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Interview: Cedric Myton

Interview: Cedric Myton

Interview: Cedric Myton

By on - Photos by Christian Bordey - 2 comments

"Heart of the Congos album - no, I didn't realise the impact it would have"

Sampler

Cedric Myton is a real ‘living legend’ of the roots reggae genre. An integral part of the renowned Congos group, Myton (falsetto) linked with ‘Ashanti’ Roy Johnson and (on the recommendation of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry) with Watty Burnett (baritone) in the mid-1970s. Myton had previously been a member of the Tartans, Ras Michael's group and recorded with the Royal Rasses. Spearheading the Congos, he is most commonly associated with the classic everlasting ‘Heart of the Congos’ album. This was produced under the watchful eye of Perry at the infamous Black Ark Studio in Kingston in the mid-1970s. After some friction and a lengthy impasse, the Congos reformed and proceeded to reunite with Perry - recording the 'Back in the Black Ark' album in Jamaica. After their appearance at the ROTOTOM Sunsplash 2012 festival Myton took time out to talk with United Reggae.

Cedric Myton

Would you like to start by getting anything ‘off your chest’ Cedric?

To the world, just love. One thing I want to leave to the world is the message that we all must unite as one. We must share what we have with each other. If a man is hungry, the next man can feed him. In time, the same man we fed will come and help and return the favour. Love and unity.

We must share what we have with each other. If a man is hungry, the next man can feed him

What has been your greatest achievement in music?

My greatest achievement in music is financial victory. And also it’s good for the people of the world to understand that music is a part of our culture, which physically and spiritually is the gateway of spreading the message to love everyone and to share. So it’s a sharing of a spiritual culture with other nations that is my great expectation and achievement.

What has been your greatest disappointment in music?

My greatest disappointment is when the people or company you work with doesn’t pay – like VP (mainly), RAS records and too many others! But time will tell. But if I am to answer this question more fully, it is also true that I'm disappointed that the right culture and message is not spreading around the world the way I would like it to be.

I'm disappointed that the right culture and message is not spreading around the world

Who has had the greatest musical influence on you?

Oh! As a kid, my mother - because she’s a great singer. I love to hear her singing and I copy her. But on a broader scale I used to love Nat King Cole. He was my favourite.

Cedric MytonWho is your favourite reggae artist?

It’s still Bob Marley. Toots and the Maytals is also another great experience. I love working with him, and also with (the late) Gregory Isaacs. There are many favourites for me.

When travelling in Ireland I was struck by your reverence toward Mr. Perry who joined us on tour. Tell us about your relationship with Lee Perry?

Well this relationship is still going strong after all this time. And maybe it’s even getting stronger. We have been working together again for the last couple of years. Even on this 2012 tour we have been working together on many of the shows. I think he’s getting back to his real old self now. As I work along with him nowadays I think he’s getting more conscious in himself. But at the same time he is still revolting or engaging in revolution against something too!

Lee Perry - as I work along with him nowadays I think he's getting more conscious in himself. But at the same time he is still revolting or engaging in revolution against something too!

When the ‘Heart of the Congos’ album was completed, did you realise what you were dealing with?

Not really. I didn’t know what the outcome would be. We knew it was a spiritual thing, a spiritual message in how it was set up, how it was done and the attitudes that went with how it was done. It’s all spiritual, you know? But no, I didn’t realise the impact it would have.

What was the hardest part of the Congos reunion for you?

Well when I went back to Jamaica it was about 3-4 years before I formed back the group. I was doing a lot of  freelance work then – an album here and an album there. I still have about 6 or 7 albums which have not been released. Take my soul away, it’s crazy, but it’s reality.

The Congos

Do you have a favourite politician?

No, I don’t see (a favourite) one yet. Maybe he or she is to come. But the closest one so far would be Michael Manley [deceased socialist Jamaican Prime Minister]. I’m not really a politician, but I’ve seen what he has done and heard his ideas.

Who is your least favourite politician?

Yes. In this time, truly looking at  politics as a whole, it’s George Bush [Junior – former right-wing Republican American President]. Look at what he has done to humanity, people and nations – not so good.

Any view on Zimbabwe today?

Not really. O.K. to be real, I’m watching for an outcome. But I don’t know. I’m watching to see how good it’s going to be, for I think that things can only get better – they can’t get any worse. Because if it gets worse there will be too many dead people!

I won’t ask you about Mugabe. (In response, Myton laughs apparently knowingly)
Any view on homophobia?

Well you know that it’s covering the world today. We are watching certain things to see how the people react and what the people are doing – what are the nations thinking. We love the ideas of the people. Anyway, the longest livers see the most.

Do you have any regrets in life?

Yes, there have been many mistakes you know. I've made so many that I’m not prepared to make them again. So much mistake! If I made a little one or two that’s not too bad, but I’ve made so many mistakes in the past. Bad contracts and many others which I hope I don’t do anymore!

I've made so many mistakes in the past

Outside music, tell us about your interests?

I’m thinking about some farming and fishing. That is my real aim.

Are you happy?

In a way, yes. But not 100 per cent. For example, I’m in Jamaica and my family is in America. I used to be in America but it was getting ‘too close’ to me. Maybe I’ll go back next year and do some work there – I’m preparing for that.

Do you have any remaining ambitions in life?

To help the people I can – to do the good I can for the world.

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Read comments (2)


Posted by CEdric Myton on 12.17.2012
RESPECT TO THE WORLD!!!

Posted by sam g on 12.18.2012
Good interview....... Positivity.

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