Cali P ADD

Inspiiiiiired: Interview with Cali P.

11/14/2011 by Markus Hautmann

Inspiiiiiired: Interview with Cali P.

With his recently released third album “Unstoppable” he hit the top positions of several European Reggae charts and even entered high in the States and Canada. But Cali P is not about to slower the pace. After his move to Jamaica a year ago he is full of motivation and plans as he told Reggaeville.

Cali P, Unstoppable, the title of your new album sounds like a motto or an announcement. Like you have overcome some obstacles. What’s the meaning behind the term “unstoppable”?
Very true. Life is full of obstacles. No matter who you are or where you are. Still the name "unstoppable" is coming of the vibe that we are on right now. It’s an album that introduces a side of Cali P that I still think a lot of people didn't know so far. It’s time to bring out all these qualities and show that no one can frame Cali P. I do Roots Reggae music, just as I do hardcore Dancehall music, Hip Hop and even RnB music. Important for me is to keep the lyrical faya and to be true to myself as Rastafar I and my livity. Now, me and my people we are managing all that very well. We just built a crazy studio in Jamaica so all of that makes us "unstoppable".

You reached no. 1 in the Swiss and the German Reggae iTunes charts, you were also high in the US-American and Canadian iTunes charts and left a lot of very prominent artistes behind. How do you explain that success?
Good question, King. I don’t wanna lie to you. I really don’t know. I don't make music for credit nor awards, I just do my best and try to make people feel what I feel. Then I have to say that I have a crazy team working just as hard as I do. We make sure to spread our music. Take time to interact with our fans and make our fans help us spread the music. And from day to day it’s working better and better. Thanks at this point to all my people!

You have moved to Jamaica last year. Why?
Yeah,  it’s one full year now that I have been living in Jamaica. It’s the best decision I have made. There were a couple of reasons why I did so. Of course, everyone knows that Jamaica is "the" place for Reggae and dancehall music. So there I can work daily on all these different projects I am on. All musicians and singers there that I link every day, I could not do that anywhere else in the world. But really and truly it was a very personal decision for me as well. I feel very comfortable in the Caribbean. I am home. No one stressing me about where I am from or what I do here...that was a lot the case for me when I lived in Europe. I feel very welcome in Jamaica and I am able to transmit my work to people that first of all understand me right away!!! And also do I see that I can help the music scene in Jamaica by creating positive music with a great quality. Jah-mek ya is a joy! Big up all my people in Jamaica and the Caribbean!

Have you faced any problems there? Is it hard to get acceptance there as a foreigner?
Because sometimes foreigners complain that it is not easy to be accepted and respected in Jamaica.
I always hear that, too. And I had to listen to a lot of that stuff from several people before I went there. But being inna Jamaica finally I didn’t spend a second thinking about that. I don’t feel foreign. I am a Rastafar I. People greet me every morning when I step in the streets. I treat the people royal and so do they treat me. My music is for the whole world and Jamaica is a part of that. I am very happy that Jamaican people listen to Cali P and say yesssss the youth is a blazing fire! That helped me to advance very much this last year. It’s true that maybe others can't do that. But I guess it’s a natural vibe for me. I tell people inna Jamaica to keep the fire blazing! Steppin! And regardless of what the world thinks, Jamaica is full of love.

You received heavy airplay in JA and the whole island was plastered with posters of you. How did you manage that?
Yes that’s true. Jamaica tuun up! I was in a parking lot one night after a sports event. And in front of my car I was singing some tunes. And people started to gather. When I dropped Hotsteppa one man came out of the crowd and said: “Nooooooo! This youth too wiiicked! Who are you?” I introduced myself and so did he. He was the news reporter on IrieFM for sports. I showed him that I have these songs already recorded and gave him some CDs... The rest is history. Selectas started to call for jingles and dubplates. The radio started to play the songs and they spread like wildfire on the island. At the same time I had a lot of posters left from the lyrical faya album. So we have a street team right now that always put up my posters and spread the word. I am happy I linked up with the right people!

Has the move to Jamaica also improved your musical skills?
We gonna see that in the next years to come. In this one year living in Jamaica I worked with the biggest names not only in Reggae music but in "music" worldwide. That is a blessing for me. I love music and I wanna improve my skills every day. Now I have my own studio with my inspired music family.That alone is a great improvement. Now it’s working time. Unstoppable again!

On Unstoppable you have a song together with Phenomden, a well renowned swiss Reggae artist. Have you ever thought of singing in German or in Swiss German? If not: Why not?
Yes I, the song with Phenomden is a song for Swiss German people to understand. I never had the idea of singing in Swiss German. It’s not my vibe. Patois and Kreyol have the fire that my music needs. And my music is for the four corners of the world. I am very proud that I can speak Swiss German but musically it’s definitely not my kind of vibe. 

Your debut album was almost pure Roots music. Unstoppable is not Roots Reggae at all. What is the reason for that change?
There is no change. I just make music. I still record as many Roots Reggae songs. You will soon see that. It’s just that I wanted to release the work I did with Riga. And Riga's strength as composer and producer is definitely in all this modern type of sounds that you can hear on my new album Unstoppable. I didn't wanna make a mixed up album where my Reggae fans don’t like the Dancehall stuff and my Dancehall fans don’t like the Roots stuff. So I took my time with everything. Now was the time for a digital, futuristic type of sound album for me. The next album will be Roots again. And in the meantime people get some crazy remixes and all this stuff. I do that because of the love I have for music. And I love a lot of different kinds of music. Now it’s my work to combine them all together.

It’s not only Reggae people that know about Cali P. You are also a very prominent and popular name in the snowboarding scene. How did that come?
X-treme sports scene, free-ski scene to be exact. That comes definitely from my brethren Tanner Hall and the whole free-ski movement. It was seven years ago that Tanner Hall started to put my music on his movies. That move changed a whole generation of young people coming up listening to Cali P and conscious Reggae and Dancehall music. Before it was more rock music that they used for such movies. Now people say inspiiiiiired! Why? Cause it’s good ova evil. And people feel the good vibes!!! I personally got very involved in that sport by seeing the action of it getting done with reggae music in the background. It brings a whole new vibe. This vibe went worldwide and I am thankful for that support. Bless up my sports people in the four corners of the world! 

What’s the story behind your inspired activities?
Inspired is the best music label ever! Why? Because everybody is inspired. You, me, we all are inspired and that is what the label is based on. Phantom is the engineer in the inspired studio right now. He composed, mixed and mastered the whole Like A Lion soundtrack. You have to be highly inspired to do something like that. I have to mention that only four years ago Phantom was "only" my selecta in the dance (Black Phantom Sound) and in the meantime he learned so much that he was able to do all these works that a sound engineer has to do. Big up for that. So you have Phantom and me taking care of the music in Jamaica supported by people that work very close with me and help me way before we set up inspired like that. People like DJ Chiqui Dubs from Panama or Riga with the whole Hemp Higher Movement. Musically all that is Inspired to me. And then, of course, all that could not happen without the help of Tanner Hall and Eric Iberg. Both of them created Inspired Media at the same time with us. So all is together. Music, movies and now even clothes. It’s crazy. Tanner Hall believes in me as an artist so much until we said we wanna have an independent label together cause it’s gonna be the future. Eric Iberg is a genius in organizing things and bringing people together that maybe would never come together just like that. He makes the bridge and out of that comes so much wonderful work. There are still so many people that work for inspired and are inspired. This is just the start. If you wanna know what it’s all about I guess you need to come to Jamaica and see how Inspired Music is building. Because no matter how advanced everything already looks, Inspired Music is still in the early stages of building up. And still, look at it now....even in Jamaica you have some people that say Gaza.....some say Gully!!!! And some say inspiiiiired!!! So I know we are definitely on the right track!!!!

This might be an odd question as you just released a brand new album. But what about your future plans?
I want Inspired Music and Inspired Media to be a platform for hard working people that wanna share their talents and bring them to the world. We are working on a very high standard as you can see in my video clips and also hear in our music. It’s not a "babacool" chilling crew! It’s an action crew. We all come from different places, different backgrounds, I can say even different believes in life but we all know about raspect and love. Which is the first foundation. From there now we hope to bring forth a lot of artists, producers, DJs, managers, athletes, designers and way more. And Cali P... personally I will continue to make music. Day by day. I wanna see my family happy and living a joyfull life. So I am gonna continue work hard for that. I am working on a Roots album while the people out there can enjoy my dancehall album Unstoppable. Inspiiiiired!!!!!!