A new wave of original New Wave Roots Reggae sound has splashed the Balkan shores. Rediscovered and rejuvenated, this sound is brought to you by the group under the name irieFM. Amidst by the concrete jungle called Belgrade emerges a sound oasis in the form of a Jazzy/Dub/Roots group of Zion grandchildren whose mission is to spread positive energy and consciousness, helping us to rediscover each other.
“...is a state of consciousness strived for, a positive and meaningful everyday life. Every day has a purpose, has its beginning and end for people who want to accomplish them selves together.” These are the thoughts coming from Vukašin Marković, the band leader and songwriter for the band irieFM. Not only the band’s lead singer, but also the trombone player.
The compact band of eight devotees was formed already at the beginning of the new millennium, and mainly addressed to the local scene. irieFM’s beginnings are tied to the traditional Roots Dub Reggae with plenty of “Jazzy” brass elements. As the band matured, their music received some Soul, Funk and Disco sensibilities.
Recognized as the fosterers of the true Roots Reggae spirit, in 2006, irieFM gets invited to open the concert of the biggest dancehall artist of today — Capleton.
After a concert in the packed hall of the Student Cultural Center of Belgrade, the band moves to Serbian Reggae pioneers — Del Arno Band’s studio and after a year and a half produces the first album called “Skills of the Youths”.
Incredibly enough, in 2008 irieFM visits India, at the invitation of the Mumbai Blue Frog club manager. Then the band signs a contract for the Blue Frog Production house, under World Music label for the entire Eastern Subcontinent. Other names under this label include Sade, Richard Bona and John McLaughlin.
The return from the east opened the door for many other concerts through Serbia and the region. The band performed at the Exit Festival as many as five times in a row. Other regional festivals included are Trenchtown (SRB), Supernatural (SRB), BELEF (SRB), Demofest (BiH), Jelen Pivo Live (SRB), NGOM Fest (SRB), Pula SeaSplash (HR), The Days of Belgrade (SRB), Reload Festival (SRB), Etno Stage City Festival (SLO), etc.
Later on, starting in 2010, the band started playing at the European festivals: United Islands (CZ), SummerJam (CO), Mighty Sounds Festival (CZ), Babel Fest (HU), Reeds Festival (SW), ReggaeSunSka (FR), Sardinia Reggae Festival (IT), Rototom Reggae Festival (ES), Uprising Reggae Festival (CZ), Reggae Radio Station Summer Festival (IT), Foundation Reggae Festival (ES), etc.
In year 2012, irieFM won the best European Reggae band award at the Rototom Bands Competition, and officially opened the door to all of the major European festival’s main stages playing alongside world famous Reggae artists such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, The Congos, Max Romeo, Burning Spear, Israel Vibration, Midnite, Junior Gong Marley, Stephen Marley, etc.
Apart from Vukašin who plays the trombone, the band (going under the slogan “It’s time for the return of big bands) includes: Slobodan Jovanović (rhythm and solo guitar), Nikola Ćirović (drums), Ivan Hrnjiček (bass guitar) and Ivan Jevtić (Keyboards) are in charge of the band’s rhythmics. The brass portion of the band, besides Vukašin includes: Ivan Teofilović (Saxophone) and Sava Matić (trupmet). The unique sound of irieFM’s live performance is brought to perfection by Uroš Milojević, sound engineer.
“irieFM is trying to work hard. We’ve built a broad infrastructure, we have our own studio and we are independent in this sense. Feeling less burdened, we can now devote ourselves to pure creation!”...says Vukašin, who reasons the lyricism of this group of like - minded. irieFM is currently working on new material, which is going to sound very different from their first album. The subjects remain basically the same, while the music and sound is evolving to some new mixture of some true traditional roots and dub moments, vintage synthesizers and deep disco and funk.
Recently, the band’s first album “Skills of the Youths” was published worldwide for “Mascom Records”, a Warner Music Group Licenced label. You can find it on iTunes.
Some of the earlier lyrics refer to the wanderings of the part of the youth who are lost in the noise and misunderstanding of the fact - paced everyday life. Vukašin looks at this form a brighter, more positive, IRIE side: “Happiness is achieved through tolerance. Feel one another.”
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