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Reggae Interview Series: Reggae Music In Denmark
Interview by Reggaeplus Radio


Ole Brockman from the Reggae band Slodown

ReggaePlus: Reggae has grown in popularity in your country. Artists like [who?] have performed there?

Ole Brockman: Within the past couple of years, artist like Burning Spear, Michael Rose with Sly and Robbie have been around, Also Capleton was here a couple of weeks ago

ReggaePlus: What is the reggae scene like there?

Ole Brockman: The Reggae scene in Denmark is VERY limited, the capitol Copenhagen is having quite a few things going on, dub, ragga dancehall, besides from that, nothing much, it's a pity, as Reggae is my absolute favorite style.

ReggaePlus: How about the ska scene?

Ole Brockman: The Ska is doing much better inna DK, there's quite a few good bands, Ram Jet - http://www.ramjet.dk skaloot - http://www.skaloot.dk and a couple of others, but like in the rest of the world, ska is often ganged up with punk, garage musik, so I still think there's a bit a way to the real thing, the real Reggae.

ReggaePlus: What first drew your attention to Reggae?

Ole Brockman: Well, my childhood I filled with music, but everything changed when I first heard "007" with Mr. Desmond Dekker from the movie soundtrack from "The harder they come" I recently read that Jimmy is considering to make a sequel, which means I will have to see the first, which I never got to see, I only listened to the music...

Later on I met a lot of other great Jamaican artists, Maytals, Burning Spear, Marley, and also a couple of UK bands, Steel Pulse to be mentioned at the foremost.

ReggaePlus: What was the first Reggae song you ever heard?

Ole Brockman: I'm not sure, I vaguely recall Miss. Millie’s " My Boy Lollipop" produced by Mr. Blackwell, and this must be even before Mr. Dekker...


Slodown Reggae band performing

ReggaePlus: Who and what are your influences?

Ole Brockman: Burning Spear, Marley, Michael Rose, Sly & Robbie, Bunny Wailer, well anything roots. I started as a bass player, and Aston Barret is the most high within that part of the universe, no fancy fast licks, no "look mum, I play scales!" -just the real deal rock solid bassworks, which will keep anyone dancing forever... I would like to thank him personally, all the people I have teached is not in any doubt, they all know about Familyman...

ReggaePlus: What style of reggae is played often in your country?

Ole Brockman: [Dancehall, Lovers Rock, Concious etc.]

ReggaePlus: What style do the majority of fans seem to prefer?

Ole Brockman: UB40 seems to be Denmarks number one choice of Reggae, pity, as there is so many other great names, including newcomers, and old legends like the Maytals and Mr. Rodney...

ReggaePlus: Was the fact that Reggae is English and Patois a barrier?

Ole Brockman: No, not to me really, 1000 years ago Denmark ruled Great Brittain. So the language is merely like a dialect and Patoís is also like a dialect to me, of course anyone into the learnings of Patoís will have to go to Jamaica, as any one into learning Danish will have to come here, all the small details of a language can't be learned remotely I think...

ReggaePlus: Is Reggae main stream and played on the radio there? Videos on TV?

Ole Brockman: No, Reggae seems to be sadly underdeveloped, but we are a couple of bands trying to change this condition, and when we succeed, there will be a lot of opportunities for the Reggae business, as Denmark is a fairly wealthy country.

ReggaePlus: How is Reggae influencing your culture?

Ole Brockman: Well, Danes are built-in Reggae people, but as we barely hear it on air, no one seems to notice...

ReggaePlus: If someone traveled to visit your home and wanted to hear reggae music what would they have to do?

Ole Brockman: They would have to go to Copenhagen for the moment, not that it is the place with most Reggae, its the ONLY place with Reggae. Our band “Slo Down” is having a hard time getting out, as the local clubs are not that supportive of the style, we are living in the second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus, but this will change in the future, as I and I continue...

ReggaePlus: How would you describe your country's reggae sound and development?

Ole Brockman: As earlier mentioned, Denmark is a long way from Kingston, Reggae is under developed, but we are a handful of roughnecks carrying the torch, and I believe that within the next couple of years we will see more and more of this incredible good music coming from Denmark, as there are a lot of great artists in this small country.

ReggaePlus: What are some of the names of the popular local artist? Who would be the top 5 artists?

Ole Brockman: One of Denmark’s oldest bands called Gnags once had an album produce by Karl Pitterson, Mr. Pitterson was recording with Steel Pulse in Feedback Studios http://www.feedback.dk/

ReggaePlus: How did you get interested in Reggae?

Ole Brockman: At age 12 I first heard "The Harder they come" later on everything stopped when I listened to Bob Marley's "Positive Vibration" since then, everything Reggae!

ReggaePlus: Who is your favorite Reggae Artist?

Ole Brockman: Myself ha ha! No seriously, it's impossible to empathize some above others, my correct answer must be -All of them.

ReggaePlus: Where do you think Reggae will be in 10 years time? And in Your country?

Ole Brockman: Massive all over the world, including Denmark. The world of today is way to filled with frustrations, cheating, prejudices and misunderstandings, Reggae is a very wakening and healing music style, and I truly believe this will be one of the futures best and biggest cultural medicines, but only time will tell...

ReggaePlus: Do you think there is anything preventing Reggae from flourishing for you and your fellow artists there?

Ole Brockman: Yes there is still a lot of ice to be broken, most is prejudices and misunderstandings. When I was starting off to Kingston there was a lot of people asking, "Oh, so you go to Jamaica? You are gonna get high, you're gonna do some black ladies" and my reply to these people was "no, I am not going to get high, I am going to see some music business people, as Denmark is not ready for Reggae yet"

ReggaePlus: And as for the issue on black ladies?

Ole Brockman: I never saw any black ladies in Jamaica, I only saw a lot of beautiful and proud ladies... same thing with the gentlemen. “Be careful down there, they will shoot you down because of you skin color" well, I wasn't, I spend four amazing weeks in Kingston, in fact I even had food from a hustler who looked at me and said "hey man, you are not a soldier, you need some food", it's a simple matter of attitude I think. When I returned to Denmark there had been four gun episodes (within four weeks ) so let me ask, where is dangerous?

ReggaePlus: How are you involved in Reggae?

Ole Brockman: I started writing and singing my first songs back in 1983, I am still onto that.

ReggaePlus: In some countries you might see people wearing a Jamaican-style hat with fake dreadlocks attached when they attend reggae concerts and other events. Do you see anything like that in your country?

Ole Brockman: Yes, and I take it a clear sign that there is a definite need to spread the real thing, these fakelocks seem to reflect the shallow understanding of the Reggae in the western world, and even worse, they also indicate the servant and vague remembrance of the very origin of the human race. According to science the first remains of human activity, skulls, bones, is found in Rift Valley, Kenya, Africa, they are dated something like 6 millions years old and to me that mean we are all Africans. All this fuss about racism, black and white music, culture is truly in vain, as we are all the same "Homo Sapiens" -the thinking human, it's high time to start thinking, including taking of these fake dreads and if wanted, start to grow the real thing instead...

This world is filled with deceit and every little step will help pushing the world in the right direction.

ReggaePlus: Have you ever been to Jamaica?

Ole Brockman: Yes, indeed, in February 2000 I went to Kingston to see if I could connect with some music people, I stayed for four weeks, then my money ran out, that wasn't the last time I can guarantee...

ReggaePlus: Do you have many/any Jamaican people living there?

Ole Brockman: We have approximately less than one hundred in Denmark, but I am not sure, I know a couple of guys in Aarhus, and I have some plans for Jamaicans nights, JA Food, Music, Rum, Coffee, D.J's... more to come.

ReggaePlus: What is the name[s] of the top 'Sound System'[s] there?

Ole Brockman: Booyaka, Shack Dem, there's probably more, but I live in the country side so I am not completely up to date, the thing are mainly situated in Copenhagen, I will go there soon...

ReggaePlus: Do you eat Jamaican food? Like what?

Ole Brockman: Unfortunately almost never, but now the summer's up and then I will go to my garden and fire up my grill for some jerked fish / chicken...

Listen to Reggae From Demark...

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