The Roots Bongo Band create their own unique sound by uniting African and European cultures with their peaceful roots/reggae sound. Tackling political issues on tracks like “Leaders of Tomorrow”, and exploring the resilience of love on the very catchy pop/reggae track “If You Love Me”, their new album entitled “Leaders of Tomorrow” covers a wide variety of human experience and feeling.
Highlights from the album include “Good Ways”, which sounds like a traditional Rasta blessing handed over to the listener, and the title track, which gives the album it’s social conscience. Above all, the Roots Bongo Band exudes love, and it’s easy to pick up on that. Find out more about the group at therootsbongoband.com.
The Roots Bongo Band brings not only music but a message of peace to the world. Please share with us a little about how the roots of the project developed into this intention?
The Roots Bongo Band has been together for several years and last year we decided to record our debut album. Our main objective is to bring across our point of view of coming together, caring for one another and creating a better feature. The songs featured on ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ all represent these ideas.
The dual male and female vocals gives you a unique, balanced sound. What can the public expect from your debut album?
It is a collaboration of two different cultures; Europe and Africa, so people will definitely hear African instruments and Roots Reggae that is influenced by some contemporary elements of popular music.
I really enjoyed the vibe of “Good Ways”. Can you tell me a bit about the inspiration and meaning of that track?
The track is about living a positive life, like the traditional peaceful Rasta feeling. It’s not just a style, it means living your life in good ways, being able to share and care.
It seems like people are slowly but surely gravitating towards music that unites rather than music that divides. What are your thoughts on music today?
Music is mostly for entertainment nowadays, but we have to keep in mind the power it has over people. Music can be used as a great tool to preach or educate, a lot of Reggae music is about that anyways. There is a lot of great music out there, the good thing about today is that much more music can be listened to by the audience, and artists like us get the chance to reach much wider audiences on our own.
Who or what inspired you to start making music?
All of us have a musical background, be it from church choirs, to a family of musicians or to playing in the high school band. We are all inspired by the great artists of our time like Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin and so many more, but what inspired all of us to get into music is the joy of creating it really.
Who in music today do you respect and admire?
Every artist should be respected for what they give to the world of music, but personal tastes range from Taurus Riley, Richie Spice and Queen Ifrica to Eminem, Lady Gaga and Adele.
What else is planned for The Roots Bongo Band in 2012? Live shows? Music videos?
Yes, both! Our first tour of The Gambia starts end of April, date can be found on our website www.therootsbongoband.com
And we got plenty more videos coming out, our next one will be for our first African single ‘Nanding’, which will be available for download in the next few months. Then hopefully we will be able to start playing at some festivals; in for a great year!