An Interview with Zum Raggidy

  • Tell us a few things about yourself and how you became involved with music.

I come from August Town in Kingston; growing around sound systems and live stage performances, I started music in the early 90’s. I was regularly involved in lyrical competitions and being around a lot of local and international artists has given me the motivation to keep on expressing myself about the struggles of our everyday life, in the ghetto.

  • Describe your sound in three words please!

Positive – Upfull – Spontaneous

  • You’re in the making of your first album. What characterizes this line of work?

It is a combination of a work done in Jamaica in the past and an ongoing work with European and UK collaboratives, bringing new roots, dub and dancehall ambiences.

  • What are the main differences (or similarities) you observe in the way people connect with music in France and Jamaica as part of their everyday realities?

Music is a cultural heritage in France for people to enjoy themselves and forget about the daily stress while in Jamaica music is omnipresent: playing everywhere, all the time, by everyone, whatever situations. However, the connection remains strong by both sides.

  • And how does it feel for you to be making music in such contrasting locales?

It makes me experience things from different angles, confirming that people’s perceptions and issues are the same wherever you go, despite the different environments and I translate this feeling within my songs.

  • You create music that is socially conscious. What are the main events that you’d focus right now in the world and how can music ‘intervene’?

I must mention the current racial killings and injustice faced by the black community in the USA, reflection of a worldwide problematical fact; there are similar cases in France (like Adama Traoré, for example) and all over the world, concerning all minorities. Music can intervene in many ways: by spreading conscious and positive lyrics of course, but also by putting up a collaborative resistance to make a step forward for human rights, as it has been driven recently by the music industry with the “blackout Tuesday”.

With the covid-19 crisis, we all have been witnesses of various changes in our relationship with each other, and music has been an excellent vector for improvement, I think about improvised concerts between neighbors, daily DJ sets, online concerts that virtually bring musicians together; those moments helped a lot of people to bear the lockdown and emphasized the sense of community.

What would your ideal collaboration be with?

I don’t really have any ideal collaboration in mind, because sometimes we can feel disappointed by expected ones, as well as we can be totally surprised by unexpected ones; so I’d rather know that I have to collaborate with an artist, without knowing anything about him or her artistically, as long as he or she has a clean mind. This would be an interesting challenge.

Thanks Zum!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s