Jamaica’s very own Gramps Morgan uses his music to empower and motivate. With his Roots/Alternative music, Gramps is taking the music charts by storm. His voice is spiritually moving and his words touch your heart. SayWhatNews had the opportunity to get to know the man behind the talent:
SayWhatNews: Good morning Gramps Morgan. Thanks for taking the time and speaking with SayWhatNews. First, tell us who is Gramps Morgan?
Gramps: Gramps Morgan is one of Denroy Morgan’s 17 sons, who loves family, people, music, and sharing these things through music. Thus, comes the name Dada Son.
SayWhatNews: Wow a huge family. Lets talk about your childhood a bit. What was it like growing up with more than 20 brothers sisters?
Gramps: It was like a 24-hour theme park. It was lots of fun, it was a blast! We never got bored. There was always something going on in the house.
SayWhatNews: Gramps you mentioned your father who is a legendary reggae artist, Denroy Morgan. How much of an influence was he musically?
Gramps: Major! He was the first influence that I saw as a child; there was no other singer or artist. After seeing him as an artist, we started reaching out to other artists to grow.”
SayWhatNews: Tell us what was the most memorable advice your dad gave you about the music business.
Gramps: The most memorable advice was to practice. To always research music, not only your own, but all music, and to learn about publishing.
SayWhatNews: Gramps, your dad had been recording since 1965 and had his own successful career. Why did he put his career on hold to manage the family group Morgan Heritage?
Gramps: Because he’s a hell of a father! He saw that his children had a talent and he started to make that investment.
SayWhatNews: He sounds like a great Father. So, at the young age of 9 you joined the family band. Is this when you discovered your talent in music?
Gramps: No, I was 2 or 3 years old when I was playing my father’s songs on the piano with one finger.
SayWhatNews: That’s amazing. Other then your dad, who were your musical influences growing up and why?
Gramps: James Ingram, Shabba Ranks, Admiral Bailey, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, Fred Hammond, and Steele Pulse…because that was the music I was listening and those were the voices that touched my heart with their melodies. Steele Pulse because of their unique sound, they were not the normal reggae sound.
SayWhatNews: After 3 decades of being part of the family band and touring all over the world, why have you decided to pursue a solo career?
Gramps: To pursue a solo career wasn’t just my decision alone, it was my father’s dream; that once the band was established, we, all members, would venture into doing solo projects.
SayWhatNews: Gramps you are currently working in the studio on your first solo album which is a double CD and have collaborations from some of the best in the business from Ziggy Marley, Buju Banton to India Arie, Musiq Soulchild and Kenny Rogers. Why the huge range of musical genres on this one album?
Gramps: Because being raised in America all of these musical genres had influenced Morgan Heritage as a band & me as a vocalist. I’m currently touring with India Arie living out the dream.
SayWhatNews: Tell India Arie, SayWhatNews says hey and we love her music. Is there any other artist that you wished you could work with on this project and why?
Gramps: Green Day - the reason being, their views on the world & their views on poverty, and their solutions of how world leaders can fix these problems are very similar to my own.
SayWhatNews: Gramps your first single “Wash the Tears” debuted at #8 on Italy’s Top 20 Singles Chart and went on to land in the #1 spot in Canada. Tell us about the moment when you learned the news and how did it feel.
Gramps: I was shocked because at this current time roots music is not at the forefront of Jamaican music, so to see the single debut so high on any chart was a great feeling.
SayWhatNews: Gramps you have been quoted as saying that you “want to heal people through music”. So what inspires you to write such meaningful songs?
Gramps: What inspires me is life itself. When I see what people go through, I would like to provide my music to heal people, just as many of our forefathers were healed with music in the past.”
SayWhatNews: Wow, that’s very deep and meaningful. Gramps there is more to you then just being an artist. Not only are you a very talented artist, you own your own record label Dada Son Entertainment. What are your plans for this full-fledged entertainment company?
Gramps: I plan to publish books, short films and documentaries, and sign very, very, talented artists whose music needs to be heard!
SayWhatNews: Gramps you recently performed on Good Morning America with India Arie. Tell us about that experience. How surreal was that moment?
Gramps: The moment was very real as I was working with a very real person, India Arie; whom has shown me nothing but love & appreciation for me & my family’s music. It was a pleasure and my spirit was filled while I was performing with her that morning.”
SayWhatNews: So, what’s next for Gramps Morgan?
Gramps: Touring and I’m finishing the other side-the other part of my album.”
SayWhatNews: Thanks again for taking the time and interviewing with SayWhatNews.
Gramps: Yes Rasta, ROCKAZ!
Gramps Morgan Website
Gramps Morgan Myspace