|Ras Zahir - Blackheart Warriors Sound System|
When BHW started and who are the brothers with you doing the works?
Ras Zahir: Blessed love Fyadub and give thanks for this opportunity to share ourstory. Blackheart Warriors Soundsystem started in 2004 in the Southeast area of San Diego. Originally it consisted of myself Ras Zahir, Orthodox Reuben, Brizion and Asher Greyfoot. Asher was our helper but has since moved on to do different works. My role in the group is box builder, selector, operator and executive producer for the record label. Reuben is our other operator and selector. Brizion is our dub producer. The record label was established in 2012 and we currently have 7 releases.
Who you describe important on the sound system in the USA?
Ras Zahir: The Soundsystem scene is fairly new in USA as compared to England or Europe, but it is starting to build momentum and we are seeing various new sounds building up their set to playing out all over the country. Notable sounds are Aba Shaka, Black Redemption, Wildfiyah Rootikal, Fasimbas Afrikan Vanguard, Inner Standing Sound, Zion Love, Roots I-Mention, Dub Siren, and Dub Stuy plus more.
When we think about reggae in USA we think in jamaicans mixing with hip hop. How this change?
Ras Zahir: Well I can only speak from the perspective of where I live (San Diego). In San Diego we are conessiours of older Roots, dub, and Rub a Dub style of reggae. We don't really vibe with this newer hip hop & reggae fusion. We love older reggae and dub. We also vibe to the newer roots but to be honest it took a while to get people use to the newer digital Roots and dub we currently see coming from UK and Europe. In recent times though a lot of people are catching on to it. Overall most people here love the older sound of Reggae (70s and 80s) and don't like that type of "reggae" with hip hop influences.
Ras Zahir: No. We focus strictly on old and new Roots, Dub, Steppas and Nyahbinghi. We don't have any interest in playing anything else on our sound system beside that. This is the formula we have stuck with since the Sound was created.
The BHW stablish a great label, dealing with great producers and musicians, what do you expect for the future?
Ras Zahir: Give thanks. We expect more releases and works in the future. We just released a new 10" record with Fikir Amlak, Rob Symeonn and King Alpha which we are really excited about. It has been received very well. We also have another release coming with Fikir Amlak and Brizion, which is due to be released by the end of this year. In the vaults we have some other projects we hope to release with Russ Disciple, King Alpha, Vivian Jones, Wellette Seyon, Luv Fyah, Ark Aingelle, I-David, Judah Eskender and a few more. As long as the people show support, we will continue to release music.
What do you think about the future of reggae and the sound systems around the world?
Ras Zahir: I think it will continue to grow and spread to the four corners of the earth. Reggae Music is a powerful vehicle for our expression and people will always need music in their lives so its only natural for it to grow and carry on through the generations. What i would like to see is more younger ones getting involved with sound system to solidify its future. Reggae Sound systems bring the music to another level and dances bring people together. This is why we do it.....To deliver the message of Qedamawi Haile Selassie and African Redemption to the masses. Our dances give people a safe and positive place to have a good time while being edified.
Do you like the sound clashs, what do you think about it?
Ras Zahir: I personally don't endorse sound clashes and Blackheart Warriors is not a clashing type of sound system. To me clashes are very ego driven and divides the people instead of uniting them. We would rather play in unity to keep the vibes more positive. I do understand the history of sound clashes in sound system yet We choose not to be involved in it. We will defend ourselves if we are attacked musically though.
What the Rastafari means in the sound of BHW?
Ras Zahir: Rastafari livity and His Majesty means everything to I and I (us). His Majesty is the driving and guiding power that makes all this possible. Without HIM we would be like a rudderless ship drifting aimlessly in the ocean. He gives I and I direction and purpose, and because of this, we hold on to the Rastafari livity and uphold the order to the best of our ability. The sole purpose of our sound system is to spread the gospel of Rastafari worldwide.
|Orthodox Reuben e Ras Zahir|
Ras Zahir: I can only speak for myself since I'm the only Bobo Shanti/EABIC member of the sound. Yes it influences everything I do in life. It is my culture.
Do you think is possible apart the Rastafari out of the Sound System?
Ras Zahir: Yes. We have witnessed many sounds from the past and present who are not of the Rastafari faith partake in sound system. To each their own.
Spirituality is important to BHW?
Ras Zahir: Yes, as I mentioned before, this livity of Rastafari is the wind beneath our wings that keeps us moving in the Right direction. We are very spiritual and this dedication is reflected in all aspects of our lives including sound system.
What BHW like to play in the sessions, (like labels, producers, vocalists)?
Ras Zahir: That's a good question. We play a wide variety of Roots and dub. Jah Shaka, Young Warrior, Black Redemption, Roots Injection, Kibir La Amlak, King Earthquake, Conscious Sounds, King Alpha, Inner Sanctuary, Niney Observer, Yabby You, Twinkle Brothers, Black Legacy and Blakamix to name a few. There are too many to name but overall we like the militant Rastafari Sound over heavyweight dubs.
Leave the message you want to all massive!
Ras Zahir: I just want to give thanks to all our supporters who purchased our records and to those who support our Temple of Roots Dances. We could not do this without you so please continue to support us anyway you can. You are greatly appreciated. All praises and honor be unto JAH our King, Qedamawi Haile Selassie. Much love and respect!
BLACKHEART WARRIORS @ FYASHOP