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Interview: Gramps Morgan (2012)

Interview: Gramps Morgan (2012)

Interview: Gramps Morgan (2012)

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"I want the world to know that reggae music lives and show that people still love music"


Gramps Morgan

Gramps Morgan shows that reggae music lives

Gramps Morgan made a name for himself as a vocalist and keyboard player in the family-based band Morgan Heritage, a band that comprises four of singer Denroy Morgan’s children. In April Morgan Heritage announced their return, and Gramps Morgan dropped his second solo album at the same time. United Reggae has talked to him.

Gramps Morgan is the eldest son of Denroy Morgan’s 29 children and started to play keyboard at a very tender age. He was born in New York City and got his moniker Gramps by his aunt because of his resemblance to his grandpa Roy Morgan.

At the age of nine he joined the family band Morgan Heritage with four of his siblings.

“There was never any competition at home. We just did our music and fueled each other. It was a talent show in our house,” says Gramps Morgan over the phone from New York City where he hosts a radio show.

He explains that his father – who scored a hit song in 1981 with Anything for You – has taught him to work hard and always be humble.

A stern lecturer

Gramps Morgan has a serious and stern tone and sometimes comes off as a lecturer. He kind of strives to enlighten me on certain issues, and this comes back when we talk about his singing son Jemere Morgan.

He has given his son the advice to research music history and to learn where the music, particularly reggae, originates from. Or, as he eloquently puts it:

“Do your homework on music.”

Reggae music lives

But enough of teaching and history, and back to Gramps Morgan’s music. Because he has recently put out his second independent solo album 'Reggae Music Lives', the follow-up to '2 Sides of My Heart Vol. 1' released in 2009.

“It’s a round up and a statement that reggae lives. I want the world to know that reggae music lives and show that people still love music,” explains Gramps, and continues:

“Reggae music is not selling, but I know the music is getting out there. People come out to see shows, and festivals are full in the U.S., Jamaica and in Europe. I want to train and encourage the listeners to buy music.”

The album took two years to make and includes both cultural themed songs as well as more romantic ones.

“It’s Gramps Morgan music and it shows my emotional side. It’s in-depth and heartfelt, but also about showing versatility” he says, and gives an example:

“The Almighty is for instance dancehall influenced.”

Tougher being a solo singer

Gramps MorganAs a solo vocalist you are more exposed compared to being part of a group, and Gramps explains that he has learned a lot from singing a full solo concert every night for two hours.

“I didn’t have to carry the load all by myself before,” he explains.

But the biggest difference from being with Morgan Heritage comes from within.

“My voice has grown and I’m technically much better now. I’m also a lot more diverse,” he says and adds that he has also learnt a lot from mixing.

Apart from being a song writer, a keyboard player and a burly vocalist with a strong baritone, Gramps is also a producer and has worked with Buju Banton, his own son Jemere Morgan and Duane Stephenson as well as the up and coming J Boog.

Morgan Heritage is back

Even though Gramps solo journey has been successful he and his siblings in Morgan Heritage have got together again and toured Europe this summer playing concerts and festivals.

But that’s not all. Gramps reveals that they have an album in the making. He’s very secretive though, and refuses to give much information the project.

“Morgan Heritage is the future of roots. We have no release date yet, but the money is in the bank,” he says.

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Read comments (2)

Posted by lester miller on 08.13.2012

Posted by kebba sanneh on 08.23.2012
Gramps am your number one fan in the Gambia. I am eger to see you in the Gambia.

Comments actually desactivated due to too much spams

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