The number one reggae success from Norway, Admiral P, is one of the main acts for this years reggae festivals in Sweden – playing at Öland Roots in July and Långsta Rasta in August. We hooked up with him earlier this year during a showcase in Stockholm in February. His humble and respectful manners in combination with a blazing energy on stage got our attention for real. In the company of Daniel Lion from Jah Ark Manifest Sound we had chat with Admiral P before the show.
Wha gwaan Admiral P?
AP: It´s cool! Everything’s good! Feeling great about tonight, happy to be in Sweden!
So, tell the Swedish massive – who is Admiral P?
AP: Well, who is Admiral P… I’ve earned my name over time, my real name is Philip. I’m born and raised in Africa, in Zambia, moved to Norway when I was 13 years old. My mother is from Zambia and my father is Norwegian. I’ve lived in Norway since then and began this thing by starting up Jah Ark Manifest sound system with DJ Lion. Yeah, that´s about what I can tell you in short who Admiral P is!
You´ve just released a new album, Selvtillit & Tro (Confidence & Faith) what can you tell us about that?
AP: It’s my first album, it took some time to get it done, a bit longer then I wished for. But we have compiled some of my earlier released singles on it, there’s 14 tracks. There´s some combinations on it with a friend of mine, Nico D, and also with OnklP. It´s produced by Carl Hovind, who layed down the riddims on it. I’m really happy with it, feels good as a first album, I love it!
You also won an award, Spellemanpriset, for the hit tune of the year. How do you feel about that and what do you think it can do for your career as Admiral P and also for the reggae scene in Norway?
AP: Spellemanpriset* is an award that has been given out now in like 40 years in Norway. It’s a big deal, with different categories like for example urban hiphop, but unfortunately no strict category for dancehall or reggae. Anyway, this was my third time as a nominee and I won with the song I do with Nico D (Engel), in the category Hit Song of the year. It’s cool to see that they are noticing the music now and the work we’ve been doing. It’s taken a long time to get to where we are today and I hope that more people can discover reggae and dancehall music, get to know our culture and open their eyes to something more than they usually do.
In Sweden, attention from media regarding reggae music is what you can call non existing. What’s it like in Norway? Have you recieved support from the media?
AP: Yeah, you could say that. Over time, say the last three years, media have really taken an interest in the music we work with and probably then the opposite than in Sweden. We don’t have as many reggae artists in Norway as in Sweden, so we stand out and they notice us who is up front so to speak. In Sweden you have many more artists, but instead less attention from the media. But I wish there were more artists in Norway! Who could push one another forward and be each others inspiration, like they do here in Sweden.
So, can we draw the conclusion that there´s a positive vibe in Norway and that reggae is moving up from being an underground movement and out to the masses?
AP: Yes! There are more and more people listening to the music and noticing what we do.
You’ve released your first full length album and won a very prestigious award – how is Admiral P going to follow up on the success? Rumour has it that we can look forward to an English album as well, true?
AP: Yeah, right now we´re on tour and going to be traveling quite a lot, so first some gigs. But since I grew up in Zambia I have a lot of connections down there, which has led to me opening a studio there as well. There’s a number of artists and talents that I want to help forward and I´m going to work a lot with that. The studio is called Zedway, Zed for Zambia and Way for Norway. Some of this and some of that, haha!
Is it new upcoming artists and producers from both Norway and Zambia then, or who do you aim to work with?
AP: There are some of my people from Norway, who I made this musical journey with so far and I also want to work with talents from Zambia. We have youths there who are very interested in learning about the music business, like working in studios and such. That´s what I´m going to focus on the most, to give them the opportunity to learn the trade and the chance to develop themselves with the help of music.
Do you have something special to say about the Swedish reggae scene?
AP: Yea man, the Swedish reggae scene, I love it!
Lion: Kapten Röd is one of our good friends who we´ve had a lot of collaboration with through the years. So he’s definitely one of our favourites. Then you have Syster Sol and a bunch of other artists who do a great job, like Million Styles who´s succeeding very well internationally.
AP: I think that one reason for reggae being so big here in Sweden is that Swedish reggae artists collaborates and moves around as a group. Last weekend in Oslo for example, we had a wicked session with Papa Dee, Twang System and some others, really good vibes. There are a lot of Swedes in Norway and they showed up, it was a unity vibe! Everyone came out and gave their support, it was nice to see all coming together. It was a big moment.
Any Swedish artists or producers you’d like to work with?
AP: Oh yes, we have some Swedish guys in the band, like Henke. There´s Lance-A-Lot in Gothenburg who makes some heavy productions, Partillo – who also has his link with Jabba Man in Oslo, it’s a good connection. There´s lots of them! We just have to see the possibilities over time but I´m sure we´re going to see more combinations. More unity and more exchange!
How do you balance your role as Admiral P the artist with being a soundman/mc in Jah Ark Manifest?
AP: Now, as a lot of thing has happened for me, it’s been a bit less time for me with the sound system, but Lion is always bringing it with Jah Ark Manifest. When I have the time I always try to show up and be the mc, you know, that’s where it all began, Jah Ark Manifest – solid as a rock!
Lion: Absolutely! We’re as tight as we ever were, it´s just a bit less time for him (Admiral P) to be there every time since he travels a lot.
Then, Lion, next question goes to you, – what´s happening with Jah Ark Manifest in the future? Any sound clashes coming up?
Lion: We are definitely looking for more clashes! Nothing planned right now, but I think you´re going to see something real soon.
AP: Jah Ark Manifest has a steady club in Oslo every Wednesday, “Jah Ark Wednesdays” at Sawol. So if you´re in Oslo and want to listen to some nice vibes – check it out!
You took the trophy home to Norway from the clash at Scandinavia Reggae Festival in Copenhagen last year, where you beat Safari Sound in the dub-fi-dub. Any message you want to send to Shirkhan and Sammy K…?
AP: Hehe, nooo, big up Shirkhan and Sammy! We go way back long before the clash. They´ve been a lot in Oslo and we´ve played with them so we´re good friends. It´s wicked to be a part of a clash culture like that, when you can leave it with good feelings and friendship. Even me and Lion, you know, he comes to my place and we clash tune for tune all the time, haha! Music, when it hits you, you feel no pain – more clash!
Lion: It´s all about the good vibes!
Last question – how’s the allergy*…?
AP: Weeell…you can still hear a bit in my throat, haha…I´m still allergic to that shit man, stay positive! Respect and manners every time!
Thank you Admiral P, best of luck!
*Spellemanpriset, Norways most prestigious music award (comparative to Swedish Grammy)
*The song Allergi refers to being allergic to negative people
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