Our new single, One Tribe (Gumbo Mix), is a remix of a song from our album, Change The Plan.
This song mixes the reggae sounds of the Caribbean with the dembow rhythms of Latin America, into the style that has become known as reggaeton.
“I had this idea of a melody in the talismanic style of Bob Marley, but with some modern, exotic, reggaeton rhythms behind it. The theme of the song came to me when I considered that there might be some people who would decry my singing in a style other than what they would expect of me, a white man living in England. I feel indignant about this - there really is one world that we all share. Consequently, our cultural influences are myriad and wonderful. The diversity of our cultural experiences is something to be celebrated rather than forbidden or frowned upon. This is not a song of ‘cultural appropriation’, but creative celebration. WE ARE ALL FROM ONE TRIBE, and our culture is a melting pot, a gumbo.
“The reference to the ‘white duke’ relates to something I read about David Bowie from the 1970s, during his ‘white duke’ phase, in which he proclaimed in an interview that he had a lot of sympathy for fascism. Racism and the National Front were at their ugly height in England, and Bowie was photographed seemingly pulling a ‘Sieg Heil’, Nazi salute to fans in London. I was appalled by this (especially as Bowie is a musical hero of mine). I grew up in the 1980s in Cardiff, Wales, where the musical influences of reggae and ska were strong, and which hosted the annual Butetown carnival where folks of different ethnic backgrounds could enjoy the heady sounds of the Caribbean in the docklands where Shirley Bassey grew up. I relate to all that diversity and cultural sharing infinitely more than some grandstander claiming to represent ‘white rock’.
“This song is a two-fingers-up at cultural exclusivity.”
Check it our here: our bespoke One Tribe webpage (with notes and lyrics)