Skanker uppmärksammar ju inte bara artister i Sverige utan även svenska artister utomlands. Ras Teo är en av dem, med rötterna från Armenien men som flyttade från Sverige till USA för ett gäng antal år sedan. Skanker ville höra mer om honom & styrde upp en mail-intervju!!!
Who is Ras Teo?
Ras Teo is a musical artist based in the states with Armenian roots; that discovered his passion for music at the tender age of 7 years young. He is responsible for many great releases such as ‘Entah’ (2009) & ‘Stop the Wars’ (2015), which we’re both very popularly played amongst the sound systems across UK / Europe. Teo has also released 5 successful albums as well; Mystic Morning, Show I The Way, Forward Dready Showcase, Bredda Daniel, Timeless & Ancient Hymns.
Tell me about your new album ‘Ancient Hymns’
Well, firstly I would like to give thanks to the almighty father that gave I the vision to work on yet another album with a fresh musical-composer, that is the man, Ashanti Selah, who is a multi-talented producer & keyboardist, and has a great understanding of how the music should be arranged and processed to create such a deep-rooted sounding outcome. As for ‘Ancient Hymns’, on an overall sum-up, it is a 14-track album that features many musicians & singers from JA to UK such as the legendary Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallce, the late great Style Scott from Roots Radics and Caveman, who is an international reggae producer based in Jamaica. The rest of the musicians credited in the album are no strangers to Ashanti Selah’s productions & my former released albums.
What do we expect to listen to?
The expectation for Ancient Hymns is just pure Rastafari-influenced lyrics & chants over a variety of authentic roots rock reggae riddim tracks that will have a slight influence from the 70s style from Jamaica but with a modern twist that is appeasing to tune your mind into and set your soul free throughout the vibe of the album.
Tell me about the process & collaboration.
With Ashanti being a keyboardist for the previous albums that I have released with producer, I-David (who co-produced the albums ‘Bredda Daniel’ & ‘Timeless’), I felt as if it was time to find another sound in which I can re-express myself unto the most high, so one day I started to listen to the bredrin, Ashanti Selah’s productions, and it got me inspired to reach out to him to offer my vision and talents as a new set of projects to produce a new album for the 2017 audience; plus I felt that a new sound was needed for the both of us.
You get a lot of attention in Jamaica but not so much in Sweden.
The reason being for getting a vast audience in Jamaica is because of my good relationships with the legendary singer Fred Locks & International Reggae producer Caveman (mentioned above) for assisting me with promoting my works over the national radio shows in Jamaica. I’ve also been featured in the Jamaican national Observer for my collaboration with Sizzla on the ‘Timeless’ album, which we also produced a music video together that got released in earlier this year.
What’s missing in Sweden for new produced roots reggae?
Most probably it is just not being able to be market the roots music in the same way than the other electronic musical genres.
How do you see your development from 1st album to the last?
Basically I see myself as a better artist and more in tune with my faith, which is Rastafari.
Do you have any shows in Sweden or nearby?
I do have a lot of demand for shows in Europe over the years but its all been a building process and hopefully for 2018 there will be chances to deliver the works to the audience that are listening to the works and moreover the recent releases which will be great to showcase alongside with the producer himself, Ashanti Selah, who is quite an regular for playing sound system shows throughout Europe alongside artists who he is working with. So just stay in tune and Jah will provide.
What music do you listen to?
Mainly I listen to Roots reggae music but some occasionally I don’t mind to put on some Jazz & Blues.
Who is your ideal & where do you get inspiration?
My ideals are Burning Spear, Pablo Gad and groups like Misty in Roots from UK and my inspirations are Haile Selassie I the First.
Are you in tune with Swedish Reggae scene?
Yes I am in tune with Swedish reggae artist, Junior Natural, which I’ve done collaboration with but is not released yet. I have been listening to artists like Dan Corn, Dan I Locks, Jah Massive sound system. I also grew up listening to the legendary reggae band, Natural Way.
Tell me about your new projects in the future?
I’ve got a next album I’m work on with Ashanti Selah called ’10,000 Lions’ and a double CD collaboration album called ‘Ras Teo & Friends’ with many legendary artists from the 60’s and 70’s.
Do you want to mention anything else?
Give thanks to the Most High Jah for the vision to sing and produce these works.
Skanker give thanx for the interview!