Reggae | Mellow Mood

Irie Magazine | Reggae | Mellow Mood

Mellow Mood


Italian reggae band Mellow Mood formed in Pordenone (North-East Italy) in 2005 when most members were attending high school together. Led by twins Jacopo and Lorenzo Garzia, the band soon started their partnership with producer Paolo Baldini, who was later to become their sound architect and dubmaster and officially debuted in 2009 with ‘Move!’.

The album was released without label, distributor and PR agent: it intended to be a first ‘move’ on the Italian reggae scene, but gained nonetheless international recognition. Thanks to their heartfelt live shows, Rototom Sunsplash named Mellow Mood best Italian reggae band, and ranked them third at European level in the same year. The two singles, ‘Only You’ and ‘Dance Inna Babylon’, now have more than fifty million views on YouTube.

Mellow Mood went back into the studio with Baldini to record ‘Well Well Well’ and were signed by Italy’s most important independent label, La Tempesta, in 2012. Sailing through new-roots, rocksteady and tribal clubbing, Mellow Mood proved to be among the protagonists of a new generation of reggae artists hailing from all over the planet. A major European tour followed and led the band to play in 12 countries, performing at important festivals like Rototom Sunsplash and Sziget Festival.

In 2013 two singles, ‘Dig Dig Dig’ and ‘Extra Love’ (the latter featuring dancehall legend Tanya Stephens), revealed that the band was ready to move forward and already release new music. Going back to a more essential band line-up (without a horns section from now on), Mellow Mood coupled the rediscovery of roots music with a deeper knowledge of the most recent Jamaican sounds and released ‘Twinz’ in 2014. The album was enriched by a number European collaborations (Portuguese Richie Campbell, Spanish Sr. Wilson and Italians Forelock and KG Man). In the same year the French powerhouse Dub Inc chose them as opening act for a number of shows during their ‘Paradise (Diversité)’ tour including renowed L’Olympia in Paris and introduced the band to the French public.

Less than 10 months later, ‘Twinz’ revealed its twin: ‘2 The World’ beared witness to the band’s evolution and featured several Jamaican artists like Tanya Stephens, Jah9, Hempress Sativa, The Gideon & Selah. In late 2015 Mellow Mood also celebrated the birth of their own sub-label La Tempesta Dub (to release the band’s future works) with a touring mini-festival hosting international guests.

After having assisted their producer Paolo Baldini in the making of “DubFiles at Song Embassy, Papine, Kingston 6” – a documentary about the hidden music talents of a Jamaican ghetto, the partnership with French reggae stars Dub Inc continued, as Mellow Mood were featured in Dub Inc’s latest album ‘So What’. Mellow Mood also joined forces with emerging reggae act Jahneration for a French tour and kept busy touring Europe and America intensively in 2016 and 2017 performing at many of the most important reggae festivals of both continents like Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (USA), Jamming Festival (Colombia), Siempre Vivo Reggae Festival (Chile), Eurockéennes de Belfort and Reggae Sun Ska (France), ViñaRock and Rototom Sunsplash (Spain).

After a short hiatus, the band announced that they will release new material in 2018. Entitled ‘Large’, the new record releases on their Earthstrong, April 6, 2018. At a time in which ‘tropical house’ is climbing up pop charts worldwide, Mellow Mood decided to record a straightforward roots reggae album focusing on honest, heartfelt song-writing and heavyweight rhythms. The writing of the songs took place during the summer of 2017 and was characterized by a more ‘live’ approach as it was mostly arranged by the band in their rehearsal room and recorded live in Baldini’s studio. The use of vintage instruments dating back to the ‘80s era sets the sounds of the album, which was mastered in Dallas, TX by renowed Chris Athens (Drake, Nas & Damian Marley, Erykah Badu, DJ Khaled, Alborosie).

Emerging American artist Dewey Saunders (who previously worked with Stones Throw Records, Chronixx, Rayban, Anderson .Paak) provided the artwork for the album. The main theme of the record is a criticism of today’s market economy, which is constantly pushing us to produce more, consume more and live ‘large’ rather than nurturing human relations, taking care of each other and appreciating what we already have (title track ‘Large’).

Although Mellow Mood don’t sing strictly Rastafarian lyrics, their music is consistently conscious and positive: ‘Call Back The Love’, ‘Tuff Rocky Road’ and ‘Another Day’ call on the listeners to open their hearts and embrace life with a positive attitude despite the inevitable difficulties. Guidance from elders, relatives and parents is always welcome (‘Daddy’) while there must be no room for misinformation, fake news and delusional politics (‘Sound Of A War’, ‘It Can’t Work’).

‘String Up A Sound’ dips into the realm of Afro-beat and features a sample taken from Sierra Leone’s
Refugees All Stars’ repertoire to praise the power of music as universal healing. Be it a particularly
rude landlord scorning reggae music and livity (‘Ms. Mary’), a painful breakup (‘Heart To No One’) or the temptation to self-pity (‘Eye Waata’), according to Mellow Mood music and spiritual awareness remain
the ‘greatest weapons’ to overcome tough times and keep walking on the right path (‘Place Called Home’)
Most recently, Mellow Mood premiered their first music video from the new album entitled, ‘Large’, on the IRIE Channel on ROKU, to a worldwide audience.