Razteria ~ CD Release Party September 23, 2010

Friday we had the pleasure of accompanying Renee Asteria to KPOO where she interviewed with K-Maxx, resident DJ for Ghetto Gumbo. Renee was there to promote her upcoming CD Release party, September 23rd at Ashkenaz, and the new album, Razteria (www.AsteriaRecords.com). Black Pearl Entertainment recently interviewed Renee. Here's what she had to say.

Why Reggae?
I am both Bolivian and Dutch and grew up listening to Latin American folk music. I did not grow up listening to Reggae but when I first heard it, I was drawn to it. I was very young when I started writing. I then began to get into the history of it and old school Reggae music.

What do you bring to Reggae?
The Asteria brand of Reggae infuses Latin Reggae and rock. Over the years I have come to understand that I want to put out music that has a message. Powerful messages.

You mentioned that you did all the instrumentation initially for this album. In regards to sound, what differentiates this album from the rest?
This was more an organic product. It’s a lot more representative of me. I pre-produced it on Sendspace and Pro Tools, which enabled me to create more sound. I wrote everything from the bass line structure, leads, and arpeggios. Some of the final bass lines made the CD. All the songs were written in the same period this past November. I have more confidence in what I can do; I’ve grown more. I’m ready to make the next one.

What obstacles have you faced as an immerging Reggae artists? Has the fact that you’re a woman been an obstacle?
Yes, there have been a lot of obstacles, but they are necessary obstacles. Reggae music is a very powerful music; you have to do your work. The obstacles have helped me develop lyrics that are very powerful. Being a woman, Bolivian, Dutch, I wasn’t born into the culture. The color-I don’t have the typical industry standard look. I don’t fit into the stereotypes. The image doesn’t match. Reggae is a lot more open to different artists. I feel like it’s more attainable to get involved in this style of music, because of my experience when approaching music and groups. There’s a community everywhere are around Reggae and Rastafarianism -the link between Reggae and religion. The use of marijuana is entwined into the music but it can be an obstacle because I don’t necessarily fit into the traditional profile.

Where are you taking Asteria Records?
I am building a network. I want to market and produce others. I also want to use income earned from CDs to create a community-based foundation. I have a degree in Public Health and would like to fund research. Royalties would help me do this.

For more information on Renee Azteria check out her website, www.asteriarecords.com .Renee' will perform tracks from the CD, Razteria, September 23, 2010 at Ashkenaz in Berkeley at 9pm. Razteria can be purchased on CDBaby.com.


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