By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Earlier this year in June, South Africa-based independent reggae singer-songwriter Furah Dread released his latest single “Heart Is Smart,” a song about harsh truths within the realms of what is perceived to be “true love.”
Known for previous hits like “Smoking,” “I Was A Prisoner” and “People Must Stop,” the 29-year-old has been hard at work to spread his message since he began to find success around Africa in 2017. His ultimate hope is to travel the world to unite people and teach them lessons about righteousness through his songs.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Dread about what he’s been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe South Africa to someone who has never been there before?
Furah Dread – South Africa is a rich country with minerals and also has the richest land, but has the poorest people, mostly in rural areas. I was also born in a rural area in a small town called Bizana. In terms of tourism, South Africa is one of the countries that is too attractive to a tourist, with Table Mountain in Western Cape, Cape Town and also, there’s Kruger National Park Safari, where most international tourists always watch the animals on the safari, animals like elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and buffalos.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about reggae music?
Furah Dread – The thing that excites me about doing reggae music is that, firstly, reggae music was made to teach the people about peace, love, unity and respect, so for me, doing reggae is teaching the people about the righteous way of living. I’m very excited in doing reggae because I’m building the world.
Music Bugle – What kind of advantage do you feel that you have in terms of creativity in being a singer-songwriter?
Furah Dread – Firstly, my music is very unique from every reggae artist. I compose my music by myself and I write my songs, so I try by all means to get the sound I want when I get into the studio to record my songs. Every listener always waiting to hear that new sound when I release the song, that gives me more advantage, to get into many radio stations, both local and international.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Furah Dread – I haven’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs was the hardest to write or compose?
Furah Dread – ‘’Heart Is Smart’’ was very hard to write and compose. It was very hard to arrange the lyrics of the song. I was trying many chords when I was composing the song on my acoustic guitar. When we were recording the song in studio, we also had challenges, but since I’m an independent artist, it was easy for me to tell the producer, “I want the song to go like this.”
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Furah Dread – Right now, I’m listening to Akon’s Mixtape. During my free time, I listen to reggae music and Kwaito music.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Furah Dread – “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music,” by Billy Joel. This quote always reminds me about the place I was born in and the way people are suffering and how it’s hard to make ends meet.
Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in the music industry?
Furah Dread – I wish reggae music could get more recognition like other genres. I wish to see more TV channels that are specializing with reggae music, not only the musicians who are under record labels. Independent artists in all genres must be taken serious too, like the artists under record labels, who are mostly given more of a platform and get more bookings around the world.
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something that people might be surprised to know about you?
Furah Dread – I’m a film student right now, studying Bachelor of Art, doing my second year in film producing and in the coming years, I’ll be working in the film industry. I’m also a talented soccer player and wish one day to own a soccer team in the professional level.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape?
Furah Dread – During my free time when I am in my hometown, I like to go to the jungle to look around for nature, listening to the birds singing. I enjoy watching the wild animals. In Durban town where I’m living right now, I like to go to the sea to enjoy the sea breeze and watch the fishers.