Interview with Reggae Show Presenter Empress T (Trish)

by | May 19, 2017

Tiki Black interviews Canalside Radio Reggae ambassador Trish aka Empress T

Next year marks 50 years since Reggae music was created. Canalside Radio Reggae ambassador Trish is campaigning to the BBC for a fair representation of Reggae music and artists to be established by then. I have seen the passion of this lady for the genre, its artists and the cause so I went to sign the petition. But I wanted to know more about it all. Below is the interview (via Mixcloud and its transcript).

Interview with Empress T – part 1 – About Trish

Trish is a presenter and producer at Canalside Community Radio which broadcast on 102.8FM. She has been with the Station for 7 years now. Previous shows include the collaboration with Brian Moore where they travelled back in time both musically and personally, exploring how 2 different backgrounds come together. Trish is originally from Islington, in North London but moved to Chethe neighborhood about 20 years ago. She had a recipe spot with a humourous twist, interviews, as well as narrating our What’s on feature until her passion for Reggae convinced the station manager to finally let her express it. She now has her own show which goes out twice a week, airing music and interviews with well-known as well as up and coming Reggae artists. The show quickly garnered a huge and enthusiastic following internationally. We are so honoured and privileged to have Empress T, as her fans call her, right now in the studio.

Interview with Empress T – part 2 – Trish’s passion for Reggae

Tiki: Hi Trish.

Trish: Hi Tiki.

Tiki: omg! Your love, your passion for Reggae has been transpiring in your show and has now had repercussions around the world.
How do you feel about everything that is happening and how does it affect your love of the genre?

Trish: My love only grows of the genre. It is just something.. it is not music I enjoy, it is just.. it is music that engulfs me, that is part of my very being. I just love Reggae with a passion. And I have been lucky enough to spread that, my passion, not just on the radio station, not just in the UK but around the world. And I thank everybody for the wonderful comments and support that I get to get Reggae out there to the people, to the wider  audience.

Tiki: Thanks for that. We are going to play your first choice. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? No woman no cry, Bob Marley…

Trish: I chose Bob Marley because he is in the icon figure in the UK, well around the world. But he is, in the UK, the one that everybody, everybody knows. So one of his popular song I thought would be perfect for the interview.

Tiki: No woman No cry

Track: Bob Marley, No Woman No Cry

Interview with Empress T – part 2 – The petition

Tiki: So Trish, you are now campaigning for fair representation of Reggae music and artists in the UK and you have it all setup on and people have started signing already. Who is the letter addressed to and what is this about?

Trish: Well, first it is being addressed to the BBC because hmm there are restrictions I appreciate on other radio stations on music they can play but with the BBC, there is no restriction. They fail to play Reggae music in any.. any… substance. Occasional songs, I would agree, would come on. But they are not giving the genre of Reggae music the equal, level-playing field as everyone else. How can an artist get known in this country, which is a bog feature in music, is the place everybody wants to be (wants to be known).. How can they if they are not given a level playing field? I their music isn’t played, how can they be recognised by the wider audience? It is just… all we’re asking for is not for big Reggae shows. We’re asking for a level playing firld for them all, a fair representation of Reggae music in this country.

And also the awards. Now, the awards have been going for God knows how long. But we’ve got an artist, we’ll take Toots Hibbert. Now that guy started back in the 1960s. He is now 74 years old. He is just, this month, done a sell-out European tour and he is coming here and the venues are selling out. Now doesn’t that say something about Reggae’s popularity in this country? Because Europe wants them and the UK is getting sellouts. But when do we ever hear of a Reggae artist being given an award, I don’t mean in the Reggae section, in music in general, like everybody else does, an award for services to music? I think the years this guy has worked, given pleasure, deserve recognition, along with the Heptones, the Silvertones, Jimmy Cliff, all of them, there are so many of them out there who have never even been nominated. They are segregated, their music is segregated. My passion

Tiki: (I love your passion, yes absolutely)

Trish: and there is something else I want to point out. Now, I’m wanting to do this now because next year is 50 years since Reggae music started. They moved from Ska to Reggae, the title Reggae. And I want that to be the year that the UK brings Reggae back onto the airwaves in this country, and gives it that fair representation and level playing field for all artists.

Tiki: Wow Trish, I can hear the audience clapping, you know that invisible audience, because your passion and the point you’re making are really so clear and wow, I can feel it! (laugh)

Trish: I feel it very much so and I hope that other people do. And please, please, it [the petition] is out there. It is under the title of fair representation of Reggae music and artists in the UK. It will be aimed at the BBC. It will be sent to the BBC. We are getting people signing. Already we’ve got stars signing, record producers signing. And I know this is going to go massive but, please, please, every single signature makes a difference. Please please sign for us in the UK.

Tiki: Absolutely. Fantastic. Thank you. Thanks very much Trish for taking this interview and we’ll have one more song. Do you want to talk about Toots and the Maytals?

Trish: I’ve just been talking about him. I think this is one of his favourites, not HIS favourite, but one that people always cheer to, 46-56 is my number

Tiki: Thank you again for joining us

Trish: Thank you Tiki

Track: Toots and the Maytals, 46-56 is my number

As for me, Petition signed and shared.

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