Stick, I don't want to go into the whole story again - people can listen to 'Where Is The Justice', which tells it nicely and there are plenty of details in my review of the album - but you were involved in a domestic dispute which resulted in you spending some time in jail and a court case. Is that whole period now largely behind you or are you still facing the aftermath of those events?
Abaa Poliwa aka Stick Of Moses (vocals & guitar): "Fortunately the worst is now behind me. The only thing I can say is that sometimes when you want to forward in life there are people who will try to sabotage you. But with the help of the Most High I persevered and the truth is out there for everybody to know."
Of course there is somewhat of a silver lining to that whole tragedy and that's the fact that it provided you with the inspiration to write some of the songs on 'Where Is The Justice'.
Abaa Poliwa aka Stick Of Moses: "Yeah, especially where the title track is concerned. I wrote that song when I was imprisoned awaiting my trial."
When exactly did you start Seekaman and what was the idea behind the project?
Abaa Poliwa aka Stick Of Moses: "Seekaman first came together about five years ago. We were just a bunch of Ghanaian friends living in or near Ghent who wanted to start a band. The name Seekaman is Akan for "the land of gold". The first time we performed was at an event organized by the Ghanaian Council in Ghent, but back then we only played Ghanaian music. Gradually we also started introducing reggae into our repertoire and in 2014 we then released our debut album 'Truth', now followed by 'Where Is The Justice'."
A song that might surprise some people is 'I Am A Woman'.
Abaa Poliwa aka Stick Of Moses: "That song is actually dedicated to my mother. She had five kids, but I was her only son, so I grew up surrounded by women and now I have two girls of my own as well. I think because all of that, I've developed a pretty good insight into the problems women face in daily life, especially in some parts of Africa where the equality between the sexes isn't an established concept as it is in Europe yet."
On 'Where Is The Justice?' you don't hide your admiration for Bob Marley. There's 'Marley Series', an almost twelve minute mega-mix of Marley-songs with some personal lyrics thrown in, and for 'Nya Me' you used the riddim of his 'Soul Rebel'.
Abaa Poliwa aka Stick Of Moses: "I've always had this connection with Bob. I started growing my dreadlocks the day he passed away and I haven't trimmed them since. He remains the undisputed godfather of reggae music. But, apart from Bob, I've always been a big fan of reggae bands like Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru, Third World and more recently Morgan Heritage. I love the dynamic that a real band can bring; it's different than what a solo-artist can achieve."
'Made To Be Rasta' is about being Rasta. What does that mean for you guys?
O.J. Kofie (bass): "When you talk to people about Rastafarianism, the image that still pops to mind is a black dreadlocked individual, but in reality being Rasta is not about the color of your skin or what you look like; it's about what's in your heart and the way you live and present yourself. It's exactly like Morgan Heritage sang: "You don't have to be dread to be rasta!". It's about doing away with negativity, about selfless sharing and love!"