Danglin’, one of the lead singers of legendary reggae group The Wailers, took a few moments out of getting ready for their show at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro on September 24 to chat with me via email.
1) I saw that The Wailers were featured on the Solutions For Dreamers: Season 3 album with the song “A Step For Mankind.” How did they get involved in this project, and what does it mean to them to be a part of a humanitarian effort?
The Wailers have continued Bob Marley’s legacy and have done so since his death in 1981. His music speaks to us personally as it does to everyone around the world. The concerns then are the same concerns we have today, and this is the reason why we chose to record the song “One Step for Mankind” because it was our way of giving back. We have collaborated with the World Food Programme for a number of years. Last year we gave out thousands of shoes in Columbia to under-privileged kids. With this song, we are donating all the proceeds to the cause because hunger is such an epidemic around the world, and it is one of the simplest to overcome. It’s heartbreaking to know that a child dies from hunger every 6 songs. It made sense when we were asked to record the tracks for the Solution For Dreamers album because their focus was the same as ours.
2) In a time when musical styles are becoming increasingly more blurred and blended, what do The Wailers see as the state of reggae? Where do they see reggae going in the future?
Reggae music remains with drum and bass; it is the foundation of it and always will be— it’s also the heart-beat of the people. The vocals are always positive; it is political and leans towards change and equality. The drums and bass will always be the same. That is how reggae music is identified, and of course positive vibrations come from the vocals.
Reggae music expanding, whenever we do festivals we see such a wide age gap. From young people to people well into their later years come to dance and absorb the positiveness of our music. Reggae music will always survive because it is timeless, and the themes are universal. Everything is relevant to past, present, and future, and it’s forever expanding. So there’s no doubt whatsoever about it’s future. It’s evolving and merging with different genres like we did with “A Step,” we brought together reggae and rap and have Dr Dre’s protégé Bishop Lamont on the song doing his flow with the rhythm and rhymes.
3) Have global events and globalism itself influenced their music?
The reggae music in the beginning was a medium of expression; it was a way for the public to know what is going on around them. Whatever goes on in the world, The Wailers will speak on it. It is the music we provide that spreads awareness of world suffering and inequality. We are definitely the band to be expressing that.
4) After performing for millions of people all over the globe, what do The Wailers see as the pros and cons of performing in a smaller venue like Cat’s Cradle?
Whether it’s 2 people in the audience or 20,000, with the positive vibrations we bring, it’s a fantastic feeling. The most important thing is the number of people who can feel the music to the core of their being. Seeing people dancing, getting vibed up on the music is exciting. We want the audience to appreciate it for what it is. It doesn’t matter how many people, what matters is the number of people who walk away and really get the positive message we are trying to share. Reggae music is about bringing people together to share a positive experience and walk away with ‘good vibrations.’
5) Are there any important upcoming projects for the band?
The World Food Programme is the number one priority for the band. The Uprising Tour is starting in January. Those are the main projects in the works, but if you want to keep up with us and any new upcoming projects it’s best to go to www.wailers.com to keep track of the band and our whereabouts.
We are looking forward to coming to North Carolina and getting everyone vibed and singing along to all the song.
ONE LOVE to everyone and see you at the show.