The Tunes That Turned This Teenager From Köln, Germany Into A Certified Jamaican Star
In late 2014 MTV invited Gentleman to record an “Unplugged” album, marking the first time any reggae artist had joined that respected series which has included the likes of Jay Z, Nirvana, and Lauryn Hill. With guest appearances by Shaggy, Ky-Mani Marley, Tanya Stephens, and Christopher Martin as well as the German duo Milky Chance, Gentleman and his acoustic band repped reggae music to the fullest. If it seems strange that a white man born in Germany should be chosen to represent a musical art form created in the Caribbean amongst the surviving descendants of African slaves, then you don’t know Tilmann Otto. Boomshots recently caught up with the conscious German reggae singer—known to his fans as Gentleman—and spoke with him about his unlikely rise to the top of the reggae business, why it’s such an honor to record the MTV Ungplugged project, and what stories are dominating his attention these days and for the foreseeable future (Think: Songs About The Syrian Refugee Crisis.) Videos After The Jump…
The year is 2000, a Stuttgart-based rap collective called Freundeskreis (“Circle of Friends”) links wit a next German rap youth called Meklowbag and they drop a tune called “Tabula Rasa II” featuring a teenage reggae-style vocalist Mr. Gentleman. “Nobody understood what I was saying but they all loved it and the song went through the roof.”
By 2002 Gentleman released Journey To Jah, a full album produced by Dean Fraser featuring Gentleman gently applying his melodic touch to rhythms made famous by the likes of Luciano, Sizzla, and Mikey General. With a guest appearance by Bounty Killer, Gentleman had officially bussed in the streets of Jamaica.
In 2005 Don Corleonie’s “Drop Leaf” riddim is running the place and Gentleman connects with the Vendetta Boss to create a tune called “Intoxication.”
By 2010 his fifth solo album Diversity on Island Records shows great maturity and confidence.
Gentleman’s 2014 MTV Unplugged Special comes as a great honor
How Gentleman Buss As A Reggae Star
Gentleman Part 1
Gentleman Part 2
Subscribe to Boomshots TV
Follow Boomshots on Tumblr