Roots Festival: Interview with Jamaican reggae singer, Scratchylus

It’s an honour to participate in the Roots Festival: Interview with Jamaican reggae singer, Scratchylus

He is one of the black people in the Diaspora that attended the 2014 International Roots Festival. Read below our interview with UK-based Jamaican reggae singer, Scratchylus.

What’s On-Gambia: Thank you for taking time to speak to us. Please, tell us a bit about yourself?

Scratchylus: Greetings, well Scratchylus aka Sene Jammeh is an artist born in London to Jamaican parents who spread the message of edutainment with conscious lyrics.

What songs or singers inspired you to sing?

Artists that inspired me are Dennis Brown, Kiddus I and Alton Ellis, Junior Reid, Bushman, Ken Boothe……

Tell us about your daughter, Empress Reggae?

Empress Reggae is 10 years wise and home schooled by her mum and dad. She recorded her first song at 7 years wise with me, Sizzla Kalonji, and the Inna De Yard named Our Story and it was a hit all over the world. She has performed with artist in Jamaica such as Sizzla Kalonji, Kiddus I, Marcia Griffiths and Errol Dunkley.

She has also graced many stage shows, TV shows and radio shows in Jamaica. She loved it in The Gambia and our Gambian Family. She is currently on University tour in the UK.

Empress Reggae along with me and Sizzla Kalonji have also been nominated for Reggae Ambassador on African Music TV which is taking the world by storm.


Are you are duo?

Yes we do work as a duo.

How many albums have you released?

I have released just one smash hit album, Reset The Mindset.

What is your relationship like with international reggae stars like Sizzla and dub poet Mutabaruka?

My relationship with Sizzla Kalonji and Mutabaruka is very warm. They are more like family offering advice and encouragement. Big up Sizzla and Mutabaruka for life.

In May 2014 you were in The Gambia to take part in the International Roots Festival. How did that come about?

The honourable Madam Fatou Mass Jobe organized for us to perform there, it was a real honour.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, Honourable Madam Fatou, the Security Forces and all ministers who made the occasion so beautiful. Also all the radios and TV station in The Gambia and of course our Gambian family.

How was it like meeting the president?

It was an honour and very inspirational meeting His Excellency the president, Yahya Jammeh.

What is it about The Gambia that you like?

We tell everybody that the joy of The Gambia is the welcome the people give you.


What kind of opportunities has the Roots Festival created for black people like you in the Diaspora?

Being at the Roots International Festival gave us an opportunity to enlighten more people about The Gambia such as the beauty of the country. A black African country that is on the way up and cares for its people and they love the real royal reggae music, as oppose to the negative media The Gambia and Africa gets on a whole.

Did you meet some of our local artists during your stay?

Yes, we met many talented artists in The Gambia. Big up Ultimate Productions and DJ Senator The justifier.

What's your opinion about our music industry?

The Gambian music industry to me is growing. One thing I would encourage the musicians and artists is to use live music i.e. bass, drums and additional instrument in their music.

Any plans to settle in The Gambia?

Yes we love to settle in The Gambia, we just love Kanilai and Juffreh - all of The Gambia. We were given our Gambian names Awa Jammeh and Sene Jammeh

Do you have any project in the pipeline?

Yes we plan to open up a workshop and studio in The Gambia to enlighten people more about reggae music and what part it can play in your life and also promote peace and prosperity.

Anything else you’d like to touch on before we wrap this up?

We really enjoyed our time in The Gambia and very much look forward to returning soon.

Big up you and What’s On- Gambiafamily!

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