Gramps Lives On

30 August 2012 | 2:12 pm | Troy Mutton

Reggae royalty Gramps Morgan is currently on a world tour to showcase his second solo album Reggae Music Lives. Troy Mutton finds out about Gramps' love for his family and his passion for meaningful music.

Congrats on your latest album Reggae Music Lives, how does working on your own material as Gramps Morgan compare to working with your family in the Morgan Heritage Band? It doesn't compare. Working on my own forces me to grow stronger because there is no help from my family. And the chemistry with the family is nothing to even compare; it's magic.

Coming from such a big family, which seems to be a really important part of your life, do you feel family is also a big part of reggae music in general? I've seen at my concerts so many families come to my shows and my music is to inspire families to work and stay together no matter what problems in life and to show them the family is everything… this is one of the missions of my music.

You're also doing some work with your son as well. Can you tell us a bit about that? My son's name is Jemere Morgan and he's going to be a great treat for young reggae fans from 3 to 21. They can have a reggae artist for themselves and Jemere is growing everyday. He's 17, been on three tours including this summer in Europe with Morgan Heritage and watches me and his uncles which is great experience for him. Look him up!

You spent your life growing up in many different parts of the world. How has that impacted your sound as a musician? I've grown up in Springfield, Massachusetts; Brooklyn, New York and Jamaica. These places have been a great influence on my music genres from reggae (of course), gospel, R&B, dancehall and rock, which makes a great flavour for my reggae music.

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Reggae music seems to have a constant theme of reaching people in ways that other music genres don't, something you also take a lot of pride in with Gramps and Morgan Heritage. Why do you think that is? I think it is because reggae stands for love. News that you don't hear everyday in other types of music and the heartbeat of the music; you cannot resist the pure energy of this music.

Give us some idea of how the Gramps live experience works? I play reggae music, of course, so it will be a night of uplifting your heart, your soul and your spirit.

And after the tour what's coming up for you? Next is to release my son's EP, promote the new Morgan Heritage EP called The Return, complete my sister Una's solo album and my brother Peetah's, and finish the new Morgan Heritage album for 2013 as well as some more Polynisian artists, like what I've done for J-Boogs, and currently working on Sons of Manasseh as well.

WHO: Gramps Morgan

WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 2 September, Reggae Rising, The Bakery