rawmed, Jahvante and Shauna. Why did you choose to work with them? How were the featuring initiated?

A: Fireball Crew is Band and also a Record Company, so as a Record Company when I see the new talents come around me I don't try to stifle them. I try to highlight them so that is why I try to feature Shauna, Rawmed and Jahvante on this album to make the world know that they have great talent. I also have a track with Conrad Crystal on this album.

Q: How would you sum up what Mediation is all about in no more than three phrases?

A: This album "Meditation" is all about Equal rights and Justice, true Rastaman Vibrations, and showing love to the empresses.

Q: What sets "Meditation" apart from all your previous projects?

A: What sets "Meditation" from all my previous projects are the type of classical riddims on the album and the lyrics are very strong. While I was doing this album I would take a break sometime from the studio and leave Kingston and go in the Country in the mountain to get higher Meditations. This album is at the level where I want to see myself pushing the good reggae music in the Reggae Music Industry.

Q: Anything you absolutely want to mention concerning this album and haven't already?

A: This "Meditation" album that I create in this time, I believe all Reggae music fans that know where the original Reggae is coming from should support this album, because they're not going get a production like this so easy from the music industry right now because the level of the new riddims that are making now some of them don't have any substance.
Interview provided by Suga Roy
(Please do not reproduce without permission)