Interview: Listening to Music with Gentleman

photo: Patrick Buenning

There is no real need to introduce Gentleman – the maybe only white Reggae musician who is known all over the world; who even is even a much respected and successful artist in Jamaica. A few weeks ago, the sixth studio album New Day Dawn by the Cologne-based artist was published. On the album, Gentleman continues what he is known and loved for.

In our interview with Gentleman we have talked about music by 2Pac, David Bowie, Syl Johnson and Bad Brains. More after the jump.

2Pac feat. Snoop Dogg 2 of America’s most wanted

Looking back it seems strange how much we white middle class kids loved the Gangster Ghetto Hip Hop sound from Compton, wearing Los Angeles Raiders and Compton Baseball caps – but at least we were not the only ones. Back than, it was almost impossible not to be affected by the sound of 2Pac, NWA, Snoop Dogg and all the others.

David Bowie Where are we now

I always admired this exceptional and extremely creative artist. One of the first singles in my record collection was This is not America. His new album surprised many people. It is music with edges, but it is a beam of light that shines into the mainstream boredom.

Syl Johnson Is it because I’m black

My love for Reggae has much to do with Trojan’s releases. This label has released so many hits, they have written history. At first I did not know that Ken Boothe’s song Is it because I’m black is actually a cover. Anyhow, I discovered Syl Johnson because of it, and I bought all his records. He always stood in the shadow of Al Green and Marvin Gaye, he deserves much deeper appreciation.

Bad Brains I against I

Bad Brains is the soundtrack of my days as a skater. To me, they build the bridge between Punk and Reggae. I discovered many similarities between these; there is no other genre that radically rejects the establishment as much as Punk and Reggae do.

Gentleman You remember

Ben Bazzazian, with whom I have been working for a long time, already showed me this beat with the Eva Cassedy sample some years ago. When I was producing my last album, I finally found the inspiration to write a song that deals with the advantages and disadvantages of social networks. I am happy to live in the year 2013, but there is something I do miss in this world that keeps getting faster, more globalized and more technologized, something personal and individual… We seem to have no time for the existential questions of life.

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<a href="" target="_self">Jens</a>