“I grew up listing to U Roy and wanting to be like U Roy, so it was just a natural progression for me”
Original UK dancehall mc Tippa Irie’s place in reggae history is assured. Yet that hasn’t stopped him from releasing ‘Stick To My Roots‘, a late contender for the best album of his career. A collaboration with Germany’s Far East Band, ‘Stick To My Roots’ sees Tippa chat over everything from the latest dancehall rhythms and pop-lovers ditties to unusual forays into cultural music with his celebration of live instruments Hornsman Blow. Angus Taylor spoke to him at Reggae Jam in Germany about his resurgence, his new record and how he won’t let nagging injuries keep him down…
As I enter the studio Tippa is sitting behind his desk tapping away on his computer, he welcomes me with a big handshake and he makes me feel at home.
The first thing that struck me was the impressive array of awards and disks hanging on the wall, which shows his achievements of his hard work and dedication to the reggae industry over the past decades.
Q: How did the Mc name Tippa Irie come about?
Tippa was my nickname from school and Irie means feeling good so I put the two of them together and made Tippa Irie because my main aim in music was to make people feel good when they came to see me perform.
Q: Tippa I remember you back in the 80’s when you was a Mc for Saxon sound system and known as one of the top mc’s in the local community can you elaborate on this and give me the history of your early days?
I started my career on my dads sound system Musical Massiah, I grew up listening to U Roy, Big Youth, Tappa Zukie and wanted to be just like them, so I