Interview: Red Rat

One of the biggest, If not THE biggest Reggae festival in Holland, the Amsterdam Reggae Festival: Winter Edition 2011 came with a huge line up of artists like Mavado, Jah Cure, Capleton, KaliBwoy, Punky Donch, Mr. Vegas and of course Red Rat. This Jamaican singer is definitely looking forward coming to the Dutch capital Amsterdam. Our own Sander Nesta asked him some questions about his music and, of course, about the Amsterdam Reggae Festival..

SN. First of all, for the younger reggae fans that are not familiar with RedRat. Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where do you come from and what kind of music do you make?
RR. Well “Red Rat” is an International dancehall Icon that was born in the city of St. Anns Bay Jamaica and at the age of 7 moved to the city of Kingston, where I pursued music and in 96 got the break with my first number 1 record called “Shelly Ann”.

SN.Then the name Red Rat, how did you choose this name to be your stage name?
RR. The name “Red Rat” was given to me by a close friend and stable mate General Degree. In Jamaica your peers doesn’t like to call you by your government name so the always create a name according to what you look like. So hence……….”Red Rat”

SN. I, myself,  haven’t heard anything of Red Rat for the last few years. What have you been doing those years?
RR. Well….. Ive been working on a few projects both producing and recording. Ive been working on this new Pop act her name is “Pascalle”. I’ve also put out a couple of singles and I had a huge number 1 record in Zimbabwe…. Hmmmmm…. Oh and I finally finished my third album “The Fun is Back” set to release March 2011!!!!

SN. This month, February 12 you will be performing in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam Reggae Festival: Winter Edition 2011. Your name was a big surprise to us on the line up with artists like Capleton, Mavado, Jah Cure and Mr. Vegas. Is this your ‘comeback’ in the reggae/ dancehall scene?
RR. I wouldn’t call it a come back cause I didn’t go anywhere. Ive always been working and performing all over the globe and every year I put out at least 3 or 4 records to keep the buzz going but you know how politics in dancehall is, But my music is not limited to just Jamaica/ Ethnic markets. Red Rat has established himself as an international act.

SN. Have you performed earlier in Amsterdam, (and did you like it)?
RR. Ive been touring every year since 2001 and Amsterdam has always been one of the “Must” places to perform. I love performing in Amsterdam for more than one reason. I love it there..

SN. Are you already looking forward to perform at the Amsterdam Reggae festival 2011?
RR. Anywhere I perform I get very excited. I love my fans and I know my fans are always excited to see me to cause I always give 100%.

SN. For the people that don’t know, your debut album “Oh No….It’s Red Rat!” An album that rapidly became one of Greensleeves Records greatest selling albums with hits such as “Tight Up Skirt”, “Cruise” (featured in the movie ‘The Big Hit’) and “Big Man Little Yute.” In 1996 right? Can we expect these hitsongs at the Amsterdam Reggae Festival?
RR. Most definitely! I will be doing all the hits plus some new cut off the new album and im also bringing a surprise guest for the Amsterdam people. So look out cause its gonna be FIRE!!!!!

SN.What more can we expect  from you on stage?
RR. Expect what I do best!!!! Entertainment to the fullest!!!!! That’s all I have to say.

SN. If you had to promote your performance on the Amsterdam Reggae Festival, what would you say to your fans and reggae fans in general, who come to Amsterdam for the festival?
RR. This festival is a great line up artist that are coming to give the crowd something to rememeber and im honored to be a part of the line up this year and im looking forward to delivering Red Rat style as always!!!

SN. Thanks for your interview Red Rat. We will see you in Amsterdam and we hope you will like Amsterdam. Do you have some message for the reggae and dancehall fans all over the World?
RR. I want say thanks to all my Fans and Aircons that been supporting me all these years, and to all the radio DJs and selectors that still play Red Rats music, and don’t forget the album “The Fun Is Back” is dropping 2011. Hit me up on twitter @RedRatlife & @RedRatmusic and also on youtube/redratmusic. “Success is a state of mind” Double R/Infinity Moguls bringing back the fun in dancehall and in music PERIOD!!!!! RR im out!!!!

SN. The last years you had a break to spend some more time with your daughter, and you produce songs for other artists right now. Will you release a new album from yourself in the near future?
RR. Yeah! “The Fun Is Back” March 2011 it’s the baddest album ive heard since Shabba Ranks “Xtra Naked” album so im very, very proud of how it came out.

This is what the reggae fans that will come to the Amsterdam Reggae Festival 2011 can expect from Red Rat:

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