Highlanda Baby Cham Interview

This interview conducted in Atlanta after a Baby Cham performance is original content from the award-winning Highlanda.net. Big ups to top rated Baby Cham! Look out for the something new from Highlanda coming at you over the internet very soon.

Baby Cham


Kahlil: Cham you just mashed up and leveled Planet Q. What do you have to say about the show?

Cham: Its like a regular night. Everyday of the week we work; Monday through Friday. We just thank the fans for coming out and showing us so much love. Each time we try to give them at least 190% worth of work, you know…?

Kahlil: When can we expect the next album?

Cham: At the end of this year or early next year. I’m in the studio right after this tour. I’ve been touring since last year October, non-stop. I’ll get a break now so I’ll be in the studio trying to get some tracks together for the next album.

Picture of Baby Cham with Kahlil Wonda

Baby Cham with Kahlil Wonda

Kahlil: As far as influences and motivation, what’s your driving force right now?

Cham: I feel its my mother and son–straight up. And just love for the music and trying to see the music reach places. Music, in regards to reggae music and dancehall music as a whole.

Kahlil: …And who were some of the artists you looked up to when you were coming up also?

Cham: Dave Kelly, Buju Banton, Wayne Wonder, Major Worries, Shabba Ranks, the majority of the top entertainers from Jamaica. Every single entertainer that was mashing up the dancehall scene while I was attending school, those were the artists I tried to portray–DJ their lyrics. And now I can do my own and hopefully have youth trying to portray me and DJ my styles.

Kahlil: How do you deal with the negative people and influences in the music industry?

Cham: I stick around the positive. I never go around the negative. Negative ain’t good for you at all. I stick to my family. My family is positive to me and never show me a negative side. And that’s it. …Go get the album Wowow! The Story.”

Big Bands of Reggae

Highlanda.net:

“Nothing compares to being in a venue where a reggae band is performing live.  The rumble of the bass lines surround you in a warm embrace and you can’t help but to rock and skank as you are transported to another realm and higher level of consciousness.  This describes the effects of the power that live reggae musicians have over the masses.”


Third World

Third World is a Grammy nominated Jamaican reggae band formed in 1973. Their sound is influenced by soul, funk and disco. Third World’s greatest success came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, peaking with their cover version of The O’Jays’ “Now That We Found Love”, a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic in 1979. Here is a Third World performing “Now That We Found Love:”
This song brought them to the attention of Stevie Wonder, who worked with them and wrote (along with Melody A. McCully) their song “Try Jah Love.” This band still records and tours to this day so definitely check them out if they come to a venue near you. Visit Third World online at http://www.thirdworldband.com/

Inner Circle

This Jamaican reggae group was formed in 1968 by the brothers Ian and Roger Lewis in Jamaica. The band released its debut album in 1974 on the famed record label, Trojan Records, and resigned in 1979 to Island Records, where the internationally successful album Everything Is Great originated. They are responsible for the 1989 song “Bad Boys,” which serves as the theme song for Fox Network’s long-running television program COPS. Here is Inner Circle with “Bad Boys:”
Jacob Miller, the frontman and lead singer, was killed in a car crash on March 23, 1980. The band appeared in the reggae cult film Rockers in 1978. Their second American hit, reaching #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993 was “Sweat (A La La La La Long)”, which was a #3 hit in the UK. Here is Inner Circle with “Sweat:”

Steel Pulse
Steven Huey reports, “Generally a protest-minded Rastafarian outfit, Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience among white U.K. punks as well. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. As the ’80s wore on, slick synthesizers and elements of dance and urban R&B gradually crept into their sound, even as their subject matter stayed on the militant side. By the late ’80s, Steel Pulse had won a Grammy and were working full-fledged crossover territory, but never reached the same degree of commercial acceptance as Aswad or Inner Circle. They subsequently returned to a tough-minded, rootsy sound that nonetheless made concessions to contemporary trends with touches of dancehall and hip-hop.” Here is Steel Pulse performing “Rally Round:”
In 1993 they performed at Bill Clinton’s inaugural celebration, the first reggae band to appear at such an event. Visit Steel Pulse’s website for more.

Aswad
From Vh1: “Aswad was arguably Britain’s most successful reggae band, in terms of both popularity and longevity. Critical opinion on their body of work is often divided; some hail their early material as the greatest roots reggae Britain ever produced, while others find their later pop-crossover phase more distinctive and unique, even at the expense of authenticity. Regardless, Aswad’s ability to adapt themselves to the changing times — new musical trends, shifting personnel — was ultimately the driving force behind their decades-long career.”
Aswad was often hired as backing musicians for touring Jamaican stars: Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, and Black Uhuru.

Spotlight on Guyana

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Well written by Highlanda.net‘s Crisis Don, here’s a feature on my hometown, GT – the Republic of Guyana.

As most of you who follow Highlanda Sound System already know, we are a sound that treats our heritage with much respect and admiration.  We alone are not the ones who have a say in our destinies.  We believe that because of those that have passed before us, we are blessed with endless examples of excellence.  Therefore I will give you a synopsis, so to speak, of our country Guyana.

Guyana Flag

Guyana Flag

The word Guyana is of Amerindian descent, meaning “land of many waters”.  The country was termed this because of it’s many rivers, creeks, and other bodies of water.  The three main rivers in Guyana are the Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice Rivers.  Furthermore, the area is below sea level at high tide.  In order to fight off the Atlantic Ocean, sea walls and sluices are used to holt the great body of water.

Guyana is about 83,000 sq. miles which is roughly the size of the United Kingdom.  Speaking of which, Guyana (formerly British Guiana) is the only English-speaking country in South America.  The countries surrounding it are Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana).  The country is also considered the largest country in the West Indies (note that the rest of the countries in the West Indies are island states).

Guyana was first populated by the Amerindians which included of Caribs, Arawaks, Warraus, Wapisianas, Arecunas, Akawaios, Macusis, Patamonas, and Wai-wais.  Modern Guyana has six distinct ethnic groups that comprise it’s population: African (40%), East Indian (51%), Chinese, Portuguese, European, and Amerindian.  This diversity of ethnicity was caused by the vast history of the country.

Map of Guyana

Map of Guyana

When the Dutch were in control of the northern South America coastline, slaves were brought from West Africa to work on the cotton and sugar plantations.  In 1831 when the British became a major player in the colony race, the three colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice were united and named British Guiana. In 1834 slavery was abolished which led to the use of indentured servants.  Immigrants also came from Europe, China, and India, causing the ethnic landscape we see today in the country.

British Guiana gained independence on May 26, 1966, which led to the country’s title of Guyana.  Guyana became a Republic within the British Commonwealth on February 23, 1970, the full name then became The Cooperative Republic of Guyana.  Guyana’s  constitution also came about in 1980.

This is a very brief synopsis of the country of Guyana.  Highlanda Inc. is dedicated to spreading not only our music world-wide, but we also find it necessary to spread our culture.  Stay posted for more on this and other topics.

- Crisis Don

In these times turn to ‘The Book of Life’

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One of the reasons I love foundation (reggae) music is because of how the messages brought forth in songs recorded decades ago still can be applied directly to life today. Many of the lyrics and concepts are actually quotes from biblical texts sung over reggae bass lines. The Highlanda mixtape entitled ‘The Book of Life’ is dedicated to such selections from the Finest Years era and offers the wisdom of the ancients to those who will listen. ‘That’s right! If a reality you want, let me hear you shout out Highlanda!’ Listen to the Book of Life, now streaming online at www.highlanda.net. This mix will also be available as an mp3 file for download on demand soon. I welcome your comments and feedback.

Song List
1 – Intro – Tings Change
2 – Armageddon Time – Willie Williams
3 – Fussing and Fighting – Dennis Brown
4 – Cool Out Son – Junior Murvin
5 – No Man’s Land – Cornell Campbell
6 – Tribal War – John Holt
7 – Wolves and Leopards – Dennis Brown
8 – Whip Them Jah Jah – Dennis Brown
9 – No Man is an Island – Dennis Brown
10 – Never Gonna Give Jah Up – Sugar Minott
11 – Created By the Father – Dennis Brown
12 – Feeling Soul – Bob Andy
13 – Police and Thieves – Junior Murvin
14 – Satisfy My Soul – Bob Marley and the Wailers
15 – Slave Driver – Bob Marley and the Wailers

16 – I am the Conqueror – Dennis Brown
17 – Rebel Music – Bob Marley and the Wailers
18 – General Penitentiary – Black Uhuru
19 – Were Gonna Fight – The Heptones
20 – Fade Away – Junior Byles
21 – Unchained – Bob Andy
22 – Hog and Goat – Don Carlos
23 – Cost of Living – Half Pint
24 – Early Sunday Morning – Eek A Mouse
25 – Praise Jehovah – Tenor Saw
26 – Ruff Ole Life – Sugar Minott
27 – M-16 – Sammy Dread
28 – Rudeboy Skanking – Israel Vibration
29 – Skylarking – Horace Andy
30 – See A Man’s Face – Horace Andy

31 – Truths and Rights – Johnny Osborne
32 – Mr. Bassie – Horace Andy
33 – I Need A Roof – The Mighty Diamonds
34 – Jah Promise – Johnny Osborne
35 – Bobby Babylon – Freddie McGregor
36 – I Shall Sing – Marcia Griffiths
37 – Better Must Come – Delroy Wilson
38 – None Shall Escape – Johnny Clarke