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IN THE DUBLIGHT: Samwise (Dub Up Hifi)

Name: Samwise

Based: Belgium

Producer Alias: N/A

Sound System Crew: Dub-Up Hifi

Bio: I loved all kinds of different music in my teens, from drum & bass to hard rock over dubstep to ambient and beyond. Of course, I knew Bob Marley too but I did not really know reggae and definitely not dub. That was until my girlfriend of the time wanted to go to a drum&bass party in Antwerp with DJ Hype. We went but before the rave started there was a concert by Max Romeo, who by then I only knew of the famous Prodigy sample “send them outta space”. After the concert, I was completely sold on reggae music. The live pull-ups of the band, the dub mixing by the engineer, the enthusiasm of the crowd and the riddims played all made a deep impression on me and so my reggae journey began.

One year later I discovered dub music & sound system music through the Irie Vibes Roots Festival, through DJ Stryda’s Sufferah’s Choice radio show and through Forward Fevers I&I time radio show. In 2013 I decided to start selecting together with a friend under the name Jah Frequency. After a year my friend quit, and I continued solo. I mainly did warmups and little bar sessions, nothing too serious.

That year I started with the Frequency Radioshow, a weekly reggae radio show on local FM station Radio IRO that still runs today. In September 2021 the 8th season of the show will start. So far there have been over 250 episodes and special guests who came live in the studio include Nick Manasseh, Vivian Jones, Purpleman and Kebra Ethiopia to name a few. In 2018 I was nominated by Mixcloud for best reggae radio show alongside David Rodigan, Channel One, Roba Ranx and others.

In 2016 I joined hands with Dubgrow, a friend who was a known organiser and DJ. Lucky me, because he wanted to start a proper sound system. We quickly became a group of 6: Baba T & Little Lion as mc’s, Beto & Joseph as all-round crew together with Dubgrow as operator and me as the selecta. The sound system quickly grew from a modest 2 scoop sound system to the bigger 8 scoop sound system it is today. We’ve had guests like Aba Shanti and King Alpha on the sound, we’ve strung up alongside sounds like Channel One & Salomon Heritage and played festivals like Couleur Café & Reggae Geel.

Since I started to collect vinyl, it was always a silent dream to have my own record label and promote reggae music the proper way. In 2018 I decided to go for it and started the Dub Up Records label. The aim was to promote good reggae music from Belgium to the world. So far, we have done 7 vinyl releases, collaborating with friends like Unlisted Fanatic & Kingston Echo on the production and featuring singers like Linval Thompson, Prince Livijah & Fikir Amlak.

Just like the rest of the sound system community Covid is a pain in the ass. We’ve tried to make the most out of it by upgrading and testing the sound steadily and putting a lot of new projects for the label in motion. When Covid is done we hope to get the sound out regularly again and share good moments with good people. The next release on the label is due early next year, and I’ve put the A side exclusive for Sound Mag in the mix!



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