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  • Writer's pictureJoel

King Hammond, the interview

A word or two with one of our favorite reggae personalities...

1. What’s your skinhead connection, were you ever one?

 My skinhead connection? Well first of all I have never ever been a skinhead (I don't think I have the necessary swagger!) although I have from time to time sported a bald head & worn various articles of skin garb but I do have skinhead reggae dna running through my body! I've loved the music since maybe 1970.i was lucky enough to have been brought up in a very multi racial area (Hackney) & a lot of my pals I hung out with were black & that's where I suppose I really got introduced to that music when I used to go their houses for tea or whatever. It was love at first... hearing! 

2. How did you come up with the King Hammond persona?

 I was playing in Bad Manners & Busters All Stars at the time which was great but I really wanted to do my version of skinhead reggae not just a direct copy so I started writing & recording songs for the project in 1986. The first one was called "Revolution '70". The name King Hammond was a tip of the hat to Prince Buster originally it was going to be Lord Manchester!

3. Who would you say are King Hammond’s major influences?

The 70's! The music of Harry J, The Upsetters, Hamilton Bohannon, Kung fu films soul, Dub & girls in platform shoes!

4. Are you surprised that Skinhead Reggae has endured for half a century?

In my head yes because it hasn't been well supported by major record companies but in my heart no because I think it's such a sweet groove for people that will make you dance forever. 

5. Do you personally have preference between Ska and Reggae?

I prefer reggae probably because I'm a bass player & it's all about the Bassline ain't it? 

6. What can you tell us about your new album Hate Culture?

My new album "Hate Culture" is the best music I have ever made. I'm writing & singing about what's important to me. It's music from the heart ♥ If you want to hear why I'm so proud of it there are a couple of tracks from it on YouTube & you can buy it directly from me via Facebook. It's an album that makes me a very happy king !!

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