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Gentleman honoured with 'Reggae Gold'

Gentleman - contributed

This is the final in a three-part interview with German Reggae artiste Gentleman. He is one of the artistes featured on the 2005 Reggae Gold Album and appears as part of the Star's Artiste of the Month feature.

western bureau

FOR GENTLEMAN, BORN Tielman Otto, being a reggae singer was an accident, but a very fortunate one.

Now the man who returned home to Cologne, Germany, from Jamaica, while still a teenager with a clutch of seven inch 45s, is on the latest edition of the Reggae Gold album, put out annually by VP Records.

His song on the compilation is Superior, the first single from his 2004 album Confidence.


"That's a honour for me," he said of his inclusion in the marquee set. "I was always buying that album as a customer, now me deh pon it. Suppen a come tru."

Gentleman explained that the rhythm for Superior was built by Ingo from Pow Pow sound system in Germany, along with the Firehouse Crew, who plays for Sizzla on tour. "He gave me the rhythm and I vibe it. It took me about a year to do it. That was one of the tunes that took me a long time. The good tunes always take long," Gentleman said.

Gentleman has a hand in producing the third single from Confidence, Cyaan Hol Us Down, which features Barrington Levy and Daddy Rings. "It is a natural step to produce, but me naa stop work with other producers. It was a big inspiration to work with Bobby Digital, Black Scorpio and others. But we waan do more of it," Gentleman said.

In October, he will be coming to Jamaica to do a video for the single and says that most of his videos are done by Ras Kassa. This includes the videos for Superior and Intoxication, the first two singles from the Confidence album.

Rastaman work

"Is a Rastaman I love to work with," Gentleman said of Ras Kassa.

Gentleman also likes the work of Dennis Brown, Garnet Silk, Peter Tosh, Jack Radics, Daddy Rings and Sizzla Kalonji.

"I like the works of Kalonji. It is a lot of output. Some of the songs I listen to and say 'not my vibe.' I think he is one of the best artistes of the century," Gentleman said.

"Is a lot of singers with a strong message and that is what we need, not just rhyme with nothing behind it."

He is also aware of his social responsibility as an artiste.

"We all have a right to be happy, but we do not have the right to be satisfied as long as we have injustice," Gentleman said. As such, he is supporting a campaign called 'End Poverty By 2015.' "Every day 28,000 people die of hunger".

"The world forget about Africa. It is something that really hurt. You can use music to make people aware. It make me feel stronger; you can really make a difference," he said.

"We (musicians) cannot change the world, but we can make it sweeter. We cannot put the youths on the path of confusion; we have to put them on the path of consciousness," Gentleman said.

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July 21, 2005

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