International reggae star Spawnbreezie may not know much about Rotorua, but he reckons the city has the best fish and chips in the world.
Spawnbreezie is part of the line-up for the annual Raggamuffin festival at the Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday and he's looking forward to coming to the city.
This won't be the first trip to Rotorua for the American-based reggae star. He first visited while driving through last year and during his stop-in, says he ate "the best fish and chips" from Oppies in Fenton St.
He said he spoke with the owner who had told him he had won a few awards for his fish and chips.
While he doesn't know much more about Rotorua - apart from that the city has "smoke coming from the ground" and the smell is "crazy" - he does have some strong links as his uncle lived in Rotorua for about 15 years and his cousin, who also lived in New Zealand, introduced him to Kiwi reggae music.
"He [his cousin] introduced me to Katchafire."
He said he heard the song Seriously by Hamilton band Katchafire and fell in love with it.
He enjoys Kiwi reggae music and would love to do a collaboration with Katchafire.
"Their music is just so different. It's still roots and reggae but still cultured."
He says he has been listening to Katchafire and Sons of Zion, whose lead singer, Rio Panapa, is a Rotorua man.
The Raggamuffin festival will be Spawnbreezie's first performance for 2012 and he says the audience can expect a lot of crowd interaction and a lot of energy.
"It's going to be a crazy performance, I'm going to give it all."
One of Spawnbreezie's most popular songs at the moment is I'm In Love, which is receiving a lot of radio play in New Zealand. He said the song was not about being in love with a person.
"I actually wrote the song for my love of music."
This year's Raggamuffin festival also features Ali Campbell, J-Boog, Sly and Robbie, Arrested Development, Billy Ocean and Big Mountain. Chad Chambers will join other New Zealand performers, Kora and Three Houses Down, on the main stage and a second stage will feature Kiwi artists NRG Rising, Foundation, Soljah, Tomorrow People, Cornerstone Roots, House of Shem and international artists NKulee Dube.
Spawnbreezie is excited about sharing the stage with some of reggae's legends, especially Ali Campbell.
"I've been a big fan of UB40."
Meanwhile, if you see Spawnbreezie around, he's unlikely to be surrounded by security and says he enjoys mixing with fans, even at after-parties.
"I don't keep myself away from the fans. People come to kick it, so let them kick it."