Interview with Morry Da Baron from Oneness Records
Last week I had the chance to interview Moritz Korff from Oneness Records.
After a great interview i did previously with Silly Walks Discotheque, here is my second interview with Oneness Records.
I talked to Morry about their riddims, the awesome artists they work with, their goals for 2015 and other questions about reggae and dancehall in general.
Who is Oneness Records and why did you decide to go with Reggae Music?
Oneness Records was founded by Benjamin Zecher, a cinematographer, and Moritz Korff, who is the Bass Guitarist in the French Reggae Band “Dub Inc.“ in 2006 . In 2014, Master Engineer, Umberto Echo joined the team, and made a real impact on the music and business operations of Oneness Records. All three members have always been into reggae whether it was Benjamin who ran a sound system and a record store, Moritz who played with different reggae bands in Germany, or Umberto Echo who worked as a live & studio engineer for reggae bands.
What is the proudest achievement of Oneness Records?
The first Release: “Oneness” Riddim” is definitely one of the most important releases because it put Oneness Records on the map. Our first album with the newcomer Naptali was definitely important as it was the first LP, along with the two albums with Sara Lugo.
What is your favorite tool for Reggae/Music production and why?
That’s definitely my bass and my Protools on my Mac-book. Though I am of that generation who worked with tapes and ADATS when recording music because it was not visual on a screen yet! This setup gives me the liberty to work anywhere at any time. From recording guitars in hotel rooms to arranging keyboards in the night liner or editing a bass line in a plane. I can use the enormous amount of time I get as a touring musician on the road to do something productive. Since we mainly work with live recorded instruments Protools makes the work quite more comfortable.
How many artists have you worked with and how many riddims have you produced till now?
To be honest: I have never counted the number of artists. We have worked with the majority of all the known names from Jamaican artists like; Capleton, Buju Banton, Luciano, Sizzla, Junior Kelly, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica to Europeans such as Alborosie, Ziggi Recado, Tippa Irie to Asia with Ras Muhamad and Polinesia with J.Boog, Swiss & Majic.
The list goes on!
About the produced riddims: We released …..Riddim Series so far
Six months ago we counted the riddims built so far (release and non-released ones) and we exceeded 140.
Can you tell a bit more about your brand new release “Retro Locks Riddim”?
Sometimes a riddim just asks to be voiced, you know. This is our take on a timeless classic by Bim Sherman, the Golden Locks riddim. We have to honor where the music is coming from, while moving it forward and evolving it into something new. We received so much good feedback on the riddim and everybody just loved working on that project. The process was easy and the compilation came together seamlessly, so we knew it was a good move.
The Retro Locks RIDDIM features some great artists in the reggae scene (Gappy, Conrad Crystal, Suga Roy, Iba Mahr, Glen Washington, Dre Island etc), how did you manage to get these great artists on the Retro Locks Riddim?
We allow the roster of artists featured to come to together organically. There are artists like Denham Smith, Mark Wonder and Naptali who we work with regularly, and we are always on the lookout for new artists with an interesting sound. That inspired us to reach out to artists like; Dre Island, Runkus and Iba Mahr. Benjamin spends much time in Jamaica so this is the chance to get in touch with artists beyond trying to contact them via the internet.
How does it work, do they all come to visit you and record on the riddim. Or is it all managed online?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to work with all these artists in a studio in Munich because all three Oneness members are actively touring! We have to organize a lot of recordings by email or Benjamin does it in Jamaica.
Do you have a favorite reggae or dancehall artist, or artists you prefer working with?
No – Sorry there are to many!
Are there songs or artists you dislike at the moment?
I don’t want to call certain names but we refuse to promote artists singing about guns, violence, or have sexist or homophobic lyrics. We want to promote positive and uplifting Songs on Oneness Records
Where do you see Reggae and Dancehall in 2015?
I am kind of glad about this so-called “Roots Revival” Movement, with the difference that for Europeans the Roots were never really gone! But I definitely love the bridge that artists like Protoje etc. are building between the old- and the new schools. It maintains the identity of Reggae instead of heading more in the US Style Direction as a lot of Dancehall Artists are doing. I hope this real thing can influence the young generation to grab an instrument or a mic to start something their own.
What’s coming up in 2015 for Oneness Records?
There are several Riddim Series under construction. A Naptali Ep is just getting mixed! We are also working on a second Various Artist Compilation. At the end of the year we’d like to release an Oneness Records in dub album. There will also be several new videos realized by Benjamin such as “Travelling Home” for Iba Mahr and for Ras Muhamad’s & Naptali’s “Farmerman“.
Info and Resources
Want to know more about Oneness Records, Benjamin, Morry or Umberto?
Find their online presence and the resources used for this interview;
- Official website of Oneness Records
- Official Soundcloud channel Oneness Records
- Oneness Records Facebook page
- 2007 – Oneness Riddim
- 2008 – General Key Riddim
- 2010 – Soul Riddim
- 2011 – Backstabber Riddim
- 2011 – Redeemer Riddim
- 2012 – Rub a Dub Man Riddim
- 2012 – Reggaeville Riddim
- 2012 – Raspect Riddim
- 2014 – Rise Up Riddim
- 2014 – African Children Riddim
- 2015 – Retro Locks Riddim
- 2013 – Denham Smith – Not the Same
- 2014 – Sara Lugo ft. Protoje – Really Like You (co-produced with Silly Walks, see my interview with Silly Walks here)
- 2010 – Naptali – Long Journey
- 2011 – Sara Lugo – What about Love
- 2012 – Mark Wonder – Working Wonders
- 2014 – One Love, One Heart Oneness – Showcase vol. 1
- 2014 – Suga Roy & Conrad Crystal – The Kings Book
- 2014 – Ras Muhamad – Lion Roar
- 2014 – Sara Lugo – Hit me With Music
Will be back soon with more interviews, updates and more! Stay tuned.