Interview with Roots Reggae artist Hosny Bronx on his latest work and the meaning and significance of Reggae music.
UbuntuFM community contributor Peter Hesen conducted an interview with Reggae artist Hosny Bronx (USA).
Greetings Rasta, how are you doing?
Yes Rasta, cool man, I’m fine, I’m here with you in South Africa, It makes me very happy. My new album is almost finished, I’m working on its release
Q: We have featured a number of your tracks in recent months like ‘Free Child’, ‘New Moment’ and ‘Strong Life’ as well as your latest single ‘Dance As A Lion’ on our radio. It is our honour to now sit down with you and have this conversation.
A: Thank you very much man, it touches me. I’m very happy to talk with you and talk to South African people.
Reggae Music has no limit in strength, in Love
Q: It’s a long way from Johannesburg, South Africa via Amsterdam, Netherlands to the Bronx NY, USA, yet I feel we connect in terms of music and message. For our readers who might be unfamiliar with Reggae, can you explain in a few words what Reggae means to you? What is the message that goes with the music?
A: Reggae it’s my life, it’s everything for me. This music is so beautiful, so powerful, you know. Reggae Music has no limit in strength, in Love
It’s a music that unites the peoples, which gives love. It is a music that builds and makes intelligent. This is Reggae Music.
This is the message of JAH on earth to rebuild the Rasta Movement. Today we have to work together to raise the Rasta Movement.
We have to go forward to help people everywhere in the world, to save our peoples. Reggae Music is a rebel music, a music of Love
The singers must not forget to help people, they should share naturally with their brothers and sisters.
Q: Reggae music carries quite a large legacy from the days of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and the younger generations that carried the flag. When you look at the Reggae music scene of today, what is your take on it?
A: In Reggae scene, there are lots of artists, lots of different styles of Reggae. Today there are lots of good singers but many of them are not known. This music is not highlighted. Me, I live in my roots music, I create it, I build it, I play it, I work on it, I mix it...
The singers must not forget to help people, they should share naturally with their brothers and sisters. Many enter the system, get rich and forget where they come from.
Q:‘Dance As A Lion’ is your new single. Does this mean we can expect a new album release from Hosny Bronx any time soon? Did you record in Jamaica or back home in NYC?
A: Yeah man, sure! We will release the new album soon. We just mixed the new song in Jamaica, We just mastered the others tracks in New York City. I’ve also mixed one track in London. I am currently thinking about some adjustments on the album.
Q: In the opening lyrics of ‘Dance As A Lion’ you chant “Why Babylon do you want our fire, our anger”. What do you mean by this?
A: It means that Babylon is still in constant activity, and looking for our anger, in different ways. They purposely make us live in this way in the ghettos. They want to show their fellow men that we are not good people, not educated, not frequentable.
This is what Babylon has managed to build and explain to their peoples.
This is what we live every day, no matter what country we are in, we are many to live the same life, you know. That’s why I say that, I talk about anger.
We know what we live in this world. I have no rage, no hatred, but there are too many injustices, I am revolted by these constant injustices.
I have just love to give. They think we don’t understand but we know that everything is constructed for us to live that. I don’t belong to one nation, I sing for all peoples on earth
Q: You are based in New York and yet you are not from New York, are you? You have been places, travelled across the world, worked with Reggae legends like The Wailers; can we consider Hosny Bronx to be a ‘global citizen’?
A: Absolutely, I’m a global citizen brother. I’m from all peoples, all countries. I don’t belong to one nation, I sing for all peoples on earth. I’m from NYC, I’m from Jamaica, I’m from Paris, from London. I’m from all nations My music exceeds Reggae Music, it’s a universal music, to give strength and positive vibes to people.
I feel the love of the peoples in the world.
Reggae, a music of Love that unites all peoples, to live in peace and Unity
Q: Music has an universal message. The format of our radio is MUSIC. Yet if people asked us we would label your music as Roots Reggae. What is your take on the Roots part of Reggae. What makes it different from let’s say Dancehall, Ska or Dub?
A: Roots reggae has a powerful message to spread in the world, it’s not a joke, it’s serious. It’s a powerful music.
For me, Reggae Music is the second hardest music after jazz. Dancehall is different, it’s a modern music, very dancing. Ska and Rocksteday were the precursors of Reggae. Dub music is another style, with great artist such as King Tubby.
There are different styles of reggae music. Some think that reggae is just a simple music, to dance and have fun ...It’s a music of Love that unites all peoples, to live in peace and Unity.
Roots reggae music is a fighting music, rebellious music, to awaken the spirit. It's a mystical music that comes directly from JAH RASTAFARI. You don’t choose to be Rasta, it’s completely natural.
Q: And while we’re at it, the term ‘Rasta’ is often used (and misused) with regard to Reggae. Can you explain the meaning of ‘Rasta’ to our readers?
A: You don’t choose to be Rasta, it’s completely natural. Your nature takes you to that and so you go there. It’s in you. Rasta means to be a simple man, a positive man, open to the world, honest, serious, fighting for strong ideas. He adapts to all situations. Rasta builds and helps others. He brings good to others. This is what being Rasta.
Many people have a false image of Rasta, they judge them badly, wrongly. The real Rastamen are knights of JAH, people with goodness that no one can buy or submit. They are true people. They are the true pillars of Rasta movement.
Q: If we look 10 years ahead in the future, where would you like to be? What would you have liked to accomplish?
A: It’s a very good question brother! In 10 years, I don’t know where I’ll be, maybe in NYC, in Kingston, or maybe in South Africa! I love your country man.
There have been so many great men such as Steven Biko, Nelson Mandela...
In 10 years I hope that I will have built schools for children, dispensaries, hospitals, orphanages, in many countries, in Africa, in South America, in Asia ....
You have to know, even before you contact me for this interview, I already had the idea to give the names of these great men, Mandela, Steven Biko, to hospitals, dispensaries, schools, orphanages....
I hope my music will bring me enough money to do all those things that really matter to me. I have so many projects to achieve, I really want to be able to do them.
I want to create homes for children, so that they feel good, organize meetings between children from different countries. I would really like to start setting up all these projects this year.
Q: UbuntuFM Radio is now on-air for more than a year. In that time we have reached a global audience if we are allowed to believe the statistics. Our numbers are still small but they are growing on a daily basis. From it we gather that music, Reggae music, has a global appeal. What is your message to world? What should our listeners take from your music when they listen to it on our station?
A: Yeah man, first I hope your audience will continue to grow. I hope this interview will bring you new listeners, new readers! My message is to unite people. Rasta Music talks about peace, about Love, you know
Brothers and sisters you have to fight for your ideas, believe in you, be good and have no hatred, because hatred hurts our projects.
Be strong to build your own project, don’t give up.
Q: Apart from your own music, what music, what artists do you listen to? Do you have any recommendations?
A: I love music in general. I listen to many styles of music. I listen to many singers, I love the real rockers man such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller and Hugh Mundell.
I listen to others styles and singers such as James Brown, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Al B Sure, Gregory Abbot, Jimmy Hendrix, and I forget many others....
I love Jonathan Butler, great South African artist, great singer, I have been listening to him since I was a child. You had also a great artist in your country, Luky Dube, a great reggae singer.
I love reggae especially but I also like rock, folk, funk, R&B, Hip Hop, Blues, Jazz, Motown. I’m open to all styles of music.
Great to hear all the names of these great artists, which, by the way, are all featured on our radio channels!
Thank you so much for your time Hosny Bronx in allowing us to conduct this interview with you.
Thanks very much Brotha, I'm really happy to have done this interview with you.
We wish you well. Jah Bless! Forward ever, backward never!
Yeah man Forward ever !
Big Respect to all listeners and all readers who read this interview
Big Respect to people who live in township
God Bless South Africa
Jah Protection to all