Classical Piano Lessons At Age Eight Didn’t Thrill Her, Then She Discovered Augustus Pablo

July 1st marks the 20th anniversary of International Reggae Day a celebration of the global impact of Jamaica’s musical culture. And there’s no greater representative than Tokyo-born Anna i. She always loved music, so at the age of eight her parents gave her classical piano lessons. But her passion for playing wasn’t sparked until a vinyl-collecting friend introduced her to soul, jazz, and especially reggae. She was particularly drawn to the “Far East” dub style of Jamaican melodica master Augustus Pablo. Absorbing his sound, she taught herself to play the instrument and within a few years she was playing with the German punk band The Slits on tracks like the 2009 banger “Babylon.”  Earlier this summer she joined Jamaican keyboard master Monty Alexander during his birthday celebration at B.B. King’s, improvising “Happy Birthday to You” during a dub-jazz jam session. She’s now under the wing of Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin—the P in VP Records—who has big plans for the young melodica master. The ReggaeGirlAboutTown recently caught up with Anna i at VP headquarters for an in-depth conversation. Anna even treated Boomshots to an off-the-cuff performance. Video After The Jump…

Part 1: Anna i on how she fell in love with reggae music, and her take on Pablo’s “Far East” style

Part 2: “Miss Pat” Chin of VP Records talks about her plans for Anna i

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