“Big Tings a Gwaan”: Reggae Around the World Interview with Legendary Reggae Band Inner Circle
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Inner Circle’s 20 year plus music legacy, let us fill you in. Although they are best known for their hit song “Bad Boys” (which became the iconic theme song for Fox’s TV show Cops), Inner Circle are much more than a television band.
Since the mid-70s, Inner Circle’s blend of reggae, rock and pop have solidified them as one of the first Jamaican reggae bands to crossover to the mainstream American music scene and have shared the stage with pop/rock music icons such as Elton John, Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Conner, The Black Crowes, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and more. Additionally, this Grammy award-winning band has toured internationally, garnered a global fan base and has sold millions of records worldwide (some of their most notable albums include Bad Boys, Reggae Dancer and Big Tings).
Today, as one of the most esteemed bands in the industry, Inner Circle continues to create music on a daily basis at their own Circle Village recording studio and have collaborated with Damian & Stephen Marley, members of Morgan Heritage , Slightly Stoopid and many others. We caught up with Inner Circle to chat about reggae’s popularity, their new Reggae Wave project, Circle Village Studios and much more.
What have you guys been up to lately? Is there a new album in the works for 2013?
We have been touring in the USA, Europe and Uganda since the beginning of the year.
New material is being created daily, but we have several projects in the fire at this moment. Some have already been released on your preferred digital music outlet.
You have collaborated with contemporary reggae artists and bands such as Damian & Stephen Marley, Gramps & Peetah Morgan of Morgan Heritage and Slightly Stoopid. Regardless of genre, who else would you like to collaborate with in today’s music scene?
Inner Circle has been influenced by many different genres and musicians over the years. As we travel the globe, the sounds and rhythms of the local populace are embedded in our beings, so when it comes to the creative process some of that will surface in our creations. There are a few country musicians who we find interesting at present and we know that reggae works well with that genre.
Why do you think reggae is so popular around the world?
It’s the infectious beat with the rhythm of the heart. Some of the lyrical content speaks to people of all creeds and social positions no matter the subject matter.
Which countries, outside of the Caribbean, do you find reggae to be the most prominent?
We find that the music is popular globally. There are certain areas like New Zealand, Hawaii and Brazil that have adopted reggae and are producing some really great groups.
As popular as reggae is globally, our genre has not gained as much mainstream air play on American radio stations and music channels. Why do you think this is the case and what can reggae artists do to change that?
A famous R&B producer said that it’s partially the lyrical content that most Americans cannot understand. TheLewis Bros live music of Desmond Decker, Jimmy Cliff, etc. from the 60′s was sung in perfect English and anyone could understand the content of the songs. Also the content has to be something that touches people; it has to be relative.
Hawaii is the only state that has a station that programs reggae 24-7.
How did “Bad Boys” become the theme song for the reality TV show Cops? What’s the story behind that?
Someone on the set was familiar with the group and the song.
The producers heard it and the rest is pop history.
Check out the rest of the interview at Reggae Around the World