People from the era tell their stories.
» Peter D. Rose
Peter D. Rose
I was born in an area called Montpelier in Bristol. My parents were from Jamaica and Montpelier, St. Pauls, Totterdown and Easton were mostly areas where Jamaicans settled when they came to Bristol.
Music was always made from my home studio. I first started making music in my bedroom when living at home with my mum.
In the early 80's I was in my teens and enjoying music as teenagers do. I was studying mechanical engineering at college but wanted to study music production. Sadly there were no courses like that in Bristol at that time. So I left college and tried to start a band. Friends became unreliable in the band so I got into digital musical equipment and bought myself drum machines, keyboards and a 2 track recording machine and taught myself how to put music recordings together. Looking back now the 90's was quite an exciting time with loads of people producing their own music in their own personal studios. In the mid to late 80’s I got together with Ray Mighty and Rob Smith and around the same time I also hooked up with Mushroom from Massive Attack who got me involved with their crew and the recording of the “Blue Lines” album. Those times were exciting because I was meeting up with liked minded people with the same interests in music.
I just loved music. I was into a lot of different styles back then but mainly reggae which I grew up with. When I was very young my mother and gran would have parties with booming reggae music playing late at night and I think that carried on through with me into my teens. I was also into roots dub reggae sound systems like Jah, Shaka, Coxsone, and Jamdown Rockers. They were all becoming very prominent in the 80s. These sound systems were reflecting the sound system scene that was also happening in Jamaica at the time. I was always getting sound system tapes directly from Jamaica, sound systems like (Jack Ruby, Gemini, and Virgo); I joined a Bristol sound system at the time called Jah Lokko as an MC. I was also into pop electronic music, two tone ska, soul and house music.
I started to see bands in the 90’s at The Glastonbury festival and loads of bands at other festivals in Europe and around the world.... Too many too mention. One of the weirdest bands I remember seeing in Germany I think was Slip Knot; they seemed to be doing some satanic demon imagery business. But the bands and acts that I was into in the 80s were Aswad, Kraftwerk, Human League, Kate Bush and one of my favourite bands of all time are The Specials. Also The Roots Radic band from Jamaica.
In the early 90’s me and Rob Smith formed our jungle act “More Rockers” releasing 3 albums under the name of “Dub Plate Selection Vol” and went on to DJ ing. Then mid to late 90’s I became part of the Smith and Mighty crew.
Not sure where I first heard of Tru Funk but I do remember going out to clubs in the 80s and seeing this little white rapper who seemed no older than 10 years old, standing on a milk crate on stage rapping. I later met up with these guys at Smith and Mighty’s studio on Ashley Road in St. Pauls and found out they were called Tru Funk posse. Smith and Mighty’s studio on Ashley road was quite a hub for meeting other talented musicians at the time.
Between 1985 and 1998 I was finding myself in the world and listening to a lot of music. I see that period now as being very significant because we were witnessing the birth of many music genres on the dance electronic scene e.g. the hip hop movement, house music, jungle, drum and bass, techno, garage. A lot of music styles were created and being developed at that time. I do particularly find the whole rave scene in the late 80s early 90s left a lasting impression on me. When Rob and Ray were in London recording their album for Pete Tong, me, Rob, Ray and the others in our crew would tune into the London pirate radio stations to find out the meeting points around the M25 for the location of the big outdoor raves..... We would leave the big recording studios in London and go to them. Really enjoyable and exciting times. They were some of the best moments of my life. At that time I was also remixing/producing tracks for Maxi Priest, Danny Maidden and other artists, I think I was crafting my skills.
Some of the very best times in my career were being blessed with being able to travel and see the world. Touring and playing to people and having no idea how they will respond to your music and then seeing that they loved it and wanting more. The downs.... well you just take the downs with the ups, there haven’t been many of those.
I really enjoy doing gigs to this day. Giving out good energy and then feeling the audience giving it back to you... that’s a hard feeling to beat.
There’s plenty of stuff on YouTube under the name of Peter D/Peter D. Rose, More Rockers, Smith and Mighty, Jaz Klash. Jaz Klash was a project that I and Rob Smith did as More Rockers with an artist from LA called Angel who was a jazz/dance producer in the mid-90s.
Work in progress on some tracks with Ray Mighty. I am also involved in a project which could be the very latest App on new style audio book.
I still live in Bristol. It’s a cool place. Quite friendly but still has its problems with behind your back racism. Its music scene is vibrant and it has the balance of a good metropolitan city with a certain countryside flavour. It's also close to a lot of wicked West Country coastlines. All these things I guess, and of course my family, are why I’m still here.
Interview with Shirley Etaix
Words © Peter D Rose
Photos © The Peter D More Rockers/Smith & Mighty archive