Listen to the DeSolution reggae band performing at Monkey Palace at the Oregon Country Fair! We interview band members Ratie, who is from Zimbabwe, and hear about the inspiration for some of her original songs. Christopher, also from Zimbabwe, talks about how they got started and what it’s all about. Feel the vibration!
DeSolution Reggae Band at OCF
Transcription by Jade Rainsong
(Karen) That was a great show. Thank you so much for talking with me. Can you state your name for me again?
(Claire) My name is Claire Ratie. I like it when people call me Ratie.
(Karen) Ratie, wonderful. I was catching your show out here…. DeSolution. Tell me a little bit about the band and I saw you up there singing….
(Claire) I have been rehearsing with the band, performing with them for the past… I’d say month or so, so I’m still a newbie. Yeah. So I come in to do some backing vocals and, uh, I sing some cover songs and sometimes I do my original songs too. They gave me a platform to just express myself, and it’s been great. They’re a reggae band, so it’s a, it’s an, it’s a great experience for me to try that genre.
(Karen) Have you been singing your whole life?
(Ratie) I been singing since I was in church, so maybe about seven, eight years old, and then all through primary school. Um, you guys call it middle school… cause I’m from Zimbabwe, so the terminology is different. But uh, all through primary school, high school. Um, and college I was just singing. And then my first professional break came in 2013 when I sang and traveled with an acapella group from Zimbabwe. We went to Austria in Germany, which was crazy for a week cause it was my first time leaving. And then I joined a band called Bongo Love and I performed with them here at the Country Fair on this stage in 2014 so…
(Karen) So is this your second time at Country Fair?
(Ratie) Yes, it’s my second time.
(Karen) And so what do you love about Country Fair? What’s inspiring here? What, what’s neat about it?
(Ratie) The peace, the togetherness, just the freedom. It’s, it’s just a way from, you know, the crazy noise and cars and exhaust fumes. And it’s just…Love. Everyone is just so happy and ready to give each other a hug. Yeah, I really enjoyed that.
(Karen) Have you played at other festivals like this before?
(Ratie) I played it a Beloved Festival with the band that I was with a Bongo Love. Which was really awesome. And then I was at Worlds Beat Festival. I think it’s in Salem or Bend.
(Karen) Yeah, that’s great. So is this something you’re just going to keep doing? As far as the eye can see?
(Ratie) Well you know, I don’t see myself anywhere else.
(Karen) You mentioned your own original songs. Would you mind telling me real quick about some of your inspiration for some of your songs? Like what are they about?
(Ratie) Most of the time I just write according to how I feel. Sometimes I feel, sad when I think of young girls who have issues with low self esteem, I struggle with it myself. You know, where I’m like, ‘Oh, maybe I’m not good enough. Should I even go on stage?’ So the song that there’s a specific song called Collite where I’m saying you are made of gold, the journey might be long, but no matter what, no matter what struggles you go through, you will, you’ll be fine. The world is not so bad. You know you, you can persevere because you have something inside you that’s so powerful.
(Karen) So it’s like a message of inspiration for young women in particular that you bring to your work?
(Ratie) Yes I just feel like, you know. Without a voice that you know helps you, guides you, it’s really difficult to keep a good head on your shoulders without inspiration. Or you know, someone who has gone through some things that you’ve gone through to share.
(Karen) Yeah, voice for the youth. Thank you so much, Ratie, beautiful music. Thanks for sharing it. I really appreciate it.
(Karen) Okay. We are here with another member of the band of deSolution… introduce herself for us.
(Christopher) My name is Christopher. And I come from Zimbabwe. I’m the band leader and lead singer of the deSolution band.
(Karen) Wonderful. So tell me a little bit about the band. Did you start it? How did it get started?
(Cristopher) You know, how we got started is, you know, we’ve been wanting to play a musical and we’ve been playing with different groups and then we go together, you know, for the love of playing music.
So I go together with all my friends and you know, we, you know, we’ve been playing so much in different groups and we wanted to do something different. You know. Something good. Something that brings people out there, you know? So I go together with Barca and Tony and Gilbert and everybody, and we started doing this.
We’ve been playing music for a long time. Yes, yes. So it was just from the scratch and we started bringing songs and embracing them and then bringing them out.
(Karen) Does everybody in the band contribute songs or do you write most of them?
(Christopher) I write songs, most of them, but everybody does contribute. Gilbert writes his songs, Ratie, like you see Roger guitarist. Rick is a songwriter too. Everybody we’ve been playing together for almost like six years now, you know.
(Karen) Do you live here in the States?
(Christopher) I live here in the States now. I live in Eugene. We are all here in Eugene.
(Karen) We’re so lucky to have you right here in Eugene. It’s wonderful. Yeah.
(Christopher) Its been a pleasure and a blessing to play here. This is the second time we played here. I played here a couple of years ago. It was awesome. And you guys brought us again.
(Karen) What do you love most about playing here?
(Christopher) You know, the people… you love, the way they receive you. You know, they love the music and we love, we like to give, to share that love with them. You know, the same thing. You know, we like to talk to them all that feel them, you know? That is part of, yes, that’s part of the show. I have to get the audience right. No. You would feel, you see, they have to be part of the show.
(Karen) Right. It felt like it too. All the dancing, and smiles…
(Christopher) That’s our solution right.
(Karen) Here is another band member and what’s your name?
(Tony) Tony. I’m the bass player and bass builder. Love playing this music. I could not be happier or more blessed to be playing this music.
(Karen) Your music just adds to the scene so much…it really lifts people up.
(Christopher) Thank you so much, I wish we could do this every day, right?