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Date: 9 February, 2012
Bobby Bovell's father Dennis was a founder member of the reggae band Matumbi, one of Britain's biggest reggae acts of the 70s and early 80s. Bobby’s debut album, The Emergent EcleKtic, (sic) was nominated in the ‘Best Gospel’ category in last year’s MOBO Awards.
How does it feel to have been nominated for a MOBO award for your debut album?
I feel humbled. I never expected to be nominated for a MOBO Award with my debut album, so it came as a great surprise to me when I found out I was on the list of nominees.
It's fantastic for my songwriting and music to have been recognised in this way. I feel grateful that through the MOBOs I get the opportunity to share my ministry and creativity with a wider audience.
Can you explain (in 'normal person speak') what an 'Emergent EcleKtic' is?
The concept for the Emergent EcleKtic was to use different musical genres to reflect my own 'EcleKtic' musical taste.
God's story breaks through this seemingly fragmented playlist to unite the musical genres. The album symbolises the brokenness that exists both in our world and in humanity.
It speaks about God's restorative work; focusing on the promise of a new, and better story emerging. So 'The Emergent' is God's story, and the 'EcleKtic' is the different musical styles.
How much did you learn about music from your father, and what was it like growing up with a reggae star as a dad?
I've learned a great deal about music from my father. Some of my early memories include him showing me how to play chords on the guitar and seeing him at work in his studio.
I remember when I was as young as five or six, always wanting to go on sessions with my dad. I remember being backstage at shows and having the sense that there was something special about him, but I didn't realise he was such a big star until I saw him on Top of the Pops.
It was a bit confusing actually, because he was with us in the living room at the time! I remember him telling me and my siblings that he'd recorded the show earlier, and that was the explanation for his apparent omnipresence.
I have to say it was really cool growing up with a reggae star for a dad. When I was 16, my Dad took me with him on a worldwide tour. I was often completely star-struck when we crossed paths with celebrities.
I'm just grateful that God blessed me with a father who taught me to be humble, and to pursue excellence. My dad is my hero. Really, I love him to bits.
You currently live in Denmark. Is there much of a Gospel music scene there, and what's it like?
There are some talented Gospel artists over here but the genre is very much on the margins. It is, however, hugely popular for people from all walks of life to be in gospel choirs.
Those choirs usually perform covers of US Gospel artists such as Kirk Franklin and Kurt Carr. My church here in Denmark has brought over UK gospel artists, and I hope that we can bring more over in the future in order to encourage the more of the Danish gospel acts to record and release their own material.
For the most part I've been invited to perform at secular shows over here. I see it as a blessing that they are open to invite an artist like myself to perform.
How did you get into snowboarding, and what do you enjoy most about it?
Snowboarding is my favourite hobby. I always wanted to try it so when the opportunity presented itself a few years back, I jumped at the chance.
What I enjoy most about snowboarding is the peacefulness; the feeling of freedom I get when I'm coming down the mountain. The feel of the snow under my board is therapeutic. I love doing little jumps and tricks.
That doesn't mean I leave the slopes unscathed. Earlier this year, I managed do a full face-plant coming off a jump; my goggles smashed causing a serious cut across my nose bridge. That's not something I wish to repeat!
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