Swiss reggae artist Cali P has dropped the music video for 'Carry The Load' which was shot in London, England by MediaKoncept and JOAT music. The track was produced by Kheilstone Music on the 'Reggae Root' riddim and Cali toasts a message of steadfast resilience in this trying socio-political climate, whilst also paying homage to the unity that positive music brings about amongst humanity. The latter is a fundamental principle on which his chart-topping 'Healing of The Nation' is based; 'Carry The Load' is the first single from this project released via EU label/production house Hemphigher last November (2014).
We discussed these projects and more during a quick catch up:
Marijuana has always had a close assoication with reggae and the movement of Rastafarianism that the music is underpinned by. Bob Marley once said "Herb is the healing of the nation" and many other artists such as Israel Vibrations, Sizzla and Jacob Miller and Inner Circle (to name a few) teach this message in their songs. Is this the thought behind the name of your EP?
That is all very true but the healing of the nation is much deeper than just herb - it is about music. Music has the power to influence the people whether positive or negative, it's like it can transmit feelings. Someone can feel uplifted after listening to music, like a therapy. There’s a lot of negativity in the world and, through this project, I’d like to encourage more positivity which comes through healing.
Interesting! Talk to me about the incorporation of children into the EP's artwork (below, right).
Well the youths are a part of the healing. They are the future and need love and strength from that stage which they’ll take with them as they grow into adults and tomorrow's leaders.
Very true. So, having released three albums to date, the word was that you were working on the fourth 'MusiCALI sPeaking' before you announced an intention to release 'Healing of The Nation'. What's happening with that?
I have been working on 'MusiCALI sPeaking' since the release of my last album and it is still something that I am working on. But for the year 2014/15 I wanted to release a body of work, particularly to meet the requests of people who wanted to hear from me. It was around April 2014 when I made the decision to record 'Healing of The Nation' then linked up with some producers whose work I admire. And, overall, the process of putting it together didn't take long at all; each track was a different journey.
And, speaking of journeys, you are very well travelled - from your early days of emceeing for the Gideon Soldiers Sound System (Switzerland) aged 14 to then going on to tour over 25 countries across 4 continents as an artist in your own right.
Travelling has definitely impacted me as a person. I have been fortunate enough to experience different cultures and this has brought about an exchange which has enhanced my identity, mind and, of course, music.
On that note, you made the decision to relocate to Jamaica in 2013. What has that been like?
Yeah, it was a personal move and career move too; it felt good in that place and time. I've had some good experiences such as reasoning with the elders, hearing them speak about what they are preparing for us. It wasn't such a culture or environmental shock as my Father lives in Guadelope, which is similar to Jamaica from the natural aspects of tropical temperature/vegetion. Living in Jamaica really makes you think different, act different and you start to cherish certain things and certain blessings that you get on your way. I'm happy here and, from a creative standpoint, the words in my music are inspired from every day life, things that I see happening.
Lately Switzerland has received some negative press for being quite racist and anti-immigration. You are of mixed heritage with a swiss mother and guadeloupean father, how do you feel about your country of birth?
(Smiles) A lot of mixed up feelings still! One part that I really love is that it’s a really organised place. However, when you grow up there not being "100% swiss", there is a feeling of ostracisation. There are different parts of Switzerland, of course, so it can depend on where you go. For instance, the Swiss-French side is more multicultural, that's where the United Nations office is. In Zurich, the Swiss German side, there’s vibes like random police searches, suspicion. With all of this said, at some points I felt that 'this can’t be the place that I want to live', despite the fact that I was born there. That’s why I haven’t been living there for a while but I still go back from time to time, to work and also see my family, my daughter. She loves what I do and gives me nuff strength!
After a very successful promo tour of the UK, Europe and Panama over the Christmas period, Cali P has returned to Jamaica for the New Year where he performed at a string of live events including Rebel Salute. He's also been confirmed for powerhouse festival 'Reggae Jam' in Germany in July, where more musical healing is promised.