Back once again! We’re now on Volume 11 of our Podcast series and we thought we’d invite our next #SundaySkank special guests to mash it up! Sleepy Time Ghost & Zico are part of the illustrious Unit 137 crew outta South London and have in some way or another been responsible for the resurgence of UK based Reggae music in recent years. We caught up with duo ahead of their Reggae Roast show to ask them about their time in the music industry and what the future has in store for them.
You can check these guys live & direct next week inna Camden for our #SundaySkank session. For more info CLICK HERE……
RR: Easy lads! Most of the Reggae Roast followers will of course know about you, however, can you give us a brief introduction?
Zico: I am one of the lead singers in the heavyweight UK Reggae band onlyjoe and a member of the Unit 137 family.
Sleepy: I’m a producer & selector and part of Unit 137. Unit 137 is a record label, studio, sound-system and crew. I’m also involved in a project called Ghost Writerz, which is a duo including Jimmy Screech and myself.
RR: Can you tell us a little bit about the history the crews / bands you are both affiliated with?
Zico: I started working with onlyjoe about 4 years ago. I was introduced to some top musicians, who are now some of my top bredrins! Family business! onlyjoe was partly the basis for the creation of Unit 137. We all work very closely on different collaborations. Being a part of onlyjoe and Unit 137 has given me the chance to meet and work with some amazing people. It’s a true blessing!
Sleepy: I first linked up with the crew (Unit 137) about 3 or 4 years ago when it was formerly known as Organix. Back then we mainly put on events and collaborated musically.
RR: We’ve got you both coming down to play at our Sunday Skank session next week, can we expect anything special / brand new from you?
Zico: My first Sunday Skank!!! Really looking forward to it and big shout out to Reggae Roast for the love! I’m sure Sleepy will have a few surprises in his bag!
Sleepy: Definitely expect lots of exclusives! I will be bringing a load of my latest productions, as well as some from the rest of the crew.
RR: Sleepy, you recently released “The Ghost Train Riddim” on Unit 137 for Record Store Day 2014 (on which Zico features), how did that project come about?
Sleepy: I built the riddim a few years back now. We recorded Mikey General on the riddim last year when he was over in the UK. After recording this version it was decided that the riddim was something that could be released on the label, which led to getting the version recorded with Macka B & Zico.
RR: Sleepy, there has been a lot of hype and radio play surrounding your new sound, The Ghost Writerz, can you tell us about the project and what’s next for you?
Sleepy: There is some very exciting stuff in the pipeline. This summer we will be releasing our first full release on a big independent label (soon to be named). We also have remixes coming out on Nice Up! and BBE records, so lots to keep an eye out for. More information is set to drop very soon…
RR: You’ve both no doubt got plenty of festivals booked up this summer, which ones are you looking forward to?
Zico: Boomtown is always epic! Lions Den stage was next level last year, so I am looking forward to that one…
Sleepy: Lots to look forward to this summer. Playing at Boomtown, Boom Bap, Bestival and also the Hell Stage at Glastonbury. Looking forward to them all! Boomtown is always a really special one! We are running our own stage this year alongside Trinity & Lionpulse.
RR: Always a difficult question I know but who are your influences and why?
Zico: Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Gregory Issacs, Alton Ellis, Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet, Al Campbell…the…list…goes….on! Any singer who can make you feel what they’re singing inna your soul!
Sleepy: All sorts really. I listen to a massive mixture of music. I’ve been blessed to be around some very talented musicians, producers and vocalists who have all helped influence, teach and inspire me over the years.
RR: Top Three Tunes at the moment?
Zico: GHOST TRAIN RIDDIM 1,2,3! Ha!
Sleepy: Protoje feat. Chronixx – Who Knows, Capital Letters – Fire, Jacob Miller – Forward Ever Backwards Never
RR: What are your thoughts on the scene in the UK at the moment?
Zico: I think the scene is growing and moving forward! Loads of established acts are doing well, and I know there are great new acts making there way through. Look at how far onlyjoe and Unit 137 have come. Lionpulse Sound in Bristol are representing hard! It’s all about being positive, learning from the old and embracing the new. It can only be good for the scene, seeeeeeeeeen? Seen.
Sleepy: The scene seems to be growing in a really positive way. There are lots of wicked nights happening all across the UK. Young crews, sound-systems and artists are coming through, as well as there being an ever growing appreciation for the more established sound-system’s and artists.
RR: Describe your sound in three words…..
Sleepy: SOUND SYSTEM MUSIC
For more info on Unit 137 check out their website: http://unit137.com/