Interview with Oliver Schrader from Silly Walks Discotheque
Last week i had the chance to talk to Oliver Schrader from Silly Walks Discotheque.
I talked to Oliver about their brand new release, called the “Ram Jam Riddim” and asked him some other questions about Reggae and Dancehall in general, their goals for 2015 and how they manage to work with such great Reggae artists.
A small introduction on Silly Walks Discotheque.
Who is Silly Walks Discotheque and where are they from?
About Silly Walks Discotheque
Silly Walks Discotheque has been around for a while in the reggae scene, starting in Germany as a foundation reggae sound system (Silly Walks Movement).
Top (German) reggae artist Gentleman (Tilmann Otto) was a part of their crew as their MC, where he started his career.
Silly Walks discotheque was founded by Oliver Schrader while working as a reggae sound system on different remixes for local artists. Meanwhile their crew consists of selector Oliver Schrader and MC Joscha Hoffmann. They started to produce in 1995.
Silly Walks contributed significantly to the spread of roots reggae and dub in Germany and are considered the “Pioneers of European Sound system scene“.
Working with international and national artists like; Gentleman, Jan Delay, Patrice Bart Williams, Cecile, Lutan Fyah, Turbulence, Tanya Stephens, Luciano and the list goes on.
In 2009 they produced the 14 track “Aspire Riddim” which features great artists like; Gentleman, Luciano, Louie Culture etc.
The riddim topped the German charts and also various reggae charts worldwide.
In 2010 Silly Walks was part of the production team for Gentleman’s album (track “Shut Eye Country“) and the official remix from Gentleman and Christopher Martin, called “To the Top“, which also topped the charts.
Silly Walks is among the most booked sounds in Germany and worldwide. They played all over Europe on festivals and shows like; Summerjam, Reggaejam, Chiemsee Rototom, Uppsala and more.
In 2012 they released the riddim “Storms of Life” with a fantastic lineup, featuring; J.Boog, Luciano, Gentleman, Exco Levi and Konshens.
In 2013 they released the “Honey Pot Riddim“, which featured the massive song “Smile Jamaica” by Chronixx. It became a huge hit in the reggae scene world wide and was #1 for a while in the Jamaica’s reggae charts. It even was Usain Bolt’s favorite song during summer 2013. The Honey Pot Riddim also features artists; Daville, Exco Levi, Torch, RC, Ginja and Kabaka Pyramid.
My personal favorite is still the song “Mirrors”, officially by Justin Timberlake. But the remix single by Daville is way better than the original.
In October 2014 Silly Walks Discotheque released a brand new riddim, called the “Clock Tower Riddim“.
Again with an impressive line up, featuring artists like; Morgan Heritage, Queen Ifrica, Exco Levi, Tony Rebel and newcomer Clay.
And now, in 2015 they release another brand new riddim, called the “Ram Jam Riddim“.
Featuring; Shaggy, Clay, Chronixx, Sara Lugo & Protoje, Exco Levi, RC, Ras Demo, LUST and Dalton Harris.
Listen to the MegaMix here:
Available from April 17th!
The following interview is all about the new “Ram Jam Riddim” by Silly Walks Discotheque.
I asked Oliver eleven (11) different questions, enjoy reading;
Interview with Oliver Schrader by Benn-i
- Who is Silly Walks and why did you decide to go with Reggae Music?
Silly Walks is now MC Joscha Hoffman and me, selector Oliver Schrader. We both run the label and production camp, but we have a whole lot of people around us who we are working with, i.e. our latest artist signing Clay, the Hamburg based producer Jr. Blender, our graphic designer Typeholics, our video director Til Maier, our editor Ole Lohmann, musicians, and so many more.
- What can u say/tell about the brand new “Ram Jam” Riddim?
It’s nice! it features some of our favorite artists like Shaggy, Clay, Chronixx and many others and every artist has delivered a great song.
The riddim is inspired by the late 1960’s sound in Jamaica and was programmed by Jr. Blender.
- The Ram Jam Riddim is gonna be premiered on April 17th by David Rodigan, how did u manage this?
Well, he premiered it already, the official release is going to be April 17th.
- Was the name for the riddim also inspired by David Rodigan? Since his nickname is also “Ram Jam”..
We were looking for a good name for the riddim and came across Ram Jam. It’s kind of old school and very catchy – like the riddim. We asked David Rodigan if he would mind if we called the riddim after his nick and he said he would actually feel honored so we did it.
- RAM JAM Riddim features some great artists like; Chronixx, Shaggy, Clay, Exco Levi and so on. How did you manage to work with such great artists?
It took us a while. Behind every song there is a story. We are constantly building up our artist network and most times have particular artists in mind for our riddims. For ram jam we were thinking of Shaggy long before it actually happened. It takes dedication and perseverance to build a line up like the one on Ram Jam.
- How does it work, do they all come to visit you, or is it all arranged online?
It depends. the contacts are mostly personal, but the voicing often has to take place in our absence
- The song “Can’t Bridge my Defense” by RC, was released 2 years ago. Why did it take some time to do a full album on the riddim?
The first song that was recorded on the riddim was Sara Lugo/ Protoje. We originally built the riddim for Sara Lugo. Then RC came in and we decided to feature his song on the “Storms of life” album. Chronixx was recorded in 2012 too. The other songs we’ve collected over the years and when finally Shaggy had voiced we felt that the juggling is now ready to be released.
Plus we’ve been quite busy with our other releases in the meantime.
- What’s coming up for Silly Walks Discotheque in 2015/2016? What are you plans
After Ram Jam we have a few more riddim jugglings in the making, but our main focus right now is Clay.
He is signed to our label and we are working on an ep and on his debut album
- Where do you see Reggae and Dancehall in 2015/2016?
I see reggae music alive and well, it’s even on the rise. A lot of good music is being made and lots of young talents are ready to buss. I love dancehall too, but i don’t know where it’s heading. I think musically there’s a lot of great stuff going on, but the lyrics get more and more vulgar and the need for artists to create a hype by any means is just ridiculous.
- Are there songs or artists you prefer working with or like very much? And are there artists or songs that you dislike
There are always promising young talents we would love to work with and there are many established artists we’d love to work with too. Actually too many. Plus we would like to keep on working with most of the artists we’ve worked with so far…
- Some of the riddims that Silly Walks produced were collaborated together with Philip Meckseper aka JR Blender (also one of my favorites). How did u find each other and are there more projects that you are working on together?
Jr. Blender lives in Hamburg so we know each other for a long time. We started doing remixes together and then moved on to productions. We try to keep on working together as he is amazing and we get along very well, but he’s part of the “Major Lazer production team” now and is highly in demand for many projects, so we are also working with others as well i.e. Big Finga, Rooted music and Rudy Valentino Jr.
Stay tuned for Silly Walks Discotheque in 2015! An artist you definitely have to watch out for is Clay!
Info and Resources
Want to know more about Silly Walks Discotheque?
Find their online presence and the resources used for this interview here;
- Official Website of Silly Walks Discotheque
- Official SoundCloud channel Silly Walks Discotheque
- Silly Walks Discotheque Facebook Fanpage
- Instagram Page Silly Walks Discotheque
- Silly Walks Discotheque Twitter
Benn-i Productions will be interviewing some other major reggae producers coming week;
- House of Riddim (Sam Gilly)
- Oneness Records (Morry daBaron)
Stay tuned for new interviews, releases and more.