Interview: Richie Spice

Richie Spice needs no introduction to most people familiar with Reggae and Jamaican music. With a musical career which has been going strong since the early 90's, and a huge catalogue of heavy hitting reggae tracks, Richie Spice is one of the biggest reggae exports from Jamaica. In advance of his performance this week in London as part of the Innervisions festival 2019.

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Image credit: Nickii Kane

Marijuana pon de corner, searching, Serious Woman, Blood Again to name a few of his tracks, Richies repertoire of reggae hits is unrivalled and anyone who knows anything about reggae music. He brings a unique yet authentic reggae sound to all his work. We caught up with the man himself while he was preparing for the upcoming tour with his band in Jamaica.

Richie, what can you tell us about the upcoming gig in London on Thursday 4th July?

I'm really looking forward to the gig, we've been rehearsing hard, and will be bringing the full band and give the people a good show.

Are you playing anywhere else this year?

We're doing some European gigs this year, we've got a few dates lined up this summer including supporting Buju Banton alongside Protoje, Antony B and Agent Sasco in Amsterdam on Sunday 7th July.

What can you tell us about your new track "Beautiful Life" with Katheryn Aria?

Yeah, Beautiful life is a nice song, and Katheryn Aria delivers well on the track. It's about lots of things, mother nature and it's a love song.

How did the Collaboration come about?

I was introduced to her by a member of my management team. She's a very cool lady and her vocals really worked.

Can you tell us anything about the upcoming album?

We're going to put down around fourteen tracks, collaborations with Katheryn Aria and Chronixx and others.

Talking about Chronixx and Protoje they have helped reinvigorate reggae music on a global scale. Are there any other artists coming out of Jamaica we should listen out for?

Yes, you know, lots of young artists playing their music and good music. They do need to have proper management in order to put them further out there.

I guess that's not much different now to when you were first looking for a break, even with all your connections and family of musicians.

Definitely, for real!

Do you think things have changed much?

Now you can get yourself out there using social media and the internet to get known. But it only gets you so far in most cases. Record sales don't really matter now, it's hard to make it work and have a full band to pay too.

It's frustrating to see such small revenue coming back to the artists through streaming sites.

For real!

Are you playing any other festivals?

Yeah man, I'll be playing a lot of festivals?

Festivals seem to embrace reggae, and the genre seems to be getting a lot of attention nowadays.

We love that, and all these things. Thanks to all the people who appreciate it and love it. It means a lot.

Roots reggae seems to very popular compared to the high energy dancehall.

Places like California and London and Europe love real reggae music. Wherever I play I always get a big turnout, it's a type of music that people want worldwide.

It's time for my quick-fire round!

The internet is running out of space, and you can only keep one of your tracks for the rest of time. What would you put in?

Beautiful world!

Things have taken a turn for the worst, and the hard drives are crashing, and you can only save one piece of music from any artist. What would it be?

Bob Marley, One Love!

You've got ten seconds to stand on a box and say something to everyone in the world.

I would tell the people to unite together?

Are you ready for the tour?

We're getting ready to set off for London, and are busy getting the set ready with the band. All the band is coming with me from Jamaica.

You can catch Richie Spice and the element band in London this week, at the Innervisions Festival. He will be performing on Thursday 4th July, at Islington Town Hall Check out all the other acts playing this week at https://www.innervisionsfestival.com/