MIDNIGHT RAVER’S Peter van Arnhem sits down for an exclusive interview with Luciano after his December 18, 2013 show at The Golden Lion, Netherlands.
MR: You’re touring in Europe right now. Been to Swiss, Italy, Germany, Belgium. How are the vibes?
LU: “Well I must tell you the vibes had been great , the people turning out, the fans reception. The entire tour was great man. It’s been quite a little while before I’ve been to Europe and Cocoa Tea also, we form a team of two legendary artists. This European tour was like an advertising and promotional tour. It’s about two more shows and then it’s over.”
MR: On your new album The Qabalah Man you’re working with various artists. How did you team up with Bob Andy?
LU: “Well it was a producer who called the shot. His name is Senior from AL.TA.FA.AN records. He told me he had a combination he wanted to do with Mr. Bob Andy and it was a great honour for me because King Andy, I think is one the greatest writers of all times. He wrote this song ‘Create Our History,’ a very nice song. The melody and everything was so great. It was a great honour to work with a legend. I never got to meet Bob Marley so meeting Bob Andy was a very great privilige for me.”
MR: Another legend is U Roy. He is also on the album.
LU: “Yes, definitely. I’ve just done a big concert in New York with Mr. U Roy, Charlie Chaplin, General Trees, and Johnny Osbourne at the Reeewind Festival. With three big Sound Systems, Stur Gav, Jah Love and Addies and it was great man. It’s an honour to work with another pioneer like Mr. U Roy, King U Roy. He’s an original DJ, First one who brought toasting on the mic.”
MR: On The Qabalah Man you also do a tribute to Dennis Brown.
LU: “Oh God, it’s a great honour to have recall King Dennis Brown. He’s my mentor, my teacher. Some of my melodies is from his kind of style, his pattern of singing. It lift my heart. I have another project that I’m doing in honour for Dennis Brown and it’s coming up soon. An album with cover versions, I cover some of his songs and a couple of tracks that I produced. There are songs like ‘Visions’ and ‘Three Meals A Day.’ But I won’t give away too much, that’s for the new year.”
MR: We’re looking out for that one. Now you’ve worked with the Mad Professor also?
LU: “Yes, there’s an album he has produced and already completed. Nice, nice album. We should have been on tour with Mad Professor , I think last year the tour was advertised but he pulled out on us. We were planning to go on the tour and call the tour of the album. So he just pull out on us in the last minute and we just couldn’t understand. But anyhow he has a good album there.”
MR: You keep the Reggae alive. For the new generation, the youngsters, you are a link between the pioneers of reggae, the elders and the younger generation.
LU: “That’s true, I kinda help the younger artists to realize they can write their own songs. When I came up in the business there was Little John, I made harmony with Singers like Sanchez and so on. Honestly somehow I have always been writing songs. Because there is so much going on out there in the World that we can write about other than just singing over people’s songs. It’s an honour to do like renditions to another man’s song but you have your own inspiration so why close it down. Let the younger artist realize that they can write their own songs. It’s also good for your publicity and your royalties ‘çause there is more to get. If you sing over other peoples songs there is not much you can get but publicity and some shows. When you write songs and put them out there, that’s for you. It’s your pension for your generation, your children and children children you know.”
MR: After all these years, the first country that legalized Marijuana is Uruguay.
LU: “That’s great! Well, I’ll tell you in all truth, what really hurts is that some small countries like Jamaica one of the greatest herbs-countries in the World, they still fighting us. They still fighting herbs down there and fighting Rastafari. Rastafari in Jamaica is a power, we should be getting some respect around ya. I think there’s a double stand on it in the world and a hypocrisy that sick my stomach. Because they know that the herb is good for the healing of the nation and they keep fighting it in Jamaica, it’s a sin. I think the government has a lot to do wit it. Our government is a no-go government. Them blind fool, that is like them have cataract. The head of the government down in Jamaica have cataract (laughs).”
MR: What are your feelings about the passing of Mr. Mandela?
LU: “He is a great freedom fighter. What he has proven and showing to us is that him never give up. In his time he always hold his integrity and his pride. I think he is a perfect example for us. I believe he continues to live on because the same freedom spirit is with us. We never give up, aluta continua.”
MR: Do you have a message for the Midnight Raver family?
LU: “Yeah, I just want to say to the Midnight Raver family, no matter what time it is, midday or midnight, the music got to be right. So let’s keep it locked and stay tight. Messenjah.”
Many thanks to Fiwi Reggae Netherlands, Nigel, Remy, Fali
Photos : Ramesh