Pappa Bear. 1998
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Boogie Tiger Crew, Cherish The Love, Daisy Dee, Godwijn June Orlando Ray Rollocks, Jan Van Der Toorn, June Rollocks, Pappa Bear, Toni Cottura, Whats My Name
The following telephone interview took place on September 25th, 1998.
Born in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, Godwijn June Orlando Ray Rollocks is a Dutch Rapper, first part of the Black Male project, doing Hip-House tracks in the early 1990's, moving on to Pop-Rap oriented records as Pappa Bear later in the decade. He's the man behind the early 90's Technotronic hit Pump Up The Jam, having worked with 2Unlimited and N'Sync as well.
He loves cooking, eating (weighing 100 kg) and Hip-Hop music. Pappa Bear is Daisy Dee's brother (Daisy Rollocks was one of the most popular VIVA VJ's at the end of the nineties).
Cherish the Love. 1998
CZB: Your real name is June Rollocks. How did you get your nickname?
Pappa Bear: Actually, this is a name that's stuck to me for about 5 years now. It's a given name. Actually, my girlfriend used to call me her “teddy bear”. I told her, “whoa, I'm too big to be your teddy bear!”... but the fact is, I'm conscious of the way I look... I'm a Pappa Bear! I'm a happy, so lucky, kind of guy – but still, don't get on my wrong side!
CZB: Where and when were you born?
Pappa Bear: Where? Curacao. What date? I never answer that question. In the beginning, it was a big thing (a big issue). All the mags were trying to write about it – so nobody got the real number.
CZB: Are you a Dutch citizen?
Pappa Bear: Yes.
CZB: How did you get to Europe?
Pappa Bear: That was 18 years ago, maybe a little longer. My dad died. My mom decided to come to Holland. She had a choice to make between the US and Holland. Because of the student situation in those days, when US schools weren't good, and European schools were Top of the World, she decided to take me and my brothers to Europe... Daisy Dee, the singer and VIVA2 presenter, is my smaller sister.
CZB: I understand that Toni Cottura is like your brother-in-law.
Pappa Bear: He is not just like a brother-in-law, he is my brother-in-law. He married my sister, Daisy Dee.
CZB: What kind of a person is he; when did you meet?
Pappa Bear: Actually we met when he was in Fun Factory. He used to come to the studio I had in Holland back then. He met my sister there and they hit it off; they liked each other from the start. He spent a lot of time in Holland. He came around, trying to start something really big in Germany – and he needed people with talent and people he likes and knows he can work with – people he can trust.
I said, “listen, I got my shit over here but I can come over and jam once in a while”.
Actually, I started a project with my cousin and van der Toorn (we go back 10 years now).
Everybody has his own personality and thing – but now I know that for so long he hasn't changed because of success – and I hope I haven't changed – but it's hard to say that from your own point of view.
CZB: What would you say is the difference between a German and a Dutchman?
Pappa Bear: The difference? Dutch are hippies, like “peace, bro”. Whatever you can't fix today, you can fix tomorrow. They're not stressed but they're strict. They have a poignancy – Dutch people are very open. It's the first place where groups came out of the closet because in Holland it's all good.
That's how I've been brought up. Germans are the complete opposite.
CZB: How did you get involved in the music business?
Pappa Bear: That was coincidential. Back in the day when we came to Europe, we were jamming and dancing in clubs – and at a given moment during the 80's came this breakdance thing and we were one of the best breakdance groups in Holland. We started to do shows in Germany and then we exploded.
I had my studies. At the time I was breakdancing, I was still going to school. I never actually dreamed of making this my life or my work – it just happened.
The breakdance group was called Boogie Tiger Crew. We were actually German champions in 1983 ... or something like that. We did a lot of competitions and won a lot of money.
CZB: You've produced a lot of music with Jan van der Toorn. Is he your best friend?
Pappa Bear: Definitely. He is my best friend. He's my best man and I am his. We met strangely. I used to work with my cousin. He told me, “I know this guy, he's got a lot of talent; he's really great. I'm gonna go and get him.” Actually, van der Toorn was living in another part of Holland. My cousin got him and convinced him to come over to where we live for some productions. We met. It was cool. I had more productions then than my cousin. Me and him really hooked up – we got to philosophising – we went out and we grew real close.
CZB: You're slang specialists?
Pappa Bear: Ya. In a certain way. Language changes from time to time. American English is not what it used to be. It's really changed, even normal metaphors. They change and we keep in touch with that. Every now and then we go over to the States, where we've got a lot of family and friends. We start talking. They come up with crazy words, we come up with our own – and we slowly make up our own language. When me and Toni Cottura and Jan van der Toorn go out together, nobody in the house would know what we were talking about.
CZB: Why did you choose to cover Cherish?
Pappa Bear: Actually, it was a coincidence. When Toni Cottura stopped with Fun Factory he made a couple of playback tracks for his own solo project. It's really like he went for a party boom. He was more into the party kind of stuff. The song was just laying there and he said, “do you want to do this song?”
I said, “No. I want to do a jump up and down, put your hands in the air kind of thing.”
“Let's try this. See if you like it.” We went to the studio, did a couple of songs, van der Toorn got into it, started singing – and we blew up in the worst way.
CZB: Do you have music idols?
Pappa Bear: I don't. I had one but he's dead ... Notorious BIG ... then there was Bob Marley.
Now I don't have any music idols. There are a lot of musicians I enjoy as music persons and singers in their profession but there is no one I'd say I'd like to make music just like that or just like they do.
CZB: You've lived in New York City for a while. What was it like?
Pappa Bear: New York is actually like a third home to me. I'm very at home there. I know my way around.
CZB: You worked as a cook?
Pappa Bear: It was a long time ago. I was very good. At a given moment I had to make a choice because I don't want to do anything halfway. I just want to get my hands dirty, go in there and cook. I want to do my shit and prove myself. I'm the kind of person that doesn't do a lot of things very well. I am a technical kind of guy and I am the kind of person that if you hear that I can do something really good because I say I can do it, it means that I am very good at it.
CZB: What is your favorite dish?
Pappa Bear: I don't have a favorite dish. I love the way my mom cooks.
I love oriental food; I'm crazy about that. I could eat shrimp every day. That stuff makes me tick. I'm not a pasta kind of guy; I'm not a pasta man.
CZB: When you were a cook, did you ever think you'd be a singer or producer?
Pappa Bear: I knew that I would always continue to do it – but I never thought I'd leave the kitchen to do it or else I would have definitely started earlier, or I would have learned to play an instrument. Now, all I can play is the computer, and it's a shame. If I knew that from the start, I would have a better basic – but I feel I'm a good songwriter; I am working with the most talented people in Europe and I hope to play with the most talented people in the world and I hope to find out by myself how good I really am, whatever I am doing.
CZB: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Pappa Bear: A lot of people. Even in Germany, I'd strive to work with some people. My background of music ... I didn't grow up listening to James Brown all the time. Also Charles Aznavour, Tom Jones ... and different types of music, like Calypso – my musical background is very niche, even classical stuff. Sometimes, when my mom would have a bad temper, she'd put a classical CD on. I grew up with all kinds of music and that is also why I don't have any specific music idols. I appreciate music as music and now, as a producer, I listen to music differently. I listen for what instruments are being used and ow they're being played – what kinds of chords, where they get their sounds from – how they make their arrangements... That's what relaxes me now. If there's a good arranger, I'd sit down and listen and say, “now, that's really great”. I'm not even listening to what he's singing – but to what he's saying.
CZB: Could you name a person you'd like to collaborate with?
Pappa Bear: In Germany, there are three people: 3P, Guano Apes – and in the States, Jean Wyclef, Jean Duprey and Puffy definitely. Puffy and Toni are very close, so I think it's only a question of time before we do that. Then there's Busta Rhymes and Big (Panther) Punisher. He's a very big guy. I'm gonna want to definitely work with him.
There is no artist or producer that does everything right. There are always a couple of tracks from any one album that I really like... the rest is OK. You can't put your finger on it and say R. Kelly or Teddy Riley or whatever. That's Bullshit, unless you really like the guy and are a fan.
It;s like if you like a dish in a certain restaurant, you can't go to another restaurant, order the same dish and say it's exactly the same.
CZB: You got married last year in January. Was it a tough decision to make?
Pappa Bear: I know my girl for a long time, so it wasn't a decision... It was just great. I have my single things, so that's OK. I have my other wife, my music – and I have my spiritual and soulmate – so, that's OK.
CZB: Tell me about your son.
Pappa Bear: He's smart. He's beautiful.
He's a kick ass guy. He's got personality ... he doesn't just cry in the night. I wish everybody had a baby like that. His name is Deroy, born on April 4th 1997.
CZB: You'll be on Tour with the Booya Family this Fall.
Pappa Bear: Yes. It's only in Germany. Maybe next year me and Nana will tour the rest of Europe together.
This Interview was conceived by RiCo in SEP.1998
and was first published in TELE Cablu on 14.NOV.1998
When the Rain Begins to Fall. 1998
- What's My Name (1998)
INTERVIEW Fun Factory
Toni Cottura WEBSITE
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