‘I have a ministry with the music’ reggae singer Luciano

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  • Photo courtesy BermudaNightOut.com
Jamaican reggae artist Luciano performs Saturday night at the Bermuda Athletic Association field.

    Photo courtesy BermudaNightOut.com Jamaican reggae artist Luciano performs Saturday night at the Bermuda Athletic Association field.

Internationally renowned roots reggae singer Luciano is a messenger whose mission is to spread love, peace and hope through the conscious lyrics in his songs.

And his advice to today’s youth is to avoid being led down a path to destruction by what he termed as “disgusting and demoralising” reggae music and film that is a threat to the fabric of humanity.

“I find the reggae, like other aspects of life itself, is going through a lot of changes and phases,” the Jamaican singer told The Royal Gazette. “I can remember watching the movies of yesterday where you could sit and watch with your children because there was no swearing and that’s what I love about the old school movies.

“But these movies nowadays have a lot of swear words and it’s disgusting and demoralising.

“If I can stop all children from watching these kinds of movies I would do it.

“It’s not right because it’s breaking down the moral standard of our community and family and the very fabric of humanity is at threat right now and it’s the same with the music.

“When you listen to Dennis Brown and Bob Marley you don’t hear these great pioneers cursing and demoralising women.

“These youth nowadays would sing any garbage. They don’t wear their words and that’s not right.

“But I still have hope in the reggae music and I keep pushing my music and I know there are great people out there like Mikey General, Tarus Riley, Capleton, Morgan Heritage and Ritchie Spice.

“There are many great youths so there’s hope and never give up hope, my brother. What you see happening here is like a little freak storm that will soon pass away.”

Luciano, 48, is driven to fulfil what he claims is a God-given talent to inspire and help the poor and “unify humanity”.

“The decree of the king (Emperor Haile Selassie) is for I and I to sing and glorify the almighty and help the poor and needy,” the Rastafarian said. “I have a ministry with the music and that’s what we are about.

“I love what I’m doing and have really grown into this position that I have and I give thanks because when I was younger I never knew which direction to take.

“I knew I had a talent and I loved singing that was a hobby for me. But then I realised the people out there need inspiration and with the talent that God has given me I utilise it to the honour and glory of the almighty and unification of humanity.

“I identified my purpose and once you identify your purpose then you have to try and fulfil that.

“That’s my driving force really: acknowledge my purpose and then continue to trod that road and be a light and inspiration for the generations.”

Born October 1964 in Manchester, Jamaica, Luciano, whose real name is Jepther McClymont, began recording in 1992.

After teaming up with legendary reggae singer Freddie McGregor, Luciano began creating cultural, conscious reggae that mirrored his strong religious belief and social concerns.

He scored a number one UK reggae hit with the song ‘Shake It Up Tonight’ in 1993 and has never looked back since on a career that has reaped overwhelming success and continues to flourish.

The second generation roots reggae artist has a deep passion for his craft and an appreciation for the pioneers such as Dennis Brown and Bob Marley who helped thrust reggae music into the mainstream.

“There’s no doubt without hesitation I have to give props to the great honourable Dennis Emmanuel Brown and Bob Marley the great founder, Mr Freddy McGregor, Leroy Smart, Leroy Sibbles, The Heptones and Skatalites,” he said. “I think we have such a rich heritage that we can really be boastful about.”

Luciano also gives “props” to the iconic tracks laid down by late music producer Clement (Sir Coxsone) Dodd whose legendary record label Studio One is the reggae equivalent of R&B’s Motown.

“I grew up with the music of Studio One,” Luciano fondly recalls. “To me that’s the way we have to go ... we have to find that foundation in the music because we have drifted so far from that into this computer age.

“I’ve done songs on a couple of the Studio One rhythms on most of my dubplates.”

Luciano is no stranger to Bermuda’s shores having performed here on several occasions, the most recent being at Saturday’s concert paying tribute to the late Marley at Bermuda Athletic Association with long time friend and fellow reggae artist Mikey General.

“Mikey and I have been travelling for years,” he said. “Sometimes he becomes a little unruly but I ask Jah to bless us that we keep together on this trod.”

As for Bermuda, Luciano said: “I love this place and the atmosphere is very good for my health. I love the fresh air in my lungs and the feelings of the people. They love music here, there’s no doubt they love good music.”

The reggae star is currently working on his next album titled ‘Deliverance’ to be released on the Mad Professor label.

“I have a couple of tracks laid already and this one (album) is a big hit,” he said. “I sing on some of the foundation rhythms and pay homage and respect to some of the great pioneers that have paved the way for I and I.

“I’ll never be ungrateful to my pioneers or ancestors. These youngsters (today) tend to forget and have bad memories. I think they eat out of too many aluminium pots.”

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Published Feb 4, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm)

‘I have a ministry with the music’ reggae singer Luciano

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