French reggae band Dub Inc are all set to perform at the annual Bushfire Festival later this month in Swaziland. Speaking to IOL from Saint-Étienne in France, band member Grégory “Zigo” Mavridorakis, who is also a tattoo artist, said that the band was excited about performing in southern Africa.
“I don’t really know how it came about that we managed to make it onto the list of performers for Bushfire but when we were told about it, we could not say no.
Swaziland is a very unusual destination for a French reggae band like us. It is not somewhere we would go to on our own, so saying yes was very easy,” he said.
In 2017, Bushfire won the African Best Responsible Event Award and CNN listed it as one of the “seven African music festivals you really have to see”. In the same year, BBC rated it as the “top African festival”. Mavridorakis said that all of these accolades also attracted them to the festival.
The seven-man band, which has been together since 1997, combine a range of styles, including dancehall, dub, ska and rap. Their music is also influenced by African music and their different backgrounds, with their songs sung in a mixture of French, English and Kabyle (an Algerian language).
The band has toured across the globe, playing to tens of thousands of fans. When asked what Bushfire audiences could expect, Mavridorakis said that their performance will be as consistent as their previous ones: “You know we really love performing in places where people do not know us, where they have probably never heard of us before, because it’s exciting as we get to introduce our music to people.
“People can expect music from all our albums and really just to have a good time with us. We sing a lot of French and a lot of people might not understand it but they will have fun anyway and we will have a lot of fun with them. They can also expect a fusion of sounds, we are reggae singers but we love mixing the original reggae sound with other genres,” he said.
The band will also be performing in South Africa at the Zakifo Music Festival in Durban and then Johannesburg, before jetting off to the Reunion Islands.
Mavridorakis added that the band will be heading back into the studio later this year, to put together a new album: “We do a lot of tours and live shows, so sometimes it is difficult to get studio time.
"However, whenever we are not touring, we are putting new music together, writing and combining ideas for new sounds and, for us, it’s like making notes before we start the production process. We will be starting officially on our new album in September and it usually takes us a year to put a new body of work together, so it should be out in September 2019.”