Photography by Bill Tanaka
In another exclusive interview, we bring you Holland based reggae artist, Ziggi Recado. Raised in the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius and later growing up in Holland, he brings to the industry a strong foundation that is seen through his work ethic and creative ability. In this interview, I had the opportunity to discuss his anticipated album and how his music career began.
This is your third album. How will this album be different from your
two previous albums?
Ziggi Recado: Well, I think I definitely progressed as a musician and as an artist. My first album was me just starting to do music. The second one was way more solid and now I think it's a different step again. Musically, I think it's very different too because this time I tried to combine the reggae music with anything else that I like from hip-hop to soul to jazz, African stuff. Anything so the sound is also way different.
What was it like working with so many different artists on this album?
Ziggi Recado: It was cool. Pretty natural. I didn’t really plan too much beforehand like all the artists I wanted to get. So that was a very easy thing to do actually. The artists in Holland I work with are pretty big over there. I have two rappers I worked with. Etana, who is an international Jamaican singer was also a natural thing at the end of my album. I was already actually finished recording and at the last moment she was in Holland .
And Etana, what was it like working with her? Working with another
Ziggi Recado: It was relaxing. For me that one was very easy because the Etana track was a solo track at first. The song was already completely done. Just me. So when she came to Holland I was gonna get her on there. I got her in the studio, let her hear the track, she liked it so she started to write and I recorded. But when she was actually there I didn't have to do anything. I already had my part of the track done.
Now tell me a little bit about the Renaissance Band and how that came
Ziggi Recado: The Renaissance Band is my band in Holland. This is a band I played with for at least 4-5 years. I kind of have a steady band for a long time now...switched around some places here and there till everything fit in place. It’s definitely a very multi-cultural band. I have 2 guys from Suriname in the band, I have 2 guys from St. Maarten, 1 from the Ivory Coast, 1 backup singer from Curacao the other one is also from Suriname. So you have people from everywhere. It's a cool vibe. Everyone masters their instrument. Everyone played before in other big things. My sax man use to play for Alpha Blondy, the guitar man use to tour with Apache Indian way back in the day so they are cool. Me and them are definitely connected.
And what instruments do you play yourself?
Ziggi Recado: I play guitar, I can play a little bit of bass and I can play just enough keys to produce in the studio.
So you can produce kind of on your own too?
Ziggi Recado: Yea, I actually produced quite a bit of the songs on my new CD.
Switching gears a little bit, what was life like for you in St. Eustatius
with your grandparents?
Ziggi Recado: Wow! That was really small. The population there is like 3,000 people. So it’s very intimate. Everybody knows you. Obviously, my father my grandparents whole life story basically. It was very strict. My grandparents were Seventh-Day Adventists. They had me in church at least 4 or 5 times a week. I was in the church choir, the Pathfinders and everything there was to do I did it where church was concerned back then.
And are both of your parents from the island?
Ziggi Recado: No. My dad is from St. Eustatius and my mom is Dutch.
And then at what age did you go to the Netherlands?
Ziggi Recado: When I was 18.
And you went there for school?
Ziggi Recado: Yea my island is a Dutch colony so most of the students there, when you want to do a college level something you need to leave.
From there you worked with the independent label, Rock 'N Vibes Entertainment.
So while working with them, when did you realize you wanted to pursue music?
Ziggi Recado: Actually kind of because of the Rock 'N Vibes. The Rock 'N Vibes Entertainment was started by Mr. Rude who is still my management till this day. But when I first met him, he was not a manager. He didn’t have a studio. He was just starting to pursue a music career too as a manager. So we kind of grew into it together. In the beginning, some friends actually brought me to him and he liked what he heard so he asked me to work with him all the time. But I was in school back then. I had no intention of being an artist or anything like that. But because he was on me all the time he eventually released a single and things actually started to happen. And the more it happen, then the more convince me like hey if I actually put some energy into this, this might really be something.
Back then what was your first single?
Ziggi Recado: In My Head. That was the first track in Holland that he ever put out of me.
And that was a roots reggae kind of song?
Ziggi Recado: No it was actually a dancehall-ish kind of something. It was way more on that tip.
Growing up in Holland when you started your career, who were some of
your influences in the music world? Who did you look up to or listen to a lot?
Ziggi Recado: A lot of different stuff. From in the Caribbean I was use to hearing a lot of soca, calypso, Mighty Sparrow, them kind of vibes. Of course dancehall, reggae too. When I was young coming up that was the time when like Buju (Banton) 'Til Shiloh was doing its thing. Shabba (Ranks) was very big back then. I remember hearing a lot of Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, that kind of stuff. So up to this day I kind of listen to anything that I feel is good music.
Now I know you're going to be touring this summer. So what places are
you touring in Europe and the US?
Ziggi Recado: I’m not sure about the US. That's in the planning phase right now. I can't tell you exactly what’s up with the US. I know in Europe we’re going to be, from what I know out of my head, in Germany, in Belgium, in France, I have one in Australia somewhere over there. So I’m going to be pretty active.
What other plans do you have in store for the future?
Ziggi Recado: With this new album out now obviously we’re just trying to promote this to the maximum now. This is my first time doing some work in the American markets. So this is definitely a place where you want to put some energy into it and hope to get something going. I hope I can be back in America pretty often in the coming year to do some work over here.
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