Last month, award-winning Bristol lyricist, MC and label owner Gardna released his debut album ‘Good Time Not A Long Time’ featuring 12 original tracks and a who’s who of reggae and dub royalty. DMCWORLD decided it was time to check in with the main man…

Hey Luke, thanks for catching up with us today. Let’s get straight to it – your debut album is called ‘Good Time Not A Long Time,’ there’s a clear message there – do you think we need this kind of positivity more than ever?

Easy DMC!

Yeah I guess, I’d say I’m generally a positive person anyways. For me ‘Good Time not a Long Time’ is a reflection on my life, the things I get up to and the good times within that. The title for me means we aren’t here for long, life’s short, enjoy it. What’s that Special’s tune? Enjoy Yourself. Bit like that.

Gardna - Good Time not a Long Time (ft. Omar) [Official Video]

You have so many different styles mixed into one project; reggae, dub, grime, hip-hop to name a few. Did the tracks naturally fall into place when you were writing them or is there a genre you prefer to work with?

I gather my inspiration across the board and listen to a lot of different styles over a spectrum of sound system music and beyond. When I make music I’m always just thinking what’s going to sound good on stage at a festival, will people dance to this? This album is a melting pot of the styles I’m into. Be that hip-hop, dub, grime, dancehall, garage, jungle, drum and bass, even house, soul, disco, RNB. The lot.

As well as yourself of course, Brad Baloo from The Nextmen produced the album and the likes of Hollie Cook, Kiko Bun, Eva Lazarus and Omar Lye-Fook MBE all feature too. Can you tell us about the selection process? How did you decide which artist worked on which track?

Sometimes you just know. I had a hit list of artists I wanted to work with for the project. With the Omar track for instance we wrote the track with the intention of getting Omar on it. Double bass city. 

As well as sharing the studio, you’re also sharing the stage with friends all over the world. How are you transferring the album into a live show? Is there a lot of spontaneity in there or do you have a setlist worked out?

For the album shows I created a live visual show, I added Tailored Sound on the saxophone, Fat Stash on the decks, and I’ve been taking all the artists on the album along to selected shows. It’s amazing working with the vocalists on stage and I’m honoured they’ve all been on board. There’s always spontaneity, I never play one set the same.

What has the New Zealand / Australia tour been like for you? Any highlights?

It’s been mad. I’m 11 out of 12 shows in. So far 11 kills 0 deaths. Every show has been wild and busy which I’m super happy about, they love the UK vibes over here. Smashed it.

Are there any UK shows coming up in the future you can tell us about?

We’re doing a part II of the Good Time tour in February, March, April. Already some killer shows booked in for London, Bristol, ETC. Got some big things planned for Glastonbury and Boomtown too. Shhhh…

 Finally, tell us – why should people go and listen to your album?

If you don’t check out the album after reading this interview then do yourself a favour!

Order the album here…