We speak with Italian producer Bonnot and one of the most impressive and influential MCs in the industry, General Levy about their new album 4ward on Jungle Heritage…
4ward is a big release for you both however it’s not the first time you’ve worked on a project together. Was the remix of the Choo Choo Train in 2013 the first time you teamed up? General Levy: No, we’ve worked together since 2010 and we already did a lot of other releases. The first time, Bonnot produced a song named “We Pray” from my We Pray EP in March 2010. After that one, many more other singles like the ones I did for his solo album Intergalactic Arena.
Another good one was in 2011, “Real Revolutionaries” by M1 Dead Prez & Bonnot feat. General Levy. My tune “Highest Grade” on Bonnot’s “THC Riddim” (7” vinyl) was placed first in soundquacke.com and one of the greatest distributors in Europe and it had in the top 10 sales for a month. This riddim was also #1 on Tokyo based ReggaeRecords.com and first in the charts of Earnie B, the famous reggae distributor.
How did you go from doing singles to putting out a full album together? Did you guys just blend well together and decide to something more? Bonnot: We’ve toured a lot together in Italy over the last four years and we had some unreleased tunes like Playa Hata and Genuine Woman and a couple of new remixes such as Like A Train and That’s What We Blaze, so we thought why not build up a proper full release? We started to write and recorded Warrior, Put It Pon Dem, Jah Alone and all the other songs for this album. Now, finally, we bring out this collaboration worldwide.
This is such a massive album and it’s clear a lot of time when into this. How long did this project take to complete? General Levy: More or less one year, but working in different periods.
You have some serious tunes on this album with some big names teaming up with you on some of the tracks like the Serial Killaz and Numa Crew. How did you come to approach these other artists to be on the release with you? Bonnot: They are both good friends. I’ve known Lapo from Numa Crew for a few years and once I had the chance to produce this important international release I was happy to bring them to support and spread our local music/productions flavour.
Tobie (Serial Killaz) is really an amazing artist and in the last few years he has been the main person who has helped me to improve my production in jungle / drum & bass music. I come from a hip-hop & reggae style background (Dead Prez, Assalti Frontali) so I needed to understand some “standard” concepts related to this music and Tobie was a great mentor. Then it was obvious to me to invite the Serial Killaz on this amazing album and these guys killed it ! Big shout out to Graham aka Vital, of course!
It’s clear that you two work very well together. Are there any future projects planned as of now? General Levy: Sure! We are planning the forthcoming tour for this album, we’ve already done 15 “preview” shows this year. Then we are ready for the next full album together but this time “360 degrees” influenced. 4ward was born as a celebration for the 20 years since the legendary hit Incredible, so it’s mostly jungle oriented. The next chapter will be inspired from many different styles.
You both are staples and role models within the ragga influenced music communities. Are there any encouraging words you’d like to say to the readers and fans out there? General Levy: Stay focused! Bonnot: Keep going on the research and never give up to study the world! Many thanks to you guys! Please follow us on our socials for the tour dates and support our music on all digital stores. Blessup!