by Natalie Liechti in New Music on Thursday 29 March 2007

Roots-reggae artist Joseph Israel has been rather busy of late, wowing crowds at SXSW and releasing his debut album, ‘Gone Are The Days’. We caught up with him. Is it true you became interested in reggae music as a two year old? ‘Yeah, reggae music spoke to me at a very early age. It’s the feeling, the message, the words, sounds and power that sets reggae music apart’. You then quickly developed a strong interested in Rastafarian culture, how did that come about? ‘Rasta made a lot of sense to me in many ways. As a youth, I had many questions and Rasta people inspired me to look at life with an open mind. Now I am involved with spreading this message – I love Rasta culture and Rasta people. In fact, I love all people and my hope is for the restoration of the human race!’ Gone Are the Days was recorded in Jamaica’s famed Tuff Gong Studios, how much did being in that environment influence the album’s creation? ‘I met producer/ bassist Chris Meredith and he invited me down to Kingston. Recording in this environment is ideal for the music, you feel at home and everything is natural. Lots of vibes at Tuff Gong!’