Industry Focus: James Harper From Reggae Roast


James popular event Reggae Roast has become a hot-spot for people who want chill vibes while enjoying a social night out.  The UK based promoter speaks to us about how he got started and where he’s going next.

VP:  How did you get your start in the business?

J:  Reggae Roast started in a pub in Kentish Town in 2007. I had the idea to combine Sunday roast with Reggae hence the name. It was a chilled daytime event with food and as the evening progressed we’d turn the music up and people would start dancing. The concept proved very popular and by the third event we had over 500 people in attendance. There were so many people we drank the bar dry. They literally ran out of alcohol haha. From there we were approached by Big Chill House to do some events there which were also highly successful. Big Chill booked us for their festival that summer and Rodigan asked us to feature on his radio show (which was on Kiss FM back then). Soon after that we started the label and started to do warehouse events. We went on to build our own Soundsystem, run stages at festivals such as Glastonbury and Bestival and got signed to Trojan Records releasing our debut album with them in 2020.

VP:  What was your first notable project?

J:  As I said the initially the brand started as an event but quickly progressed to become a record label. After the success of the event our first project on the label was a kind of mixtape / compilation album called Roots Uprising. We recorded some new tracks as well as signed some original tracks from artists we were working with at our events, so it was kind of a showcase of the scene we were working within. It was really well received and paved the way for many more collaborations with some of the best artists in the UK.

VP:  What was your first breakthrough

J:  Building the Reggae Roast Soundsystem was a key moment in our development and helped to cement our place as one of the key players within the UK Reggae scene. Soundsystem culture and Reggae go hand in hand and I feel our Soundsystem really stood out as one of the best in the country and opened up new opportunities with festivals and brought a new audience to our events

VP:  What are you working on now/ next?

J:  We are currently hard at work on our new album which we are really excited about. Building on the success of our debut “Turn Up The Heat” we are again collaborating with some of the best artists in the UK scene and beyond.

We also have another really exciting project which is to build a bike trailer Soundsystem that we can use to take the Reggae vibes directly to the people all over the country. We plan to tour the bike Soundsystem all over the UK.

We have been asked to tour with UB40 on their upcoming tour and have a new Thursday night residency starting at Hootananny’s in Brixton as well as loads of festival bookings this year so lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline. Stay tuned!

What are you listening to now on your playlist on Spotify?

Shy FX – Raggamuffin Remixed

Mungos Hi Fi – Antidote

Pa Salieu – Send Them To Coventry

Mr Williamz – Sound Killer Mindset


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