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Our February pick is ROOTSROCK SOUND, with Dj/Selector Jello and Dj/Selecta Mikey.

RGE: Who is Rootsrock Sound?

Jello: Rootsrock is Nigel B. better known as Jello.

RGE: Who were the original members of Rootsrock?

Jello: Bragga, Jello, and K C were the member in the beginning in the early 80?s. Then Redstripe came in the mid 90?s.

RGE: How long have you been djing?

Jello: Since the mid 80?s.

RGE: Why did you decide to become a dj/selecta and how did you get started?

Jello: Back in the early 80?s I use to talk lyrics on the mic, I?ve always had a love for music, but I didn?t think I had the talent to become the great lyricist that I wanted to be so I decided to play music because I still loved music, so I decided to be a dee jay/selecta and it was on from then. I took my mother?s records in the basement and took it from there.

RGE: What have you been currently working on?

Jello: Building a bigger sound system and finding ways to get reggae music in the mainstream in Michigan. Trying to find different avenues of taking reggae music in Detroit to a certain level.

RGE: What projects do you have planned for 2004 and where can our readers see you perform (next)?

Jello: We have plenty of projects that I don?t want to disclose, but we have a couple of events coming up in Windsor. Also, we?re going to do more traveling in the ?04. We?re going to venture off. I have offers in Montreal, Toronto, and New York. Yes, we will be doing more in the ?04 as soon as the weather breaks. Saturday nights you can catch us at the Club House Tavern (Fisher Building), also we have a Valentines Day dance on February 14, 2004 so come on out.

RGE: How would you describe your style and how does that make you different from other sounds?

Jello: I think I?m a very versatile dee jay. I could play for any crowd young and old. I don?t consider myself just a dancehall reggae dee jay. I?m the peoples dee jay. I could play for ages 9 to 90 years old. A lot of people can?t adjust they just sit on one thing, on dancehall, on the hype. I?m just different. I?m well verse.

RGE: What motivates you and helps you to continue what you are doing.

Jello: The thing that motivates me is the love for the music and the people. I like pleasing people and I most definitely love the music.

RGE: You moved from Windsor to Detroit so you must love the challenge in Detroit is that true?

Jello: Ya, I do love the challenge in Detroit. I love the challenge anywhere it doesn?t matter whether it is Michigan, Canada, Jamaica. The challenge will show me how good I am.

RGE: Who are your favorite sound systems?

Jello: I?ll tell you my favorite selector-he is Ricky Trooper who started with Killamanjaro, but now owns Sound Trooper. I think I?m more like him, but my favorite sound from the early 80?s is Bass Odyssey.

RGE: Who are your favorite reggae artists?

Jello: WOW, my favorite is Beres Hammond.

RGE : Okay, good choice, what about dancehall.

Jello: Right now as far as lyrics, I would say Bounty Killa or Beenie Man, but the guy I really admire for his lyrics is Ricky Rudy a.k.a Bling Dog.

RGE: Do you often travel to perform outside of Detroit? If so, where and what is the vibe like in those cities?

Jello: Ya, I travel to a lot of places. The vibe in other cities are totally different in a since that. I?m not knocking Detroit because this is where I live and I will back Detroit to the fullest, but in other cities they?re more up to date. They?re more current. There you can play a minimal of the older stuff and the majority of newer songs. But Detroit is visa versa, you have to play mostly older songs to get the people moving. You can go to a dance and play a lot of new stuff and it?s like everyone?s lost because we are so behind. I think Detroit is like a good 6 or 7 months behind or maybe even a year in Reggae music.

RGE: I totally agree.

RGE: What do you think needs to be done to increase the reggae vibe here in Detroit?

Jello: I think unity with the local Dee Jays. We each do our own thing, but we need to unite and understand what is going on (in Detroit). We need a bigger radio station. OC?s reggae sound blast is doing a good job-I?m not taking that away from him, but we need a mainstream radio station to make reggae music large. We also need to push more cd?s, we need to play more up to date stuff. From what I?ve noticed that Detroiter?s are stuck on the earlier reggae, which is good and fine the older stuff is nice but we also need to listen to the new stuff. We need to move to the forefront. Reggae needs to get more airplay. Hopefully more Cd?s and more tapes can get more play by hopefully a more mainstream station like 105.9 and 98.

RGE: What do you think reggae lovers would like to see in Detroit?

Jello: A mainstream radio station like I said before and a big reggae club on a higher scale.

RGE: This year dancehall has received a lot of mainstream attention. Where do you see dancehall in the next 5 years? Do you believe that this is just a trend or will dancehall be accepted and remain part of the mainstream?

Jello: Yes, dancehall has gotten a lot of attention in major cities like Washington, and B.E.T. as done a good job of playing a lot of reggae videos and a few songs on 105.9. That?s a good break through. I think that this year with some consistency we?re going to take it to a different level. With guys like Sean Paul and Beenie Man who are doing an excellent job right now. They just need to stay consistent. They?ll do it for the hype and then drop off.

RGE: What kind of work do you do for the community, particularly the Caribbean community? (e.g. Paul?s Back to School picnic every year)

Jello: The type of work I do for the community has a lot to do with my involvement with C.U.S.S. ? Caribbean United Sound Systems. We have been involved in a lot of benefits and what ever else is going on. We try to support J.A.M. and a lot of other organizations in Michigan and we donate to a lot of fundraisers.

RGE: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Jello: Ya, Detroit people as a whole, they have to come out and support all the reggae sounds we have in Detroit. We must do this to get on that level (of other cities). We gotta respect each other. Ya, come out and support no matter who is playing, Infinity, Rootsrock, Conquerous, W.D. it doesn?t matter we all have to come out and support. Cause it?s a handful of us verses the Americans and other cultures. Our culture isn?t that big so we have to get other cultures to love what we are doing. No one is getting rich from this. And the selfishness that I have seen displayed over the last year has to STOP if reggae music is going to get anywhere, because we have to love it before anyone else loves it.


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Tropical Hut
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