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Reggae Vibes Galore

New Zealand-based but Botswana-born Reggae artist chooses his favourite records. Culture Spears, perhaps? Nope, Ali Farkatoure actually…Known as Samuel Seomeng, Ras Juda relocated to New Zealand in 2003. It has been a long journey for Ras Juda who started his music by playing indigenous instruments like segankure and setinkane back in his home village of Thabala near Serowe.

1. THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT…
The first record that I ever bought was “Confrontation” by Bob Marley and The Wailers. I love this record because it talks about the African pride, strength, and unity, which for a long time were non existent among the Africans, especially those who went through the colonial education system.

PIC ONE & SEVEN CONFRONTATION BOB MARLEY

 

2. A RECORD MY PARENTS HAD WHICH I LOVED…

My parents owned gospel music records, which I was not very fond of, but we listened to the radio a lot, and I loved Mabaqanga music, particularly the music of Mahlathini and The Mahotella Queens together with Makgonatsotlhe band. I think this guy’s melodies carry a genuine African joy and soul. And I believe the influence that this music has had on me had a lasting impact. And they were the very reason I made up my mind back then to become a musician myself when I grow up, a dream that I continue to live to date.

3}. THE RECORD WHICH GOT ME INTO WORLD MUSIC…

The record which got me into world music was ‘Savane’ by Ali Farkatoure (Mali). I have always loved world indigenous music, especially indigenous music of Africa in general. But it’s the simplicity and honesty of Ali’s music that made me want to do more than just love world music, but to also collect the music and actively take part in creating it. And that was the reason I recorded my own world music album in 2010, based on indigenous music of Botswana, titled “Afrikan Village Cry” currently in circulation around South Pacific.

4}. A RECORD THAT REMINDS ME OF SCHOOL…

‘Mama Afrika’ by Peter Tosh, we used to thrash this album at college. And this is one of the reggae records that influenced me to get into the Rastafarian faith and to later actively participate in creating reggae music. It also heightened my love for my African cultural heritage and brought to me the realisation that, not everything I was learning from the western education system was relevant to me as an African.

 5}. A RECORD PEOPLE MIGHT BE SURPRISED I OWN…

‘Riverside’ by Luka Bloom, he is an Irish acoustic

Guitar player, very rhythmic and lively. Luka is one of the best acoustic guitar players that I have heard so far. I play acoustic guitar myself and I love listening to a good acoustic guitar player. I don’t know many musicians in the western world who can play rhythm very well, but I have to say Luka is exceptional.

 6}. A HEARTBREAK RECORD THAT I LOVE…

Lucky Dube’s track, ‘Remember Me’. From the record ‘Serious Reggae Business’. When Lucky released his first reggae album “Rasta’s Never Die” in the eighties, I had already been listening to Jamaican Roots reggae for sometime, and I didn’t think much of his style, which back then was not as exciting. But as time passed I started enjoying his later albums, and “Serous Reggae Business” was one of those albums that I thoroughly enjoyed, and the song “Remember me” (even though sad) particularly always touched me. I have never been a great fan of fantasy lyrics, and this particular record is jam packed with real situation lyrics. “Remember me” is a typical real heart breaking situation of an abandoned child, and is one of my all time favourites.

 7}. A RECORD WHICH SAID IT’S OK TO BE BLACK…

‘Confrontation’ – Bob Marley and the Wailers… Listening to this record as a youth back then, with tracks such as “Rasta man Live Up”, “Black Man Redemption”, “Chant Down Babylon” “Stiff Necked Fools” etc., made me feel strong and proud to be an African. Confrontation, as the name of the record declares, confronted the African mental enslavement that occurred during the degrading slave trade and colonisation of the African continent. Through this record, Bob Marley and The Wailers sent a clear and conscious message to all black people across the globe “Be proud to be black”, and I count myself to be one the many lucky recipients of this message.

 8}. A RECORD EVERYONE LIKED BUT I DIDN’T…

There is nothing that I don’t really like, although I’m not a huge fan of Death Metal, (laughing) not that I know many people who listen to Death Metal. I also don’t like computer generated music, which most of the young Artists seem to like, because I think most of it is monotonous. I am not going to point my finger at any one specific record for the sake of diplomacy.

 9}. MY FAVOURITE RECORD BY A CONTEMPORARY…

‘Fourplay’ the self titled record by Fourplay – an American jazz fusion band. This is like music therapy to me, these guys make beautiful music. Uplifting, healing and inspiring. Whether you like jazz or not, you are bound to like this band.

I introduce Fourplay music to anyone who cares to listen. Fourplay is: Bob James (piano), Lee Retinour (guitar) Harvey Mason (drums) and Nathan East (bass)

10}. A RECORD I PLAY ALL THE TIME ON THE CAR…

“In the Heart of the Moon” by Ali Farkatoure and Toumane Diabate. I am a big Ali Farkatoure fan, and I love Toumane Diabate’s kora playing. And in this record, Ali Farkatoure combines his acoustic guitar with Toumane’s kora. This is West African Creole music, which brings together all the elements of African music. Modern day American blues combines this style with western classical music. And in this record, Ali and Toumane combine the elements of African blues, African jazz and all contemporary styles across the continent. Simply a great African record of all time.

 

 

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