Mathias Tong aka MouseFX is an original Cantonese Reggae singer, who started in the 90s. His bands: Ice Stone 2, Crazy Lion, Sensi Lion were the only local Reggae band. In recent years, MouseFX has been into Sound System style with Heavy Hong Kong and performing as a solo artist.
What inspired you to sing Reggae in Hong Kong?
When i was about 20 years old, I worked at my Uncle’s fashion store and a series of music played out with a minimal rhythm and a unique way of voice. He told me that was Bob Marley’s “Talkin’ Blues” and shared about how Reggae music went to London and spread all over the world. It attracted me to Reggae music and Rasta culture. From there, I started writing Reggae songs. It’s been a journey of faith and His Majesty made this arrangement that truly changed my life.
What happened in Hong Kong’s Reggae music community and how is it special, since it has been put in an international spotlight?
20 years ago, we formed a Reggae band, “Crazy Lion”. Those were the days of ICQ and we faced trouble finding bandmates or listeners of Reggae music. In the last 10 years, I started meeting people who have been to UK’s Reggae Sound System that shared how crazy the bass can for the likes of Jah Shaka, University of Dub and such. Locally, Reggae lovers could go to the nights by pioneering promoters like Hidden Dragon aka Chong Long bringing Jahtari and Clive Chin, or Heavy HK with big name Reggae artist like Brother Culture, Tippa Irie, Macka B, General Levy, PAPA U-Gee and such. I was invited to perform at the shows where I was joined by dreadlocks who share similiar stories inna Babylon, regardless of age or riches. Soon, I took a small setup and started busking with my original tunes under as “mousefx”. People of all ages from grandma to toddlers to housewives, all enjoying the music. Fast forward to today, you can spot many Reggae acts coming though Clockenflap Festival, HK International Reggae and Ska Festival and more. Never has there been so much Reggae music in town! With Jstar’s “Baby Fanying” collaboration going international, it makes more people interested in Hong Kong Reggae music and it is a blessing to be on the same album as many of my idols.
Who is your favourite Reggae singer and Cantonese singer?
What a tough question! I have many favourite artists. Right now, I am listening to Mykal Rose. I also deeply appreciate Macka B with his good-hearted and conscious lyrics. His fan page has funny ways of spreading the Italy lifestyle and very glad to have shared the stage with him in HK. He is real Rasta man!
My favourite Cantonese artist is Deanie Ip
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Written by: Cynthia Liu