How long have you been interested in steppers music and when did you get involved in making it?
Mila: We live in the South of Ukraine. Odesa is on the Black Sea coast and our land is filled with warm vibrations. The concept of Love and Peace in Reggae music resonates with my attitude. During my university time we gathered a musical band and made arrangements of Ukrainian folk songs, also in reggae rhythms. We represented Ukrainian reggae at the biggest festivals in the world, such as Przystanek Woodstock, etc.. In 2014, I got involved in the PlusStepper project as a musician, PR and concert manager. We have released several albums on French Dub Released, ODG PROD, Culture Dub, Dreadwise Music in France and Great Britain.
The original track featuring my vocals was included into the first Ukrainian Reggae compilation БеReggaeНя (AbySho Music) on vinyl records.
Plus: I've been into Reggae culture for a long time. In the early 2000s, I had a reggae project, and then I got into other genres. But in 2014 I felt like I had something to say. I decided to name my project simply. My nickname is Plus and I wanted to play stepper. That's how I came up with this PlusStepper. We performed Ukrainian Dub music live at the festivals and SoundSystem Culture events in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Eastern European countries, shared the stage together with Alpha & Omega (UK), Mahom Dub (France), Mad Professor (UK) and MC Brother Culture. We are invited to perform at Dub Camp Festival in France in July 2022.
What is Richka?
Mila: Richka is our new triple release for Peace. The original song's sound is steppers. There is also a Dub version and Jungle Rootz remix in dub techno. I composed the main music theme and lyrics, PlusStepper made arrangements of our original track and Dub version. We recorded my voice in March 2022 while air raid sirens howled in Odesa and loud explosions filled the sky of Ukraine. And it is symbolic. After all, the spirit of our people and the light of soul in Ukrainian songs defeat aggression. Please could you briefly interpret the message in the lyrics of the song.
Mila: Richka is translated as a river. My original lyrics and melody are stylized as a Ukrainian folk song. It's about Nature, Love and Hope. I feel Ukrainian roots in my soul. And my mission is to share our Ukrainian Dub music and Peace. Could you explain what it is like being in Ukraine since the war started?
Plus: It's scary when you start to think about it, but a person gets used to everything. At this time, all the feelings and person's properties are amplified, and therefore the war shows everyone who is who really. How has it affected the music industry and other arts and cultures? Plus: Well, in the first month of the war everyone was afraid to do something. But then awareness comes, the best way is to try living and working as before. So shops and bars have reopened. But the curfew is every night, so the only option is just to play Dj music in the daytime, since there is not much money now. We often play for free but lift up the mood. Is there any message you would like to share with those not in the Ukraine right now? Plus: The most important things are Peace and Love. We need to carry it to all and save. Also, help each other, if it's possible. By the way, the war has brought us together more than ever. Now we feel that we are united and we can't be defeated. Glory to Ukraine. Mila: Let's believe to our inner God, but no propaganda, find our personal mission and share Love. Reggae reminds us of this message.