Reggae DJ Earl Gateshead has launched a new monthly podmix ‘The Huge Reggae Show’ on SoundCloud. The series is being released monthly with the fourteenth installment having launched on Monday, 3rd of October 2022. The podcast, which Gateshead refers to as a ‘Podmix’, was created with the idea to spread knowledge of Reggae as a way of giving people access to the music and explaining the details of the music in an entertaining and non-judgemental way. Music News caught up with Earl Gateshead to find out more...

Hi Earl, how are you?
I'm really well thanks , I'm writing this from a small room in an Air B+B in New Delhi. I'm playing shows in India currently. It's brilliant to be able to bring them Reggae music. They get very little opportunity to hear 'proper" Reggae

Tell us about your new podcast, or “Podmix” as you describe it.
Even if people were listening on headphones in the office at work, I wanted to provide the music in a way that they feel they're not listening on their own. I'm explaining the music as I put it on. That is I'm explaining the place in the Jamaican culture each tune originates from and also the meaning of each song. Because all Reggae songs have a meaning, they're all about something. But often, for Western people in particular, the meaning is obscured by the language and particular culture of Jamaica. But also, I'm a person who likes company. I've tried to make these in a way that you feel that you're listening to the music with someone else, I make these Podmixs live and all vinyl. My comments and reaction to the music is natural and hopefully will chime with the listener, because we're listening to the music together. I'd like whoever listens to feel less alone in his or her headphones :)

You’ve been involved in the UK Reggae music scene for many years, how has your relationship with Reggaee changed or stayed the same over time?
Yeah it's changing. Reggae has always been outsider music. When I started out you could only find the records in specialist shops, it was no good going to Tower or HMV looking for 'proper" Reggae.......But we still havn't been completely absorbed in the way that House Music and Hip Hop have. At it's core Reggae is still rebel music, still message music..... My own relationship hasn't changed that much. The music still inspires and supports me like it always has.

You talk about a lack of spirituality in Western cultures, what is the solution to you?
It's simple really. Since the Renaissance The West has regarded the accumulation of wealth and power as the 'point" of our lives. But at heart humans are spiritual. No society has ever developed anywhere without a spiritual core. We need to acknowledge that we are are spiritual beings and accept that our spirituality must inform our actions. Otherwise we won't be satisfied or happy with the way we live.

Your work in the Reggae music scene has led to some incredible opportunities such as festival appearances this summer and working with Banksy! Tell us about those experiences.
I've been mad lucky in my life. I feel like a Reggae Forrest Gump. When I look back I've had bizarre experiences. Big Youth is a genius who's work will be remembered in 500 years. I toured with him as his selector on stage. In New Zealand the promoter gave us an amazing house by the sea. We stayed there a week and Big Youth cooked the food every day. He's a brilliant cook.

Tell us about some of your Reggae heroes.
I'm not one to hero worship people. I know everyone's fallible no matter how good they may be at making music. All Reggae performers show their hearts, some in a more accessible way than others. Jamaica's a tough place and even the best and most successful performers have to behave in a way sometimes that are incompatible with perspective of the music they play. I have a great deal of admiration for Johnny Osbourne who I know, and from my perspective he has all the hallmarks of a great artist. He's very serious about what he does and he's made great art for 50 years. Sugar Minott was a friend too. He made some great music. But it's his efforts to get other people recording careers through his Youthman Promotions label that I most admire him for. He changed people's lives through his support for them.

What can new listeners expect from your podmix?
Reggae still isn't easily accessible music. Hopefully they'll be able to get access to the best Reggae, current and historical, while someone helps their listening experience by commenting and explaining what's happening in the songs

What are your plans for the foreseeable future?
I've got quite a lot actually. First I'm going to tour India again. One of my missions is to help to get Reggae established in the world's most populous country. There's already a little flame, I'd like it to become a fire. Then back to the UK to play Festivals, I love Festivals. They still feel special even though I've been to so many. Then there's the cultural think tank Studio 61 that I'm involved with. We hope to change the world by changing people's perceptions of art.

You can check the latest Podmix here.

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