Reggae empress Griffiths stars in Spring Fling
It’s probably a blessing for her fans that Marcia Griffiths never realised her dream of becoming “a nurse, doctor or a teacher”.
As the undisputed “reggae empress”, she has perhaps made an even bigger impression.
The Jamaican singer has enjoyed success as a solo artist, duo and a band member throughout a phenomenal career that began in 1964 with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.
By far, her biggest hit is Electric Boogie. Her 1983 remix of Bunny Wailer’s song led to the line dance craze, the Electric Slide.
Griffiths celebrated 50 years of music four years ago by creating a song, I Shall Sing.
“This was an unbelievable experience. I never thought that I would reach that landmark and I did,” she said.
“I dreamt of being a nurse, doctor or teacher but knowing that my voice and singing is making such an impact on the world I feel like I can continue on.”
Before launching her solo career, Griffiths was a member of the I Threes, a trio that supported Bob Marley and the Wailers.
“Words cannot explain my experience being a part of the I Threes and singing with legendary Bob Marley,” she said. “I am glad that I was able to make the journey with him because he was a person that sang for the greatness of it and not just for the money.
“Just knowing him was a great experience as well and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to work with him.”
Like many aspiring artists of her era, Griffiths honed her skills at Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One where she recorded her first hit, Feel Like Jumping.
“This was one of the many great experiences I have had,” she said. “Studio One is where they all started, Studio One is like Jamaica’s very own Motown.
“Working at Studio One was like going through kindergarten and graduating college. That is where our music career began.”
On Saturday, Griffiths will be in Bermuda, sharing the stage with former Studio One stablemate Freddie McGregor. Organised by Bermuda Salute, Spring Fling takes place at the National Sports Centre as part of Mother’s Day celebrations.
“Performing with Freddie McGregor is one of the greatest feelings,” Griffiths said. “I have done collaborations with him in the past and when we share the stage together we tend to perform a few of the songs that we have together.
“Of course, it is extra special to be performing on Mother’s Day weekend.
“When it comes to Mother’s Day I feel like every day is Mother’s Day. But to know that they have a special day where we can just acknowledge all that the mothers do is a great feeling.
“I try to deliver my best and extend a range of my music when it comes to a concert such as this.
“I would like to thank God for giving me a chance to deliver my music. But I would also like to thank my fans as they help me as well.”
Tickets for the 8pm show are $65 on ptix.bm