Interview with The Dubbeez - World Reggae Contest Winner 2016
09/04/2016 by Gardy Stein
Sunday, August 14th 2016 - Sitting among the winners of the World Reggae Contest half an hour after the result of the jury had been announced, The Dubbeez break into claps, shouts and screams of joy when I ask them how they're feeling. "Great! Wonderful! Awesome!" are some of the adjectives thrown into the air like doctoral caps at the final degrees. Reggaeville was able to talk for a few minutes to the newcomers who are set to record their very first album early next year – in a studio in Jamaica!
Did you expect to win?
Earl: We wanted it, but I didn't really expect it. When it came to the point I was getting nervous and I thought, maybe not… but we made it!
Did you watch the other bands play? Who was your favourite?
Quincy: Rapha Pico was my favourite.
Joanne: But Etna was great, too!
Earl: And Adahzeh also!
Olivia: Actually all of them were good, better than we thought.
Quincy: Quartiere Coffee was also good, Adahzeh, and Etna, I liked them. I didn't really understand it, but the sound was good.
Olivia: The Netherlands represented quite well, I think. I'm proud of the Netherlands!
Maybe you can introduce yourselves individually – who are The Dubbeez?
Bobby: I'm Bobby, you can call me Bob, I'm the keyboard player of The Dubbeez. I've played with them for almost three years now and I love this band, they are like my family, I love them all, they are like my brothers and sisters. And to win this contest today, to get this achievement is awesome, I can't really describe how I feel. I'm in another state right now, I don't know how to say it!
Joanne: Hi, I'm Joanne, I joined this band last year and I love it, man, I don't know what to say. I feel very privileged that I am a member of this band and to have this opportunity. I would never have dreamed of being in a Reggae band before, but now I am and I'm enjoying it!
Earl: My name is Earl and I've been in this band from the start. When I was young my father taught me how to drum, he wasn't a drummer but he taught me. And after that I was busy as a DJ because I'm a Reggae/ Dancehall DJ as well by the name of Madbwoy. After a while I saw my sister playing bass, she was learning it from my Dad, and that's when I decided to do more with drums too.
Milan: I'm glad you did, man! (laughter)
Quincy: My name is Quincy, I was also exposed to music, Reggae music, because they are my cousins and from young we also played and music was in the background always. My uncle was always in the studio, busy with people. I sometimes looked like 'Oh let me check that out!', but later around 2011, I decided to take course in this genre and grab the mic.
Milan: My name is Milan, I'm the lead guitarist…
Quincy: Oh, by the way, I'm the singer! (roaring laughter)
Milan: I started with this band I think 5 years ago, I joined them and we started from there!
Olivia: I'm Olivia, the bassie from the band. I started playing when I was 17, I saw my father play tribute to Bob Marley in Amsterdam, and since then I said to my father 'I wanna play too!' and first he laughed and said 'Really?' But then he taught me Heathen from Bob Marley, that was my first bass-line, and I never stopped sine then. And I was so happy that my brother joined me so I had a drummer and then it expanded actually with my nephew Quincy and Milan and the rest and then I asked Bobby to join too. And it just fits, the group fits.
Earl: We are comfortably weird! We get arguments sometimes…
Olivia: Yeah, we argue a lot, it can get very… not violent, but heated.
Bobby: We can get very serious, but it belongs to it because we are like a family, you know.
So in this composition you play since one year, right? Are you all based in Amsterdam?
When you started out, did you have exposure right away, did you play gigs?
Earl: Years of studio work alone.
Quincy: My first performance is one of the highlights of my life for them because it was awful. I took a wrong key and I was like all over the place. It was a real eye-opener like 'OK, I need to focus and get some singing lessons.' (laughter)
What's the response you get on the local scene, in Amsterdam? I saw one video at a festival of some kind…
Earl: That was the Battle of the Bands that we won. People like it!
Milan: That was our first real exposure to the public. We participated in the Battle of the Bands, we won it, and from there it's just growing, step by step.
You were called differently before…
Bobby: Yes, first we were called The Dub Factory, but we decided to have another name, we wanted a fresh start.
Earl: There were also other bands called The Dub Factory and we want to be original.
Joanne: So that people are able to find us on social media, also.
You also have an EP out, right?
Quincy: Dubbee! Yes, we finished it last month.
So now, as the winners of this Contest, you are looking at going to Jamaica soon. Do you have material ready or will you sit down and write new stuff now?
Olivia: We do have material ready, and we also have things half written, so we can always work on that.
Quincy: We are positively busy! We have a lot of songs that we can record.
How does that make you feel, the option of going to Jamaica to record?
Milan: Very good. A bit unreal, but we will see. When do we go? February?
Bobby: I have a lot of expectations for Jamaica!
Have you ever been there, anyone?
Quincy: Once, the three of us went for a month.
Earl: What we basically did, we saw some studios, so we know where to go. We just like getting the vibe, the Jamaican vibe, and I think if we are going there to the studio it's going to be really nice.
Is there anything you want to focus on in your lyrics, anything you want to give to the world?
Joanne: I think positivity, moving forward, just helping people to get their confidence back, their boost back, that's what we try to bring to our music. At least that is my thing that I write about.
Quincy: Self reflection. Sometimes you wanna help people, but sometimes it's best to just help people by self reflection, by your own situation, so they can understand.
Where do you see yourselves in five years time and what do you want to tell the people?
Earl: I hope on the main stage as the last band! (laughter)
Milan: I wanna thank all the people who came to this festival, and the jury for voting for us.
Quincy: I wanna say thanx to my uncle who was our engineer, Patrick Rumdat. He passed away last year and I think he would be very proud of us. So everything we do now is more in the name of him, I think it's for him.
Earl: He was the one that taught her the bass and me the drumming.
Bobby: He taught everybody. Not only the music, but also how to perform on stage, how to be, also backstage, and all the things we do is dedicated to him.
Quincy: Also, I don't want to forget, Joanie, the mother of the band, she always believed in us, a big shout-out to her.
Joanne: Her prayers have worked! She prays for us.
Bobby: She is our mother! (laughter)
Thank you so much, and have a great time in Jamaica!
WATCH THE FULL LIVE PERFORMANCE @ WORLD REGGAE CONTEST 2016 BELOW: