Select Page

Author: Stephen Cooper at Reggae Vibes

Interview with Cali Roots’ Dan Sheehan

CALI ROOTS’ DAN SHEEHAN: “REGGAE IS THE HEARTBEAT OF THE FESTIVAL” (THE INTERVIEW) When: April 20, 2018 Where:  Monterey, CA (by phone) Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2018 – Stephen Cooper Last summer the New York Times reported that Grammy-nominated reggae star Chronixx told a crowd during one of his electric performances: “This is the beautiful sound of reggae music from the island of Jamaica. Look amongst yourselves. You’ll see people from all different races, with all different color faces. And that in itself is the power of music.” “REGGAE IS THE HEARTBEAT OF THE FESTIVAL” Well, attention music lovers,...

Read More

Etana interview

“REGGAE STAR ETANA EMPHASIZES EQUALITY: THE INTERVIEW” When: March 31, 2018 Where:  Los Angeles, CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2018 – Stephen Cooper Lauded by the BBC as the “greatest music teacher who ever lived,” Nadia Boulanger once described the ecstasy that listeners of reggae star Etana’s new album, “Reggae Forever,” feel: “Nothing is better than music. When it takes us out of time, it has done more for us than we have the right to hope for. It has broadened the limits of our sorrowful life; it has lit up the sweetness of our hours of happiness[.]” “REGGAE...

Read More

Nattali Rize Interview

“REBEL TALK WITH NATTALI RIZE: THE INTERVIEW” When: February 11, 2018 Where:  Long Beach, CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2018 – Stephen Cooper Since moving to Jamaica from Australia in 2014, Nattali Rize has taken the reggae world by storm. Already Rize has worked with many of the industry’s biggest names; an activist by nature—and experience—everything about Rize’s music and revolutionary, rebel style (or “frequencies,” as she calls them), resonates with conscious, roots reggae music, and vice versa. “REBEL TALK WITH NATTALI RIZE: THE INTERVIEW” On February 11, 2018, Rize delivered a soulful, spellbinding performance before a motley but mellow...

Read More

Jesse Royal interview

“MAJESTIC MEDITATIONS WITH JESSE ROYAL: THE INTERVIEW” When: February 10, 2018 Where:  Long Beach, CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2018 – Stephen Cooper Jesse Royal is one of the brightest stars in music today. Cutting edge and conscious, Royal, a Rasta singer “affectionately known” as “The Small Axe,” exudes a regal presence on stage and in person. Versatile, with oversized talent and an ever-growing discography of unique and rootical hits–including the occasional love song and homage to the blessed herb–it is only a matter of time before Royal ascends his rightful throne in reggae. “MAJESTIC MEDITATIONS WITH JESSE ROYAL: THE...

Read More

Keith & Tex interview

“A REVEALING CONVERSATION WITH ROCKSTEADY RULERS KEITH & TEX” When: December 13, 2017 Where:  Dub Club (Echoplex), Los Angeles CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Despite a near thirty-year separation, perhaps no singing duo in music history has enjoyed a comparably resilient, prolific, and successful partnership, as Jamaican rocksteady icons Keith Rowe and Phillip “Tex” Dixon. As the inimitable radio personality Junor Francis forcefully exclaimed when introducing them at Los Angeles’ Dub Club on December 13: When they started singing together – as scrawny, starry-eyed teenagers in Jamaica – Keith and Tex were “met with massive rejection!”...

Read More

Larry McDonald interview

“I JUST WANTED TO BE THE CONGA PLAYER” (LARRY MCDONALD: THE INTERVIEW) When: November 2, 2017 Where:  Dub Club @ The Echoplex, Los Angeles CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Larry McDonald is one of the most accomplished percussionists in the world. Honored in Jamaica in 2011 with a lifetime achievement award, for over fifty years McDonald has recorded and toured with pioneering performers, such as the late jazz and spoken-word musician Gil Scott-Heron (who described himself as a “bluesologist”), blues artist Taj Mahal, and a litany of legendary reggae stars, including Toots & The Maytals, Lee...

Read More

Lee Scratch Perry interview

“LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY’S “UNDERGROUND TRUTHS” AT L.A.’S DUB CLUB (THE INTERVIEW)” When: November 2, 2017 Where:  Dub Club @ The Echoplex, Los Angeles CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper It’s hard to gauge the immensity of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s contributions to music. By dint of boundless passion, creativity, and preternatural skills at the mixing board, Perry, known as “The Upsetter,” not only propelled Bob Marley and countless other Jamaican musicians’ careers to international stardom – he pioneered dub music, which, in turn, birthed hip-hop. That’s why, without hyperbole, Ibrahim “Ebro” Darden, a radio host for Hot 97...

Read More

Andrew Bees interview

“A BULL SESSION AT THE BEACH WITH BLACK UHURU’S ANDREW BEES” When: October 14, 2017 Where:  Bolsa Chica State Beach, Orange County CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Anyone familiar with legendary, Grammy Award-winning reggae band Black Uhuru knows what reggae historian Roger Steffens means when he writes that “[t]o wail in Jamaican terms, mean[s] to cry out for justice, to beseech the Almighty and the powers that be for a better life.” Steffens aptly describes how “[i]t [is] not just a crying [but an] imploring from the depth of your soul, stripped of all pretense and...

Read More