Soft spoken, with a presence as powerful as his name suggests, one of the most celebrated reggae artistes in recent times, Delyno “Pressure Buss Pipe” Brown, has been touching fans the world over with poignant lyrics and the broad spectrum of his vocal ability (this man has chopped and screwed his own vocals, live…no technology needed); but it is his humble spirit that captured our hearts. Undaunted by the fame, Pressure Buss Pipe has used the stage not to only pay homage to those who paved the way for him, but to share the spotlight with those aspiring to follow in his footsteps.
Fresh off of the completion of his latest studio project Africa Redemption, and in the midst of planning the first ever Virgin Islands Peace Concert, Pressure Buss Pipe links up with us to discuss everything from his latest album, to his hope for his beloved community.
WBM: Who is Pressure Buss Pipe?
DELYNO: Well, Pressure Buss Pipe is a youth that born and raise [sic] in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands…you know, umm…musically talented…you know, musically inclined…you know, a humble person, a respectable person, a Rastaman, most importantly; you know, and just somebody that has love for the music more than anything else.
WBM: So how has your being from St. Thomas influenced your career?
DELYNO: Well, it gives me a lot of drive because I know that there are not many VI reggae artistes that are international or made it very far, on the commercial scene, as far as reggae music; so that gives me a drive to make me push even harder to, at least, be somebody that will be remembered, you know?
WBM: So how long have you been in the music industry, and when did you know that it was going to be your life’s passion?
DELYNO: Well, I’ve been doing music from a very young age. I started playing the trumpet from about when I was six…seven years old, and I went on to playing the drums and the steelpan…and it wasn’t until I was in umm…I was at least seventeen or eighteen years old when I realised that this is something that I really want to do for the rest of my life…something that I want to take serious. So, I would say that I’ve been in the industry for at least umm…let’s put it this way, thirteen years right now…no, let’s put it more than that, fifteen years right now.
WBM: So you did mention that you used to play steelpan, and I know that you were part of the Rising Stars Steel Orchestra, so how important were education and extra-curricular activities to your success as an artiste?
DELYNO: Well, of course it played a major part because with Rising Stars organisation and their programmes you cannot participate in the musical activities if you are not doing well in school, so it was something to keep me grounded, and something to let me know that I had to focus on academics first; in order for me to excel in the things I really wanted to accomplish; I had to be doing good in school, you know… so it gave me a foundation to let me know that, you know, education is the key to anything, and everything that you want to become, you have to have knowledge of it in order to succeed. It taught me how to become a man, and how to respect others and other things like that.
WBM: Your songs cover everything from love to social issues. How do you decide what direction a song is going go?
DELYNO: Well…it’s the music you know, sometimes musical chords – when you hear the riddim by itself, it carries with it a certain feeling that, you know, it just helps the lyrics to come to the forefront. Umm…you know, there are some chords you hear in music that sound sad…when you hear the chords you feel down, and then there are some chords that just make you feel happy, and music is a living being, you know what I mean, and I understand that, so I grasp its frequency, and I just stop and sit back and, you know, tune into it, trying to find the words and the lyrics that people can relate to, and I always come out with a track like that, you know.
WBM: So, speaking of relating to the music, you’ve travelled a lot during your career; so how have your travels changed the way that you view the music industry, and I guess, in more specific terms, the Virgin Islands music industry?
DELYNO: Do you want to know the difference between them?
WBM: Well, how you see it…how has it influenced the way you see it. Have you noticed a difference?
DELYNO: Yeah…well, you know, umm…Virgin Islands music is very rootical. We have a chance to really take the music on a level where Jamaican music hasn’t gone, you know, because Jamaican music is more…is more…umm…it is more thing…what’s the word I’m trying to find? It is more consistent where it comes to…everything is already set, you know…the music is already Dancehall – Dancehall already has its own flow, and Reggae music, and it has a consistent flow when it comes to that culture of music; but Roots and Culture music in the Virgin Islands is something in its infancy, where the whole world is yearning for it right now…and we have a chance to really concrete that where people will only look to the Virgin Islands for Roots and Culture music, and that’s where the vibes is right now. We have a lot of strong Roots and Culture artistes that are on the battlefield for that purpose.
WBM: Okay, so what do you think needs to be done within the Virgin Islands music industry to get it to that point?
DELYNO: Well…I just think that we need to just stay being musically inclined, and keep learning…you know, accepting constructive criticism, travelling the world and getting to see what the whole world receives in music and reggae music, especially; and just gaining more…gaining more insight in just reggae itself….you know what I mean, because we can never stop learning, and never stop taking ourselves to a different level, if that’s where our minds are at. You know, it’s just for one to educate oneself; taking constructive criticism and all of that will help to build a better industry, because we’re still in our infancy, and we can still learn a lot from a lot of other industries that are already founded, you know.
WBM: So, if your music could help to bring about one change in society, what would you want that to be?
DELYNO: I would want it to be the gun violence. The gun violence especially…where we would not just make money and kill one another; where compromises can come through words, you know, instead of just ending another person’s life. Because when you take another person’s life, you take away the life of another family members and friends, you know? A lot of people suffer from that; there’s a lot of pain in our community because of gun violence, so I would hope that my music would at least bring that change to our community and the rest of the world.
WBM: Okay, so why does what you do matter?
DELYNO: Because I was chosen to do it. I feel like I’m here for a purpose, and I see where people really enjoy hearing music that they can relate to, versus music that just gives them dreams and hopes of becoming a millionaire, making money, and becoming the richest person on earth…you know, music they can relate to, reality music; and I feel that they can connect to it, you know, so I know that it really inspires people because I get a lot of response from people all over the world, through the internet, you know…no matter where I travelled, whether it was Jamaica or Africa, Europe, Dubai, Australia, throughout the Caribbean – there’s a lot of response to good music right now, and it’s a good feeling to know that people really take the music seriously, and that they can trust it. Every time they hear a Pressure song they know that it’s not going to be a song where they have cover their ears from bad words or indecent language or anything like that.
WBM: You were talking about how you know that your music and what you do matters, transitioning from that, how do you define success?
DELYNO: How do I define success? Success is when you set goals and you reach them. I have set a lot of goals, and I have reached my goals; but as I reach my goals, I just set more goals because I’m still young, I’m still alive, and I have to keep moving on, so every time I set a goal I try to execute things, and knock down all obstacles so I can reach my goals. So, that’s being a successful person. Being a successful person doesn’t mean you have to be rich or be a millionaire, you know, you can just be successful in anything that you do; but the simplest things are the biggest things, you know what I mean, and that’s being successful.
WBM: So what’s you biggest accomplishment to date?
DELYNO: Well, to just be world renown; to be heard, most importantly, for the message to be heard. Coming all the way from a small island like St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, knowing that reggae music’s origins come from Jamaica, which is a big island known around the world; you know, and to just be a VI reggae artiste, doing reggae music, and to be world renown and internationally known as a reggae artiste through the music, it’s a great feeling and a great accomplishment to me.
WBM: If you weren’t a musician, what would be your profession?
DELYNO: I would probably be….let me see…I would probably be a fireman, you know, working for the government…and if that didn’t work out, I’d probably just be a hustler [laughs].
WBM: Well thank God the music worked out!
DELYNO: Hell yeah [laughs]!
WBM: So what’s one thing that many people don’t know about you?
DELYNO: Well one thing that many people don’t know about me is that I like to play games. I like to play video games in my spare time, you know, I’m very competitive. Sometimes I challenge my friends in NBA 2K13 Basketball; you know, I can be a little free sometimes when it comes to playing games, because I’m very serious about life, you know? We’re all human beings and we all have things that we do for fun; whether you play games on your phone or anything like that. Whether you play dominoes or if you gamble, whatever it is you do for fun…but, you know, in my spare time I like to play video games.
WBM: So, what is your favourite collaboration thus far?
DELYNO: Thus far, my favourite collaboration hasn’t been released as yet…and that collaboration is with Junior Gong [Damian Marley] and Tarrus Riley.
DELYNO: It is coming out on my new album, Africa Redemption.
WBM: So tell us a little bit about the new album, when is it dropping, what’s the vibe, what can we look for?
DELYNO: The album is done right; I don’t have a date for the album as of now, but it’s finished and right now we’re in the process of securing distribution to get the album out as soon as possible. Other than that, the album will be out, hopefully, before the end of summertime; that the mission.
WBM: Okay, great; and what’s the direction, what’s the vibe? Is there a central theme in particular with this album?
DELYNO: Well the album is entitled Africa Redemption, it’s a very uplifting sound, well, album. It’s revolutionary, representing a lot of things like the apartheid, and things that happen around the world, especially in Africa; and it encourages the listener to take more precaution, and to look more to Africa, you know, and just a whole Africa theme, and then we’ve also got some songs on there for the ladies on it, you know, and just ghetto youth songs – songs that really surround Africa redemption and the movement of people that struggle…the movement of people that suffer and become successful.
WBM: So you mentioned that the theme surrounds people that struggle and, I guess, encouragement for them in that sense…
DELYNO: For people that struggle and go through great tribulations…
WBM: Yes, would you say that’s what makes reggae such a universal music, a universal language?
DELYNO: Yeah…reggae music is the poor peoples’ music, it’s the ghetto peoples’ music, the poor and have-nots’ music. It’s the music that speaks the minds of the people who don’t have a voice, you know…and that’s why reggae music is loved worldwide, because it speaks something that a lot of genres of music don’t speak about. It speaks about the revolution and the poverty that’s happening around the world, and it’s very uplifting from a poor man’s standpoint; and even to take it higher, reggae music is music that makes you feel happy, it knocks you into a frequency where you feel very spiritual…it has a very spiritual frequency. It’s just the music that feels really good to my soul.
WBM: So do you feel that there’s a sort of responsibility as a reggae artiste, at least as a roots reggae artiste, to putting the plight of the people out there, and as far as putting it out there do you also feel that there is some sort of responsibility to promote an action to bring to the forefront a resolution to the problems you are bringing to light? Because I know a lot of artiste, even some in the rap industry, speak to what the issues are, but posing a solution is not something we normally hear.
DELYNO: Yes…it is my responsibility, because I was chosen; it’s something, in my heart, I was chosen to do – it’s in my veins and my blood, and with inspiration from the Most High, I feel good about it. I feel like things are happening, people are being inspired; so I do feel that it’s my responsibility to take it [reggae music] and inspire people, if it feels good to my heart. That’s what’s most important, it feels so right, there’s nothing wrong about it; and once it feels right, it’s your purpose, and that’s the way it should be, you know?
WBM: Any advice you can give to those who are looking to pursue their goals and their dreams, especially coming from a small island?
DELYNO: Well, if music is your goal and dreams, I think you should just be unique, just stay focused, and, most importantly, be determined and don’t give up; accept constructive criticism, learn to get up when you fall, and keep it moving, and it’s all about making sacrifices, the right sacrifices, that can take you to the next level, you know, and that’s just the way it is. You have to really have your heart in it more than just seeing the money and the fame and the cars; you have to see the love and the passion for it – you have to have that, because if you’re only in it for the money, you’re going to fade away fast, because you’re gonna get the money and no one’s going to care to hear you again, because the love that you have isn’t there – it’s only your love for the money. You have to have the passion and the love for the music, most importantly, so that you can really become an icon or a legend – to really inspire the world, which is the ultimate goal.