Interview: Dreadsquad

5 February 2013

Once made up of Polish production/DJ duo Marek Bogdanski and Lukasz Rodziewicz, Dreadsquad is now helmed by Bogdanski as a solo project.

Over the span of his lengthy career he has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the Polish reggae and hip-hop scene, supplying instrumentals to the likes of Marika, East West Rockers, Ras Luta, Junior Stress, Kacezet, Natural Dread Killaz, Pablopavo and Reggaenerator. That's not to say he's restricted by borders. He has also worked with many European and Jamaican reggae artists including Tenor Fly, Top Cat, General Levy, U Brown, Milion Stylez, Lady Chann, Tipa Irie and Jah Mason.

Quite a roster of artists.

Although defying straight forward classification, his production style is a fusion of reggae, dancehall, ska, rocksteady and hip-hop with hints of more contemporary genres such as jungle, breakbeat, garage and dubstep.

This week, he'll be playing across India as part of the Reggae Rajahs 4 year anniversary tour alongside fellow Polish musician and singer Kasia Malenda. Before he hit our shores, we got in touch, to find out a little about his history, the scene in Poland and what he's expecting from these very special shows:

Tell us about how and why you first started, Dreadsquad?

I started in the late 90s, at first I was making music and playing gigs just as a hobby, but soon realised that I wanted to push it further.

What’s the reggae scene like in Poland?

I think the Polish reggae scene is quite big. We have hundreds of bands, DJ crews and some sound systems with nice big scoops "inna" Jamaican fashion. Most people are into drum and bass and jungle though, and not as with the roots of reggae. Hopefully that will change someday.

How has the Polish music scene changed since you first started?

For sure there is more of everything. More parties, more Jamaican artists visiting Poland, more sounds and sound systems, more bands. However sometimes I feel the audience is a bit spoilt with the luxury of having more than they need.

Who are some of your musical influences?

I listen to a lot of different genres of music. From reggae to electronic music, from funk to Latin, from jungle to UK funky and bashment. It's hard to tell who is my biggest influence. When I don't produce music myself I usually listen to Jamaican dub from the 70s, ambient, rub-a-dub or hip-hop.

Your remix of the Skrillex and Damian Marley track "Mek it bun dem" made a big splash on the Internet. Do you think either of them have heard it?

Well, it's possible. Some huge names played that rmx in their sets (i.e. David Rodigan or Diplo). My friend who booked Damian Marley to play in Poland, has sent this rmx to his management. I hope he forwarded it to Damian!

Is there anyone in particular you'd love to work with in the future?

Oh there are loads of people I would love to work with, Shabba Ranks, Ms Dynamite, Prince Fatty just to name a few.

Looking forward to coming to India? – Any expectations?

I have been wanting to visit India for a long time. I'm extremely happy about this tour. However I don't have any expectations. I want to go with the flow and be surprised.

What are you looking forward to doing?

Except parties I want to eat a lot of traditional Indian dishes. I'm a huge fan of Indian cuisine and I cook myself as well. My speciality is Rogan Josh. I need to compare mine with the real one!

Have you been keeping an eye on the Indian reggae scene?

I know that Indian reggae scene is growing strong. Lots of my friends have already toured here. I have to see it myself to get an opinion.

Is there anyone in particular you'd love to meet/work with in India?

Yes. I 'm really looking forward to meeting Reggae Rajahs. I've been in contact online with them for a long time. There were supposed to play in Poland at one of my parties but unfortunately they had to cancel a part of the tour. Now it's the best time to meet them personally.


3 most inspirational artists:

The Skatalites
Bob Marley
Steelie & Cleevie

3 favourite albums of all time:

Beastie Boys – Ill communication
The Prodigy – Music For The Jilted Generation
Brian Eno – Music For The Airports

Favourite 3 artists of the moment:

Prince Fatty
Blackout JA

**More info on all their dates, as well as an exclusive mix from Reggae Rajahs covering only Dreadsquad productions can be found here**



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