Is Kush I your birth name or artist name?
My birth name is Errol Henry and to be honest I didn’t really have an artist or stage name until a company executive in Jamaica said that I needed a name in order to promote myself. So I spent some- time coming up with names that didn’t say much or mean much, but through my reading I had learnt about the Kushites the first dynasty in the world. They were captured Nubians who were allowed to keep the names and culture by the Egyptians. The Kushites later rose to be Pharaohs in Egypt and I felt that narrative of being captured, but raising to prominence fitted with my story as a child of slavery and so i called myself Kush-I, and I love it.
At what age did you
I started voicing age of 23 or so, I stopped everything tion at the time, but me and it was inevi- some point, which
start voicing on reggae
on reggae tracks at the
was a DJ before that, but as I didn’t have any direc- the music was strong in table that I would return at i did.
THE GUESTLIST NETWORK | APRIL 2010
Listening to the lyrics that Kush-I writes for his songs you will undoubtably would have no- ticed the spirituality, ethos and intelligence that goes into them. He hopes to spread a mes- sage of love and equality through his work. Obviously this a message that we hold dear here at The Guestlist Network so our mates at Red Promotions had a little chat and dug a little deeper. Interview by Early b
What inspires your song writing?
I have never been asked this question before, but I would say that my inspiration is the quest for truth and to provide the listener with the will to go on. To not be beaten down or to take out a mortgage on self doubt. You should never disbelieve in yourself and what you can achieve. I also like to write in a way to say to people that you don’t have to be held ransom by the past. People like Clancy Eccles, Ernie Smith, Steelie’s mother out of Steelie and Cleavie were people who have shaped my writing. Also listening Bob Andy who in my view has wrote some great great songs.
Who are your favourite artist of today?
My favourite artist of today is Beres Hammond because he sounds kind in his music and kindness is a lovely thing to share with the world. I love Pam Hall as her voice has such a sultry hypnotic quality to it, Morgan Heritage are immense and so is Jah Mali. People say i have a sound of Sanchez in some of my songs and that is possible as I like listening to his songs as well as Mikey Spice. At the moment I am listening to Ryan Leslie as a new voice in R&B, but my time is pent listening to old stuff as it sounds less complicated and more in- nocent, something that I think is missing in contemporary stuff.
Who are your musical influences?
I take influence from everyone good and bad. The good show- ing me how to do it, and the bad showing how not to. I listen to
Jazz singers like Carmen McCrae, Donny Hathaway Frank Mc- Comb and Carl Thomas, and I listen to dancehall dj’s like Assas- sin, Capleton and Sizzla. I also like to listen to natural sounds, everyday speech and vibrations. There is a difference in sound between the US and the UK and a further difference in Jamaica. From the moment I’m awaken by the sound of
the cockerel, people’s early morning reasoning, the vibration and energy that accompanies sound, all influence my music in one way or another.
Is there anyone you would like to thank for the support given?
I would like to thank everyone and everything. My journey start- ed me hearing songs that have left an indelible mark on me like ‘side show’ by Barry Biggs and many of Dennis Brown and Mighty Diamonds works, but Ken Boothe, Fredlocks, Luciano, Dean Frazer, Ansell Collins the Abyssinian family, Mikey General, Chesidek, spectacular, Emperor Stitch and many many ,more were more directly influential in the making of Kush. I am grateful to my fan base and to the brave radio presenters and sound dj’s who have played my music when I was less well known, because as you may know people are often scared of embracing new talent. Nuff love to Calvin Francis who has been a trail blazer with Solid Ground and has put so much love and energy behind the project. I also cannot forget my friends like Scalah who walked with me from studio to studio in the sun hot and never doubted my ability.
We’ve refurbished the bar and made more stylish, brighter and definitely more up mar- ket. We’re looking forward to summer….
What events have you on offer at the Battersea Bar?
Monday nights we have Pool com- petitions, we have 2 excellent pool teams at the moment. They train and practice during the week but com- pete against each other for trophies every Monday night. Anyone wanting to come down to compete, there are trophies up for the winning teams, ev- eryone welcome. Every other Sunday night is our new Jazz nights, they start from 5pm til 8pm with a live jazz band and Sun- day roast. Its English Sunday roast with a twist of Jamaican zing to it. PLUS - Live Jazz (5-8pm) Michael “Bami” Rose, Ardian Reid, Ross Anderson, Ken Rowe and guests to name a few. On Thursday nights you will get a blend of old skool hip hop fused with old skool house/garage, this night is growing on a weekly basis and is well worth checking out if you like this genre. The night is called Older Than You Think and the dj’s on the night are Willow Treez and DJ Figr.
Friday nights is now our soca night - So Soca Massive - if you never knew where the soca party was before you surely know now. You can join Smokey Joe and the crew as they wuk up a storm every Friday. Please look out for a once a month Saturday night called reggae nights where Fulham’s finest sound system Boot Hi Fi carry’s their wonderful crowd down and throw down some great beats and even though the night is called Reggae Night the mu- sic is very mixed. The crowd keep it real, and are always well dressed.
To book in advance by telephone. 020 7223 1241 or 07818073555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Battersea Bar 58-70 York Road Battersea SW11 3QD www.batterseabar.co.uk
See the full article on line at www. guestlist.net or drop in and soak up the Vibes.
One Love Festival
The lovely people at One Love festival are going to giveaway some tickets to a whole bunch of lucky Guestlist Network readers.
If you love all things reggae and want to get your hands on a pair then tell us who you most want to see from the line up. Send entries to email@example.com
OLD REGGAE RECORDS WANTED
FOR CASH TODAY
CONTACT MELVIN HOME 0208 3171 156 MOBILE 0795 6293 607
A Twist of Jamaican Zing!
The sun is shining, the weather is sweet and Carlos and Sandra are gearing up for their first summer as owners of the Battersea Bar. Since they purchasing what used to be their local hang out they’ve completely renovated the venue and started up some exciting nights. It’s become a hub of the community to locals and the couple hope that the warmth and welcome can be extended to everyone.
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