With a mission to heal the world through music, Soul Train Award nominee, Gramps Morgan unleashes his second, solo, album Reggae Music Lives tomorrow (April 24th), independently, on his Dada Son Entertainment label. A musical therapy of sorts, Reggae Music Lives is filled with angelic harmonies, authentic compositions and a unique sound brand, Gramps calls “Rockaz”. Reggae Music Lives is more than Reggae; it’s world-beat, with a little bit of country, a taste of what Americans call rap-Jamaicans call it toasting; mix it with a hint of r ‘n’ b, a dash of blues synthesized with contemporary reggae that maintains the integrity of the original art form and you get a sense of the musical accents that help to make Reggae Music Lives complete.
After two years in the making, Reggae Music Lives arrives with inspiration, healing and Gramps’ determination to make positive changes in the world. The album’s first single ‘The Almighty’ topped the charts in Jamaica, South Florida and New York while ‘Life Too Short’, released on March 28th, advanced in the fight for justice in the case
of Trayvon Martin. Consequently, team Dada Son decided to donate part of the sale proceeds to the family of the slain Florida teenager. The song has since been added to the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation website (http://justicetm.org/tributes/) where he is listed as an “Official Donor” for his commitment.
Meanwhile, Mark Brantley, Senior Lawyer and Leader of the Opposition in the National Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis says: “There is no voice in reggae music today as distinctive as that of Gramps Morgan. His sophomore album reminds us of the deeply spiritual roots of reggae music. Gramps’ ability to make music with a global appeal which touches the human spirit and soothes the soul has been taken to new heights in his latest release. I believe that this new effort by this Grammy award winning artist will be a major hit with lovers of conscious reggae music the world over. But don’t take my word for it. Pick up a copy, put your feet up and let the music wash over you.”
Reggae Music Lives is an evolution of Gramps’ professional and musical growth expressed through his singing, narratives, arrangements and compositions. His melodies and hooks are seasoned with mature, worldly lyrics that are delivered flawlessly. All of his experiences have culminated in the creation of a universal sound that he says stems from exposure.
“I’ve grown so much as a producer, song writer and vocalist. Overall, my experience from touring and working with India Arie; watching John Legend perform every night; touring with different artists; working with the different producers (on this album) and getting a chance to work with my brother Peetah one-on-one writing songs; it’s brought me to a whole other level. My experience really came into play in making this. I think this album is really the best of the brand called Gramps Morgan; as a product, you finally get the sound of Gramps Morgan. The first album was just discovering, getting it and learning myself. Gramps Morgan has been born on this album. “
The Sound of Gramps Morgan
A personal favourite of Morgan’s on the album sees the return of India Arie, reuniting with Gramps on “Want Fi Charge Wi” a song whose distinct sound is inspired by African rhythms as is “I Hear You Calling”, an ode to Africa. Meanwhile new creative partnerships were also forged on this project, one such collaboration was with renowned duo, Stanley “Rellee” Hayden and Alberto “AL” Cruz also known as the A-Team (Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, Sean ‘P-Diddy’ Combs,
The Notorious B.I.G., KRS 1, Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lauryn Hill, Deborah Cox, etc…) on the song called DREAM.
One of the most promising tracks on the album, DREAM, is as inspiring as it is universal, in message and in sound. When Gramps sings “…celebrate wherever you are, keep on striving for your dream, just lift your head high, let your spirit fly, dream away…” one is reminded to persevere; the song offers hope and is that motivator everyone needs.
Another first, and what Gramps describes as “a dream” was working with the legendary, Clive Hunt (The Rollings Stones, Maxi Priest, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Beres Hammond). Hunt produced three of the thirteen songs on Reggae Music Lives including the title track, which is an unapologetic declaration of the state of Reggae music; and on two love songs that will create their own ‘baby boom’ “Find Myself Thinking” and “I Know It’s Love”. Gramps Morgan fans get a different side of Gramps on “Could Dj (Dem Neva Know)” here the singer switches to a toasting style delivery over a phat beat infused with elements of rap, blues, and some rock riffs.
Like his first album 2 Sides of My Heart Vol. 1 Gramps has again assembled an incredible pool of talent from the novice to the accomplished musicians and producers alike, including his seventeen year old son Jemere Morgan, Jason ‘J-Vibe’ Farmer, Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown, Delroy “Delly” Foster and Kemar “Flava” McGregor.
The songs on Reggae Music Lives are well rounded and crafted with diverse themes from romantic and universal love; to global consciousness and justice, to living in the moment and being grateful. Reggae Music Lives is mature and contemporary, it’s the kind of music that can rock on any gadget at work, home or at play.
Reggae Music Lives is about the preservation of art, music and culture and Gramps wants the world to know that “Reggae music is here to stay.”
- Inner Circle Presents a “DUBets” Album in Celebration of Jamaica 50 (repeatingislands.com)
- Proceeds from Gramps Morgan’s new single Go to family of Trayvon Martin (highlanda.net)
- Busy Signal Sets The Standard With ‘Reggae Music Again’ Album (highlanda.net)
- Gentleman’s Reggae Looks Beyond Germany (highlanda.net)
- “You Can’t Blame Those Who Have Tried”: An Interview with Cedella Marley (midnightraverblog.com)
- Reggae in The U.K.: A Steady Force (repeatingislands.com)