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Benjamin Zecher - Gladstone Taylor/Photographer
Benjamin Zecher – Gladstone Taylor/Photographer—-

By Davina Henry—

It is no surprise that reggae music, much like Rastafari, has gone beyond race and nationality. The universal message, which promotes equality and love for all, has certainly transcended Jamaican shores and has found residence with Benjamin Zecher and his Oneness Records label.

The German producer told The Gleaner he initially fell in love with reggae as a child when he heard the universal message of love being promoted in Robert Nesta Marley’s music.

“I was a young rebel at that time and I liked the rebel attitude and fell in love with the song, War. The meditative side of the music caught me immediately. The drumming caught me at that time. I loved the music so much that I began playing the music as a DJ. After I finished school, I went on my first trip to Jamaica and stayed for three months. That was when Zim Zimma and Buju Banton’s Inna Heights were booming. It was Sizzla Kalonji and Anthony B coming. The music was really alive at that time. That was the first revival for me and that influenced me a lot. I love the universal message,” Zecher said.


Aiming to find young talent who have been influenced by reggae, Zecher coined the concept of his label.

The world was waiting

Having worked with some of the genre’s top artists, including Luciano and Junior Kelly, Zecher is now hoping to work with younger artists who are part of the reggae revival movement. He added that the world was waiting for Jamaica to get back to its musical side.

“I’m looking forward to the reggae revival artists like Chronixx, Protoje and Jah 9. What I like about it is the vibe. The whole energy is about music, it’s not about the hype. They have young producers that do a great job. I would love to work with them also, but for me, it’s overwhelming to see how they put out their work. I think the whole world appreciates that. I think the whole world was waiting for Jamaica to get back to that musical side. Not saying that it was not there, but the expression of these young artists is very natural.”



Zecher also speaks out against growing concerns that music sales are decreasing, because for him, that was never the motivation.

“The point is that you work hard at something, then everything else will follow. If you do things from your heart, the energy and everything else will follow.”

While he acknowledges that the industry had changed for both good and bad, he highlights that one of the benefits now is the openness of the industry.

“The whole music industry has changed. I wouldn’t judge it. It has good and bad sides. The benefit now is that there are a lot of opportunities to spread your music without label deals – the Internet gives you that opportunity,” he told The Gleaner.

The German reggae scene has been thriving for years, with some of the biggest reggae festivals, including Reggae Jam, attracting thousands of patrons yearly with several reggae acts billed as top performers.

With this in mind, Zecher stated that his wish for the industry is that it will get the attention it deserves.

“I hope that the industry doesn’t kill the vibe with the hype,” Zecher said.


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