Reggae father back after frustration with piracy

Father of reggae back after a hiatus

Two new digital tracks for reggae father Carlos Djedje

Benson Ntlemo

Reggae exponent Carlos Djedje was not called the Father of African reggae for nothing.

The pioneer reggae artist who has been a crooner since the early seventies had been consistent as a musician and has stuck to his type of reggae come rain or shine.

Carlos Djedje

This spans for a period of more than four decades.

The prophet of reggae, as he is sometimes called, has been so concerned about peace freedom and justice that he has stuck to the subjects for years and has never sacrificed his brand of music for any commercial gain.
In fact the Pretoria based artist spurns what he calls “bubblegum reggae” like plague and he rather not sell than give the people “bubblegum”.
Not that he hates making money out of music.

Far from it, he wants to sell his music and the message must reach people.
That is why he had a hiatus of eight years, as he stopped recording because of piracy.

But now he is back with a bang. He has released two tracks that he recorded digitally.

The tracks Convid -19 and Universal Peace Keeper are typical of Carlos Djedje Throughout my life I have been singing about peace, freedom and justice and the new tracks are no exception,” said Djedje.

When I composed Convid 19, I was thinking about the disease that is causing havoc in the world. There is no peace in the midst of the pandemic and I am wondering if it is natural or man made,” he said.

Of the track Universal Peace keepers he is talking about big super power countries causing war in Africa.

“We as people are all peace keepers but must call for peace in the midst of instability caused by war mongering super powers, ” he said.
His company Passage One Music hails his music as “intrinsically linked to the struggle for freedom.” Djedje has come a long way in music.

In the 70s he performed at the Penang World Music festival in Malaysia as well as the Africa Festival in Wurzburg, Germany.
He has also performed with the late Lucky Dube in several places around the world.

These include Spain, Japan, Namibia, the United States of America and Denmark.
Perhaps his most important occasion was being invited to Jamaica popularly regarded as the headquarters of reggae music and given an award for his contribution to reggae.

While there he had the honour of laying wreaths on the tombstones of the land reggae icons Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley.
He also shared the stage with Eric Donaldson and Andrew Tosh.
But then the hiatus.
“When I that piracy was killing music, I had no more courage to go on and I stopped recording,” he said.

But then the company persuaded him to make a comeback.
Ï realised my music will now sell worldwide digitally and this has given me strength, ”he said.

He feels will assist a great deal. “We have to fight the Convid -19 which is the new war. We also have to warn super powers about distributing arms of war which a threat to world peace,” he said and added, “We are peace keepers of the world.”

The man has done and seen it all.

In reggae that is.

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