The flamboyant singer now Gondwana He has always shining examples. It has been the spearhead of Reggae Valparaiso and is today an icon of musical presentations movement breaking records in the world with the band La Pincoya, celebrating 30 year career with his eighth studio album “CARPE DIEM”. Interestingly it was this same band that sparked the musical instinct decades, in those school days Jonathan, when she is attending a concert of Gondwana with her father in La Serena.
A few months ago we had the opportunity to go to America Cerro Villa Esperanza in Valparaiso and review the vast experience of Mc Jona, Crop passing through Jah, Cosmic Africa, his solo career, Jewel Records and more. Exclusively for Reggae Chalice Mc Jona, passionate about football, boleros and coffee, among other herbs…
What do you remember about it almost 20 years back from your beginnings in music in Valparaiso?
When you're young it's more irreverent, with more desire, no matter what might happen, one goes and does and that I rescued my school. Meet the kiddies, tap the Ex-Prison, Hollywood tocatas, all that was a sacrifice: carry instruments and amplifiers, fight for touch, at that time one did Nomás. That is more valued now, if I had not gone through all the pellejerías I think I would not come where I am. It is a journey and not the short term, in my case passed 15 years for a band like Gondwana to notice me.
To get there, the origin of what I did and what we did in general at that time was a moving core, It was not a personal work. One said do such a thing and no one had anything, They were only the desire, Ex-Prison were getting or some barsito and they came all. I appreciate it a lot because it's not a job I did just. It was not that I sacrificed myself and I fought alone, it was not so. It was a sacrifice of a movement in general so that one can create things with reggae or whatever you want to do with music.
¿Anecdote of those times when walking down side streets?
I remember when we went to Limache to Radio Latina and I remember many things there. conflicts, meditations, concerts, pichangas, I remember brothers who came from everywhere to camp. I also remember when we made bread in Ex Jail. Great time and really enjoyed it. I remember fondly is that it was all very familiar, We had our differences but we always got together sick, there was always eager to settle the other. That I have very present.
Growing talk about Jah ...
I remember singing departed Guillerba, the Maiza, Reggae Andreadlock. He lacking a guitarist and drummer, Lucho Brito appeared on guitar and on drums. We started playing together for a while and was giving a little wave and I remember it was so so at a time not to play Lucho came and walked the Petizo of Mendoza, who played on drums, and I saidsings to you 'and we started to do more songs and rehearsing. Then came Javier and Coke and that's taking more shape culture. They were applied in music; Andreadlock, Maiza, Mario and I were fewer musicians and learned a lot. It was a good mix, a good vibe created. Not all were Rasta but we all wanted to be together and do things, there was a commitment letters. The letters were important. It was a nice time, ten years of school. we could, in everything that we do not imagine, go to touch Santiago, go south, teloneamos a Gondwana. Musical things but did not expect maybe. When we met with the goats recently he had to play the same vibe, the same size, the same peluseo.
The next step was with Felipe Kilakeo, the Peñi, Antonio wear;.
Peñi has its rocker side, He likes folklore but also likes guitar reef and is well-grunge. Their letters are unique, It does not look like anyone, It has its wave. We met him right there, Cultivation she worked, but also he did theater and traveled a lot. It was San Fernando, but when I was, He played with us. bringing songs, for example "Nyabhingi" is Kilakeo, I liked that topic sick. causes vybz because it had several musical edges.
We saw in a live concert that beat songs. Gondwana also hit songs live and we did that to gather 3 powerful songs. We stick "Nyabhingi" with "Serrano" -that composed Maiza- , It was called "Anakena" but when he reached Easter Island and rehearsed, we put "Serrano" by the Serrano street that was where we rehearsed.
How was the transition to the next musical project, Cosmic Africa?
Per trip. We went traveling in parallel and before that went together to Peru three weeks and recorded the "Informativo Popular" and when we returned we met the Native Vision. One day we said: "Let's get together" and arrived at the same place with the Kilakeo, we were locked as three days rehearsing, taking songs. Within a week we had the reportorio ready and started playing what lasted Nomás… for travel etc.. The medical part and shamanic who had the Peñi also took much of his attention. Machi was always slope that leads inside that forced him to travel quite. Here I have a 3 O 4 songs we did the last time we came, we recorded a year ago.
That job, "Informativo Popular", It was well activist…
Clear, because lived alone and were walking guerreándola. At that time we met Don Chico who gave us quite striking information, books and at that stage we try to read what more we could. We then went to Peru, traveling and playing Valparaiso to Arica, We stopped at Iquique and there is a good funny song called "Rise", go as nine brothers singing: Ganjah area, Site, Congo Ghetto, etc. In Peru we recorded several issues of "Informativo Popular" where we express what we were living and reading.
Mc Jona appeared on everywhere, much travel and solo presentations…
I was already experiencing more music, I started listening more dancehall, also reggaeton. I was never shy to that kind of music. Now I spend with Laura (your lady) he says he does not like the Trap and I like. If there is some music -sacando the letters-, The rhythms, the Afroritmos are super flashy and I do not have that any prejudice to discriminate.
In Conce I worked with a friend sent me some clues Order (Iquique), the "You and I" and "Bulla", which it was the subject that I saw Kafu Banton and Ras Nini and took me on tour. Nor I thought a lot about the songs and what could happen, the recording no more. In fact the "You and I" I recorded it in the studio live soundman Gondwana, Carlos Gonzalez, while who was touring with the band we left the house. With my friend we could record with things that we were slit, was a top-level Pro Tools, and Duck, my friend, capo was recording. In fact, the "Black Love Real" and "Black World" of "Informativo Popular" also recorded it there. "You and I" began to sound tired, I have no magic explanation of why sounded both.
There are various musical influences in making Mc Jona
We do not internalize a lot with the Buenos Aires culture but I have been concerned to recover singers like Jorge Farias, Mariposa and Gitano Rodriguez, Now I'm grabbing the pace. El Gitano they not fished because he spoke no pain and love, but it was tremendous voice. Jorge Farias, if it had not been so Valpo and so bohemian, It could have been more than Lucho Barrios. Farias left a tremendous legacy, Now there are people like Macha, Block Depressive trying to rescue the legacy. For example, the other day I heard a theme Bubaseta having a portion of a bolero. The generation is turning and unconsciously trying to recover what own, the identity of one.
What do you hear today Mc Jona and family?
Pure rare records: my son Matthew loves The Weeknd, fanatic. I bought some records of Miguel, a gringo singer Laura is listening to the latest album Ilya Kuriaki. Reggae I like the last album Jah Cure. I am totally fan, are those voices that you do not know whether or not they will mourn, Burning Spear style. A Matthew does not like the romantic, He does not like boleros that says they are sad.
He left a solo album of Mc Jona, the "Ponle Oreja". In an interview while you talk about a second solo album with collaborations Ganjah Zone, Digital Dread and other. Is that album came out?
Never left. There are many issues that are there for lack of time and because I no longer have the ability to do things as fast as before. There is an issue with Balaguero, a topic with José Dolores, one Native Lion, Mic Delar one that ultimately threw it to the fight… There is a lot you issues at the guard.
La Joya Records
With Atom we try to summarize a work of several in "La Joya Records". It is the meeting of all the people of the area, The basic idea is to bring other people, accompany us but bring others. We recorded a couple of videos, one bone and one Lean.
When was the invitation to Gondwana?
We would Conce with Black Ark when I called I-Locks (founder of Gondwana). I was plop. I said yes to touch, that gave me a week, I saw the video of Buenos Aires and I went to take the test to see how you feel with the band, if the band buys you the story. I did not know at all and did not see much to I-Locks ago, a Keno, to the cat, was the Fish and Yayo at that time, Pancho was, Hugo already had decided to go to Coquimbo. When I went to test there was a list with a lot of themes and chose a mix where "Proud Love" came out "Sacred Books" and, I knew these issues. We were in the second when Yayo stops and says: it's good, I think this.
I asked a few days to learn me the songs because soon we had a show at "Club Amanda" and then in Panama, so imagine, a show on a beach to 50 a thousand people. From 6 years and, Come for the third album and all good in general, it has happened to me super fast.
They took the Pincoya Calypso…
A compilation with two new songs that were "altered reality" and "Little Lady", others were recopilatorias songs from previous albums remastered. "Could You Be Loved" and "Concrete Jungle" came in a compilation of Argentina. The album "Revolution" came out with "Piensame" and "Reflections of Light", to name a few. As the first is romantic hit a full and was a worldwide hit. Reflexes not so much because music is a little strange, but equally it has fed reproductions. Within two years we recorded "Reggae N'Roll". There came the first single, "Mucho Verso" and "When the rain to", a more classic reggae.
Is there a theme that identifies you more of that disk?
The one I like most is the cover of Cerati, I love, I can hear it ten times although I'm not a fan of Cerati.
How it was the year 2016?
I think they were 98 show the 2016, He was intense year, Oscar manager is from another world, He is always ahead and knows the market like the palm of your hand. Gondwana outside is Crossover, They invite us to any festival. We fit anywhere and no problem. Gondwana moves in a strong market major bands abroad. Last year we did a US tour that was long and grueling 3 months, It was different because we had been opening for Rebelution but this time we were alone. Then we cover the entire United States Return to Canada and Mexico.
And the 2017?
We signed with Popart, are several important dates, a lot of local dates. It will be equally or more intense than the last. The 30 Gondwana years and also the new album. That encourages me of them, they do not lose the strength to move forward. Gondwana could well stay, You do not need much publicity or anything, but always follows the musical restlessness. I like sick because there is a search for something, are not the same old songs with the same notes as ever.
How did you live under the transition from Buenos Aires to major world scenarios?
Gondwana totally grateful. See what they are 30 year career is impressive, how a Chilean band is ultra recognized outside and can be stopped at any stage, in the best festivals in the world and you say, this band is from another planet. Being in places I never imagined that a Chilean band was able to play. The band continue with the desire and willingness to open doors, to keep trying and risking, not to stay… It is challenging, is not that you arrive relaxed to play, there's always something else you do not know whether it will be or not; that it is, not to lose the magic, to test, of let's see what happens, do not lose the hunger to win.
From this rostrum how do you see the national and regional movement?
There are super good mc, bands, singers and musicians in general, but there is a big market to exploit. There are clubs but now are discos, they are not even places where there is something to play, environment or a prospect for a band and people will see it arme. Every time the market is shrinking, the Chilean market is not so big but it is also a mystery why after Gondwana not a giant room where you make a party was created and filled, Barrington Levy and bring to go 5 thousand people instead of one thousand, and not have to fall Mykal Rose. As elsewhere in South America, in Argentina or Peru. We are culturally difficult to convince Chileans. It costs you between, It is always prejudice, I like the artist himself always and always want to hear the same, I do not know if I want to hear something new.
Having players like Neira, Maxi, King, when it was 12 tribes, los Football, Aflora, vibration Eleva. There are a lot of super good bands but there is no market to give them a space to say: here do broadcasting, show your videos here…it's a mystery. I do not understand why or how Gondwana passed that threshold, is a crossover band that can stand anywhere and not look like 'here come the reggae ". The market gives few options to develop yourself and grow a little more the scene. Outside the level is not bad, but in Chile the level artists is amazing and so fed up areas, Also in hip hop. Outside they are valued super rappers, Chilean rockers; in Mexico from Los Angeles Negros down, then here it is as rare (…) maybe that we lack a bit, more passion for your artist…die.
Thank you very much for the interview Mc Jona. A final message for people:
We want, a friend and brother we know each other for many years on the road and Reggae Reggae Chalice because it is always good that the doors open to get home conversations, friendly where people know a little of what happens in the world of reggae or reggae people doing, of those who are participating in the scene, I send a hug and much love. Peace for all!
Felipe Voigt, correspondent Fifth Region.
Read an interview with Mc Jona made the 2008 for Black Ark here: