Earshot Entertainment & La Bohemia Present
DJs Stepwise & Julicio
Bruno Garcia, alias Sergent Garcia, was born in 1964, the year of the dragon according the Chinese zodiac, in a small mountain town in France near the Swiss border. The son of a Basque Spanish father and a French mother, and with family connections to Algeria and the Ivory Coast, Bruno's early years took him to live in Bilbao, Spain before his family settled in Paris when he was five years old. Bruno recalls, "It was like a hybrid family with many colors. I spent a lot of time with my little cousin, whose father from was from the Ivory Coast. Their household had a very African flavor: there were always people coming from Africa to visit for weeks on end. They were always listening to African music, to soul music, American music, it exposed me to a lot of different things."
While no one in his family played an instrument, music was an important part of Bruno's childhood and his family had an eclectic and diverse record collection that included African, Latin and Caribbean music, not to mention French and Spanish sounds. At the age of 14, Bruno started playing around on a friend's guitar, later joining this friend's rock band as a bass player. "I used to say that I played with the best musicians in the world because I learned with records." Bruno points out, "I learned with Bob Marley, Joe Strummer, Bob Dylan, I learned with a lot of people I liked, I was just copying their styles in the beginning, you know, when I was a kid. From hard rock, Bruno moved on to punk, listening to bands such as The Clash, The Stranglers, The Ramones and others. At the same time, Bruno remained a devoted reggae fan and he especially gravitated toward bands that blended punk, reggae and ska.
When he was eighteen years old Bruno moved to Barcelona for a year and a half where he experienced the energy of an emerging country. "It was not the Europe we know now, all the same territory. For Europeans, Spain was basically Africa. There was really a lot of freedom, you know, the end of the dictatorship. Spain was breathing, and taking in a lot of air. They had a hunger for everything, for rock, for art, for sex, for drugs for everything. It was a very crazy time!"
Bruno moved back to Paris in 1984 to start a band called Ludwig von 88. The band went on to become one of the most popular groups on the French alternative rock and punk scenes, recording over ten albums and performing together for thirteen years. "It was the years of the alternative rock movement," notes Bruno. "In France it became a very big movement, because there were a lot of bands generating a big audience. These were new things, the heritage of the global punk and alternative rock movement. And then into that punk movement there were also a lot of political things added, and mixed into these political things was a lot of reggae music. The reggae movement, the hip-hop movement; all these things came together in Paris."