Tappa Benz, DJ, vocalist and longtime member of Hussla Ghetto Hart sound takes over the sound system at this week’s Friday Night Reggae, alongside residents Jahwaine and Mr Womble. Ahead of the night, we asked Tappa about his first experience of sound system culture and memories of meeting Horace Andy.
What was your first experience of a sound system and from what age did you get involved with the culture?
Saxon was my first experience, listening to them on cassette tape. I got involved in the sound culture when I was at secondary school.
What records/dubs have been the most important to you as DJ throughout the years?
There are so many records I could mention, so I will just say Dennis Brown is my favourite dub, but my first ever dub was an artist by the name of Easy B – he sang a dub for a fallen soldier.
Hussla Ghetto Hart were playing at Band on the Wall as far back as 2003 – how did the sound come together and what was it’s history prior to this time?
Militant Size (R.I.P Brother) the founder for Hussla Sound – it’s in his name why we and I do this. The sound was formed in Ducie High School with family and friends, me personally went to Central High School for Boys (don’t ask), so my best friend knew I was a singer and my dream was to be in sound – just like Saxon Studio Sound – so I had to audition and the rest is history.
We found a photo of yourself and Horace Andy here from a few years ago – how important is his music to you and to reggae music generally?
Well music to me is very important, it makes me feel good, and I love playing music to the masses. Meeting Horace was fantastic – it’s always good to meet an artiste that his or her music has helped you along the way in the sound world, Andy’s music is always real true and positive, I still play his music now.
What do you have in store for you Friday Night Reggae appearance this weekend?
Well this Friday Band on the Wall can expect a wide selection of music from Tappa Benz, from the 80’s right up to the present day – so everyone should hear a song they like. Finally, I just want to bless up Band on the Wall Joe (programmer at the venue around 2001 and promoter of LuvDub) for getting my first gig in BotW.