Jubba White speaks about his Solar Riddim and Random Thoughts album

TR: Hi Jubba, Nice to meet you. First of all, please tell us about your first step in music as a drummer, and then becoming a producer, vocalist and session musician of lot of reggae artist.

JW: Yeah! Greetings! I started beating pots and pans in the kitchen. I used anything I could find, sticks, spoons and more. My mother, anything She was doing, She was always singing joyfully. I think that influenced me quite a bit. Singing and drumming made me happy. Drumming became my first love. (Jubba was born around May Pen, Clarendon, JA) My foundation was in my community, especially in the church. When the church got Its first drumset, I was the first young drummer, I was there to do my thing. So that started. The love for my music and my drum just grew more and more.

I enrolled in the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, that It’s a great institution for Jamaican musicians. Then I started playing in the hotels’ circuit. We used to play lot of Billboard hits, I mean popular music, ‘cause It was all about entertainment for the tourists. At College, I specialized in Caribbean, Latin American, and Jazz music. Love for music went into production. It was a natural route. I’m very grateful for all those
stages and occasions to learn.

TR: Among several collaborations, in 2003 You started a new road with Stone and Winta James, with the name of Dubtonic Kru. What’s different compared to your previous musical project?

JW: So, the journey and the inspirations brought life to a new band, that We like to call movement: Dubtonic Kru is more than just a band. Me, “Winta” James, Veron Dinnall and Rohan Gordon, We all have been great friends, with similar experiences. We met at the High School, and We started playing music as a band. I also have to mention Mr Gerald Anderson, a teacher of we all. I was a teenager, looking for a band to play with. He recommended me to the others and made us meet and play together. Rohan played the guitar, Winta the keys, Veron was the bassie, Me at the drum: this the way the team started.

We toured with a lot of Jamaican reggae champions, such as Max Romeo, Big Youth, The Mighty Diamonds, The Ethiopians. Those experiences were so important. It brought us back to roots. The opportunity to play with the pioneers was crucial. We learnt so much more about the history and the culture, and we understood what music meant. So, year by year, we wanted to start creating our own vibe. So Dubtonic Kru was born: instrumental dubs, with lyrics of spoken words on top. I like poetry a lot, for example, Macka B, Mutabaruka. So, our sound was a combination of everything we learnt from all the partners we worked with, the result of travelling in different countries. Dubtonic Kru: band, brand and movement.

TR: Please tell us about your meeting with Dj Colonel and the resulting collaboration on the Solar Riddim, starting from the single “Rise and Shine”.

JW: My meeting with DJ Colonel was a result of my moving to the region of the United States. I decided to move from Jamaica to the West Coast. I was before some years in France and on US East Coast, too. This time was different because It was never ever planned for me to leave Jamaica. But sometimes, inspiration allows you to see things in a different way, so I moved to US.

DJ Colonel is one of those individuals that has been a serious advocate of reggae music. He’s not only a radio deejay, but everything about him also spreads reggae. Finally, We had the opportunity to work together. Solar Riddim is our common project. I proposed It. He accepted. We did It. “Rise and Shine” have been the first single. I had those melodies and lyrics in my head. It was the first version, inspiring the direction.

TR: Which other artists have you been involved with on Solar Riddim with original versions?

JW: I decided to call It Solar Riddim because It’s full of energy. And all the artists featured on It gave more energy too. So, we start with the legendary Mikael Rose, then you can listen to Twiggy, Perfect Giddimani, Prezident Brown, Ranking Joe, Aaron Nigel Smith, Turbulence, Tuff Like Iron, and me Jubba White alongside Frassman Brilliant and Arturas.

TR: What’s new coming from your studio?

JW: What’s new It’s already here, and It’s called “My random thoughts”. It’s my debut solo album, which I’m so pleased to present to the world, and It’s already available on digital platforms. I want all my people to experience this album because It’s coming from my love and passion for music and life. It’s the best gift I can give to my people.

TR: Thank you so much for this interview, we wish you all the best for this work and the next ones. So, send a greeting to our readers, please.

JW: I want to say Big Thanx to all the music-loving people all over the world. Reggae is global. Thank you for being receptive. Check out what Jubba has in stores: “My random thoughts”. Join in on my journey. Stay with me. Nuff Respect.

Recorded and transcribed by Teo Rootical
Milan, Italy – October 2021