Villada crew is a legendary name on the history of italian reggae. Its name derives from a famous park on the north side of Roma, “Villa Ada”, where crew members met for the first time back in 1991. They were all students and reggae scene in Italy was on its early days. While italian underground scene was growing in squats “social centres” (centri sociali), and reggae was turning more and more popular, Villa ada was spreading its vibes all over the country playing Bob Marley and Jacob Miller covers In over 15 years they hit the most popular yards of Italy playing in hundreds of dancehalls, soundclashes and live shows. Recently Villa Ada crossed the italian border, performing in Austria, Barcelona, Amsterdam and many times in London where they spun records longside the legendary David Rodigan and Trojan Sound System . With three albums and 9 singles released, on labels such as One love ,Birch, Pow Pows, Supersonic, Altafan, Villa Ada has always promoted conscious lyrics and the political message of reggae, singing against violence, repression and discrimination.
Who are Villa Ada?
The project was born from a group of friends passionate for reggae who used to meet in the 90’s Villa Ada park, in the north side of Rome. We have run since then two projects, a band and a sound system thanks to our love for reggae music and support from all “reggae family italiana”.
Lets talk about the italian reggae scene, one of the most important in Europe: how was it in the early days and how has it evolved since?
We started back in 1992, so we can say that we have seen it starting..In the early days there were not many places to play reggae, almost only “centri sociali” (in Italy centri sociali are spaces formerly squatted, some of them later legalized and turned into underground musical and cultural spaces) so there was the need to have a powerful sound system to play the rare jamaicans records, hard to find at that time in Rome. Through the years the scene has increased drammatically, also thanks to the internet. Music industry bosses would probably disagree but the Web has massively helped music, reggae and all underground genres to grow support. Mainstream success of artists such as Shaggy or Sean Paul has helped to get more people interested and involved in reggae, but also the policy of keeping gig’s fees affordable for all and the chilled and peaceful atmosphere, where you hardly ever see fights is a result of the hard work of reggae crews and promoters. Now the scene is one of the top in Europe, each month with many dancehall and gigs throughout the year.
You’ll be in London again for the third time in three years, after a gig with Trojan at Cargo in 2007 and one at Plastic People last summer. This time at East Village with legend David Rodigan: what d’u think about the London yard and its crowd??
When we started the London scene was the only top one in Europe. For us a dream came true when we had the chance to play in the “capital of music” and Rodigan is for us a teacher and we are glad to have the chance to perform with him. The London yard expectations are high but it is always a pleasure to play in front of a mult-ethnic crowd used to the best music events in the world. Its gonna be a world dance!
Did you play in foreign states?
Inghilterra (Londra) , Svizzera (Lugano,Chiasso), Olanda (Amsterdam,Groningen), Spagna (Barcellona), Austria (Fiberbrunn), Francia (le Deux alpes), OVERJAM Slovenia, Argentina (Buenos Aires), Belgio (Piola Libri).