Another late night in Miami = another Couch Conversations at mi casa! This time I had the pleasure of chatting with 27-year-old Oliva Davina, bass player for the Holland-based reggae band The Dubbeez. We also did a fun photo shoot while she was in town! Check out the article and photo gallery on Tropicult, watch the video soon on my IG TV page, and read more from the full interview below.
Tell me about your trip so far:
This is my first time traveling to Miami, and the first time I’ve never traveled by myself. Everyone told me that it would be scary, but I’ve met new people, and it’s been better than I imagined. I went to Wynwood Yard for their reggae night and it was perfect. They played lots of different reggae from all different times. The food has not yet been a highlight.
Oh no! Where have you been eating girl! I need to take you to some good spots. What kind of food do you like?
I like Surinamese food, I like spicy food. In Europe, the quality is a lot better. Everything is fresh and seems healthier.
What are some of your other favorite things? Like your favorite flower, color etc.
I actually don’t like flowers. I’m not heavy if someone gives me flowers. My favorite color right now is light green
What about out of all the places you’ve traveled to where is your favorite? Favorite place is always changing, but so far Miami is my favorite.
Yasssss! Miami is the best. You have to come back soon! Tell me about your family, and how you got started with music. My mom and my father moved to Holland when my mom was 19. I have one younger brother. My father was a bass player playing in a band and one day the singer stopped showing up! So my father looked at my mom and said you gotta sing, and she was like no, but then she did it.
LOL! So she was always around the band. When I was 17 they did a Bob Marley tribute show in Amsterdam. After that show I told my dad that I wanted to play bass. So he started giving me weekly lessons. In the begginning it was fun. At one point he started letting me perform with his band, which was scary at first. That’s when it started to get serious and I had to have discipline. Once my brother started to play drums, we got together with the other members and started the band.
How would you describe the bands sound? The sound is dubb. We’re not Jamaicans, but you can hear that we listen to jamaican music, and that is in our roots. But our sound is different. Our lyrics are different, we dont sing about poverty or Selassie. Some people say that for that reason our music is not reggae. In reggae you never hear about people drinking, but we sing about it because we do drink so we sing about it. Why not!?
Haha, yes like in the song Hangover. Love that video. What are some of your favorite career moments? My favorite moments in my career are performances and shows. When you go home, and you’re still thinking about the show, you know it was good. When you get the respect and response from the audience. Big or small, I like playing for all audiences. Fans can be distracting though! They try to talk to you when you play. One time at a show a guy was crowdsurfing and got all the way to the front. That was an awesome moment. I would love to play at Lowlands festival, a festival in Holland or Reggae on the River!
I want to bring Reggae on the River to Miami and do it on the beach! How about Reggae on the Beach!? We both laugh. Yes, I’m down for that idea.
Following Olivia and continued to chat about her career challenges, what life is like for her and other people of color in Holland, and her inspirations. Subscribe to my blog, and follow me on Instagram to be notified when the video is up!