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Interview: Andrew Tosh

Interview: Andrew Tosh

Interview: Andrew Tosh

By on - Photos by Michael Grein - 9 comments

"Music is my heart and my heart is music, so you know, you can’t live without your heart"


Since the early days of his career as a recording artist -over a quarter-century ago- Andrew Tosh has worked hard to spread his message of respect and equality -sentiments that his father and Jamaican reggae legend Peter Tosh devoted his life to preaching and proclaiming- both as a musician and a man.

Born to Peter Tosh, who is known as one of the three original Wailers -doubtless the most influential reggae group of all-time- his illustrious 13 year solo career, and also, most notably to many, being a trailblazer for the Rastafarian movement, and to Shirley Livingstone, the sister of Tosh’s Wailer counterpart Bunny Wailer, Tosh was introduced to music at a very young age.

From his early days with Peter, it didn’t take long for Tosh, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, to follow in his father’s footsteps and since then, hasn’t looked back.

Within four years, in 1985, Tosh had recorded his first studio track. However, it wouldn’t be until his father’s untimely death—when, during a botched robbery-attempt, Tosh was fatally shot by a former prisoner he had been helping to reform, in 1987—when Tosh, who for all intents and purposes bears the same physical characteristics of his father, sang two of his father’s most powerful anthems, Jah Guide and Equal Rights to thousands of mourners at Tosh’s funeral in the National Arena of Kingston.

From that point, Tosh has enjoyed a prolific career in the music industry, boasting a resume that includes five studio albums, tours across Europe, and North and South America, and a pair of Grammy nominations for  ‘Best Reggae Album’—including a nod for his 2010 offering, 'Legacy: An Acoustic Tribute to Peter Tosh.'

Although Tosh insisted that he is pleased by his Grammy nominations, the father of “six beautiful children, with one the way,” is quick to offer reassurance that he isn’t making music for awards or recognition.

Aside from carrying on his father’s memory by preaching his father’s message of respect and equality, Tosh is also planning on commemorating his father’s life by both opening a museum in his father’s honour and writing a book based on his father’s life.

Recently, Andrew Tosh sat down for an exclusive interview with Ed Kapp.

Andrew Tosh

How are you today, Mr. Tosh?

Life is good, man—I can’t complain. Yeah, man—no problem.

How were you introduced to music?

I started playin’ music since I was like, 13—playin’ piano in school and learnin’ to compose my own songs.

What’s your earliest memory of making music?

My earliest memory of making music? Since I was like 17 I did my first song, it’s a song that Charlie Chaplin produced. Charlie Chaplin is a Jamaican DJ and he produced that song in 1985, two years before my father was dead.

How important is music to your life?

Music is very important to me, music is my heart and my heart is music, so you know, you can’t live without your heart [laughs].

What is the message behind your music?

The message behind my music? The message behind my music is equality. I want to see mankind livin’ in equality, everyone livin’ as one, learnin’ to love an’ respect each other.

Besides your father, what artists influenced you the most?

As an artist, Bunny Wailer.

Why is that? 

Bunny Wailer was always my mentor. As a Wailer, he guide an’ protect me in terms of showing me the right path to take as a youngster growing up.

How important is your relationship with Mr. Wailer?

My relationship with Mr. Wailer is very important, we honour and respect each other.

Do you speak with him often?

Very much so, seem like every few days [laughs].

Are there any artists making music today that you particularly admire?

Yes, definitely, there’s a new artist by the name of I-Octane that I do admire.

Andrew Tosh - LegacyYou’ve been nominated for a number of Grammy Awards, what do these nominations mean to you?

It means a lot. To be nominated is a victory in its self. I see myself as a winner being a nominee.

Will you be attending the awards ceremony in the United States?

No, I’m not going to be at the awards, but I’m definitely going to be listening for the results.

Have you thought about how much longer you’d like to be involved in the music industry?

Well, probably the next decade, if that much.

Are you a religious man?

Yeah, I’m a very religious man, I’m a Rastafarian. Ras Tafari teach guidance and protect us from a lot of t’ings. Ras Tafari keep us on the right path. I haven’t been to church in a while, but I do keep the faith, I don’t need the church to hold on to the faith of Ras Tafari.

I understand that you plan on both opening a museum commemorating the life of your father and also writing a book about the late Mr. Tosh. Would you please tell me something about that?

Yes, the museum will be officially ready this year. We’re celebrating my father’s birthday this year. I’ve been writin’ this book for a few years now, so hopefully we’ll be done with that early next year.

Where will the museum be located?

In Westmoreland.

How would you describe your relationship with your father?

The relationship with my father was awesome.

Andrew Tosh

What would you say is your fondest memory with your father?

Fondest memory? When we used to go to the river and he used to take me to school and we used to go to places, like the recording studio and etcetera, etcetera.

Do you have any children?

Yeah, man. I got six beautiful kids and one on the way.

Do you live in Jamaica all year?

I live in Jamaica permanently, yes.

Outside of music, what are you interested in?

Like I said before, music is my heart and my heart is music, you know? So there aren’t a lot of things outside of music that I’m really interested in, except my beautiful kids.

Is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans while you have this opportunity?

Yeah, I'd like to say to my brothers and sisters out there to stay focused and give praise onto the almighty God, because he is the creator for one an' all.

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Read comments (9)

Posted by Egidio Videira on 04.15.2011
Hi United Reggae,
I am so glad to hear that Peter Tosh had a son. God bless you Andrew I am a biggest fan of your late father.
What i want is to listen to your music


Posted by faisal on 04.22.2011
Hello my brother Andrew, it feels so good to read this interview. I just want you to know that I love you just as I love every single thing about your late father. He is the greatest inspiration in my life and no single day will pass without listening to his wonderful message of love, hope, freedom and justice. I would like to use this medium to plead with you to come visit my country Ghana because the image of your talented father dwells in you now. Love him (Peter) always and may his soul rest in everlasting peace.

Posted by Lawal on 08.12.2011
Mi sa huge fan of your father "the great Peter Tosh". I love his lyrics,his highly spirited rythym and conciously packaged reggea music "blackman music".
I was told he came to my country Nigeria in the 70s when I was a kid to see his friend T-mac. I will like you to always keep the fire burning unadultrated.
May his soul rest in peace.....

Posted by mekis chukwuemeka on 05.28.2012
Glad to read about you. More delighted to know that you are doing well musically. Your late father Peter Tosh was d greatest and most trusted reggae artiste that ever lived. His philosophy and prophecy for blackman freedom was unparalled. Please do all u can to spread ur music to Nigeria and Africa. We will follow u the same way we followed ur dad Peter Hubert Mcintosh. Long live him the Rastafarian Malcolm X.

Posted by monantsi on 10.25.2012
What can I say about Peter "Maki" Tosh, I loved him and his inspiration. He died when I was 3 years old, am stil fillin pain, but he will be strongly remembered.

Posted by Paul Taylor Aka God Paul on 02.26.2013
Andrew Tosh, you are a blessed son of the great composer and pioneer of reggae music and i know it is Jah almigty works that you are carrying on your father legacy, therefore don't never let anything or anyone stop that movement. I love your music and your Father was one my most influential musician of all time. I learn and sing a few of your father songs and with all due respect i am thinking about doing cover version of your father songs. But before doing so I would like to get your blessing and also anyone else who owns the right to your father music. I love your father music it is so powerful. My contact phone # 860-777- 8648 (I am a Jamaican base in Hartford Connecticut). Link up soon. Blessing.

Posted by Innocent Ranks on 05.24.2013
To mi bredda Andrew Tosh, I am so blessed to read this interview, your father was a great rastaman and He is still great because "rasta never die" I'm so happy to see and hear his son live up to expectation-still carrying d msg along. Jah guide u. Pray u visit my country Nigeria.

Posted by mazunzo on 11.20.2013
Hai breda Andrew, your father was and is a great inspiration who never spoke to please no one but came with earthquake lightning and thunder to break down barriers of oppression and when you doing such things it had to be recognised in this shistem.

Posted by Joseph Mumba on 01.09.2016
Hai Mr Tosh Jnr,Ur father has made my life he died when l was Two years old but up 2 now he has being inspiring Me.when is the Book going to Be available and where to get it especially as in Africa? Lessons in my life it sounds as it was done yeasterday. I ve alot of question over Ur Father the Bush Doctor, Jah love.'' l know who l ve come to Be and lve to be Me'' cause people alway talk.

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