Music

Sister Power in Sweden

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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THE Oland Roots Festival, an all-female reggae event, is scheduled for July 10-13 on the Swedish island of Oland. It is the brainchild of Adil Nadri and Alexander Sjoback, the Scandinavia - based promoters.

Etana, Marcia Griffiths, Koffee, Ikaya and Ce'Cile from Jamaica, British singer Holly Cook, Dezarie from the United States Virgin Islands, and Swedish artiste Sister Sol are some of the acts on a cosmopolitan card.

Nadri, who was born in Morocco, is based in Denmark. He told the Jamaica Observer about the Oland Roots Festival's genesis.

“Last summer as we were sitting enjoying a beer at an outdoor event, he (Sjoback) asked me what I thought about this idea. I told him right away with lots of enthusiasm that was a brilliant idea, as I have no memory of a major reggae event hosting strictly female acts, from artistes to sound system on the same edition,” Nadri recalled. “Then we went further in the conversation and started brainstorming which artistes could be ideal to have on that unique concept… When he expressed his wish to have Marcia Griffiths for one of the three headliners, I told him that I was in fact in conversation with her to do a tour for the coming summer.”

Thirty acts have been confirmed for Oland Roots Festival, which is the latest reggae event on Sweden's music calendar. The annual Uppsala Reggae Festival, which also takes place in July, is the best known.

Though it is a novel format, Nadri admits the response to Oland Roots Festival has not been entirely forthcoming.

“The majority of feedback was positive but they were few very negative comments regarding that it was not appropriate to do such a concept. We know for a fact that the music industry and other industries are very much male-dominated, so we thought that we would have a unanimous voice saying 'Yes', but it wasn't completely so,” he said. “I believe that we need that kind of initiative to increase awareness of female artistes that are many but still are a minority on reggae events and stage shows.”

Oland is the second-largest of over 200,000 islands in Sweden. It has a population of 25,000 people.

The 52-year-old Nadri has lived in Scandinavia since 1986. He discovered reggae while studying in France during the early 1980s, and has been booking shows for 23 years.

To date, he has worked with Derrick Morgan, Beenie Man, Ky-Mani Marley, Etana, Tanya Stephens, Agent Sasco, Konshens and Pressure Buss Pipe. Nadri is booking agent for Griffiths's current European tour, and also manages rocksteady great BB Seaton.


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