Bob Marley’s Son and The Reggae Collective, White Tiger Society
White Tiger Society is a New York-based Soul, Reggae, and Hip-Hop collective comprised of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Dajla “The White Tigress” and Grammy Award-winning engineer/producer Comissioner Gordon Williams. They recently released their new single, Why, featuring Bob Marley’s son, Stephen Marley.
Why is from their debut album, Sound of the White Tiger, set to be released on September 15th via Lalabela Music Group.
Comissioner Gordon Williams adds, “Stephen and I have a long relationship in music, going back to the days of The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, all the way up to Welcome To Jamrock, on which we worked together, as well as his latest album, The Fruit Of Life. Stephen actually picked Why to collaborate with us on, and we are thankful to have ‘Ragga’ as part of the White Tiger family!”
The song combines reggae, heart-felt soulful vocals and that positive feel similar to what we’re used to hearing from the music legend himself, Bob Marley. It’s difficult to listen to Why and not feel that uplifting feeling.
Comissioner Gordon Williams is a legend in the music industry, with his nickname given to him by KRS-One. He’s won multiple Grammys including two Album of the Year Grammys for The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and Santana’s Supernatural.
Dajla is a musician to the core. A student of classical and jazz piano from ages 6 to 16 at the national music conservatory in France. She also found inspiration at home, listening to her parents’ Soul, Jazz, Reggae, and Blues record collection. Dajla has released two albums and an EP to date, while sharing the stage with the likes of Angelo Moore from Fishbone,De La Soul, Nneka, Sa-Ra, and The Brand New Heavies.
White Tiger Society was born in In 2013 when Gordon and Dajla met in New York City through their work as a writing/production team.
We had the pleasure of interviewing White Tiger Society below. Play their new single, Why, featuring Stephen Marley and read the full interview below for the FULL White Tiger Society experience. Dajla answered some and Comissioner Gordon Williams did others as noted.
Where does the name White Tiger Society come from?
DAJLA – It comes from an Asian legend – The White Tiger is a mythical creature that appears when the world goes off balance. It represents Justice. Although it does not harm people, it becomes angry when the ruler of the land conducts evil deeds.
How many musicians are in your group?
DAJLA – WTS is a collective fronted by Gordon Williams and myself, and we work with musicians in the studio and on stage. For live shows, we have different line ups, DJ sets, or a full band.
Where are you from and how has that shaped the musician you are today?
DAJLA – I was born in France, on the west coast. The great thing about my hometown was that I could attend the national music conservatory, so I studied classical and jazz piano and music theory there from age 6 to 16. It gave me solid music foundation that I would use years later for songwriting. But my influences were shaped at home, as I grew up listening to my parents’ reggae, soul, rock, funk and jazz record collection, and artists such as Bob Marley, Ray Charles, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Carlos Santana.
What instruments did you play when you were younger?
DAJLA – I started playing piano age 6 at the conservatory, also did Oboe for a couple years but it gave me migraines lol. I taught myself the bass age 17.
Are there an instruments that you currently wish you COULD play?
DAJLA – I would really like to learn to play the guitar. Great for some writing and performing solo.
Tell us the story of how you started creating music on your computer?
DAJLA – In 2005, a producer friend of mine introduced me to Digital Performer (music software) and showed me how to use it. I slowly started making simple beats and used it to make demos of the songs I’d write. I had a very simple set up, good enough for me. My Macbook Pro, an M-Box, a couple of Genelec speakers, a Brauner microphone, a Nord Electro and my Fender Precision bass. It was great!
What was your favorite studio moment when producing your newest single, Why?
DAJLA – My favorite moment was to go visit Stephen Marley in his studio in Miami. He and Comish go way back, and it was the first time I met him, so I was really honored. After listening to the track a couple times, he just went in the booth and instantly came up with his part. Truly amazing and memorable experience!
What was it like working with Bob Marley’s son?
DAJLA – It’s like a childhood dream come true.
What do you like to do when you’re simply hanging out – aside from music?
DAJLA – I like to spend time with my close friends and family. Love to go dancing too. NY has some good club nights (Timmy Regisford, Tony Touch…).
Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?
DAJLA – I coach young artists – piano, vocals and songwriting, to help them prepare for recordings or live performances. Gordon has a music Academy – The Lalabela Music Academy that teaches music and music engineering to under-privileged children and teenagers, in the US or abroad. I am joining the Academy as a music instructor and to create a brand new modern, fun and hands-on approach to teaching music. Music can also act as “therapy” for some of the children I work with. Music heals!
Who are your musical influences?
DAJLA – Each period of my life helped me discover amazing artists – There was reggae from early age, and funk/RnB with James Brown, all the jazz greats, too many to mention…From Billie Holiday to Thelonius Monk – a solid hip-hop foundation in the 90s, with bands such as Public Enemy or the Fugees, Lauryn Hill of course…Also hung a lot in the ska scene and absolutely love Jamaican music (The Skatalites, Ken Boothe, and the electro scene, Drum and Bass, House, Garage…Most recently I have been listening to a lot of Ethiopian Jazz – Mulatu Astatke is one of my favorite artists.
What DAW do you use and why?
COMISSIONER GORDON – Pro Tools. I have been a Pro Tools user many years. I am the most comfortable with it, but I do like Studio One as well.
Do you have a typical music production process? If yes, can you explain it?
DAJLA – I usually write songs on the piano, basic chord progression and lyrics. I let Comish hear the song, think of a style or direction, i.e. reggae, soul, ska…depending on the beat he hears. He then gathers a team of musicians to cut it in the studio. He then adds beats/effects, and finally mixes it, adding his magic touch of course.
Who has been one of your favorite artists to collab with?
DAJLA : So far Comish is the best artist I’ve collaborated with. His vision with regards to my songs is always on point and his experience in recording and writing pushes me to another level.
What is your favorite MIDI Controller or instrument to produce with right now?
What is one of your favorite or go-to VST Plugin?
COMISSIONER GORDON – mmmmmm trade secret lol
Do you have a key production tip for our young producers out there?
COMISSIONER GORDON – Be true to the music that is inside of you.
What are some of your favorite venues to play and why?
DAJLA – I really like medium capacity venues, which are more intimate and create a great experience and bond with the audience.
What is your favorite color?
DAJLA – I love all colors
What food do you eat the most?
DAJLA – Mainly vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds… At home, I mainly cook North African/ French Mediterranean dishes, and I also enjoy Caribbean food…And Tunisian cookies 😉
Do you have a favorite in-studio snack?
DAJLA – Does Pinot Noir count as a snack? lol
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
DAJLA – Each media has something great to offer… Facebook because it allows fans to reach out directly to us, and it’s very practical too for events. It is also a great tool to find and connect people.
What is next for White Tiger Society?
DAJLA – We’ve just dropped our new single Why ft Stephen Marley here in the US, and more music will come out this fall. The next step for us right now is touring the US and Europe, this fall and in 2018.