Jamaican Music Music Interviews

11 Questions for 2011 With Benjy Myaz

Benjy Myaz, an accomplished musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer, hails from Hanover, Jamaica.  Benjy plays several instruments, but claims the bass is his first love.  As a member of the famed Rhythm Kings Band, Benjy performed and toured the world with such stars as Jimmy Cliff and JC Lodge.  His many musical collaborations include Garnet Silk, Pam Hall, and Freddie McGregor.  His MyWerks Music company is currently enjoying the success of “Hooked On You,” a Lovers Rock single in the Aswad/Maxi Priest/Dennis Brown vein that reached #1 on the UK reggae charts.  Benjy Myaz supports music training at an early age and lives by his vision – “I chase creativity, not the competition.”   

1.    When and where did you get started in the actual music business?  1st show/recording?
•    My entry into the music business started when I performed as a bassist in my first band, “The Now Band,” playing @ Kaisers Café in Negril in 1984.
•    1st Show, performing as a vocalist, which launched my solo career, was in 1988 @ The Great River Show Grounds (Hanover, Jamaica)
•    1st Recording: “Love You Higher”

2.    Who were your early influences?
•    Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, George Benson, Stanley Clarke, and Quincy Jones to name a few.

3.    What is your current project?  Or what do you have planned?
•    Current projects:  
a)    The promotion of CD album, Long Story Short (originally released 2005) to include my latest video single “Hooked On You.”
b)    Re-launch of an instrumental CD album, “You’ve Got Me” (originally released 2009.)  http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=159293930775776

4.    Where is your largest fan base located, and why?
a)    Jamaica.  
b)    I spend most of my time in Jamaica, where I receive reasonable airplay of my music, and my presence there also allows for on-line, radio & TV interviews, and features in newspapers and/or magazines.

5.    What has been your most memorable career moment and why?
a)    An appearance with Randy Crawford at the annual Prime Minister’s Independence Gala (Concert) in 2000.
b)    An opportunity to perform the hit single, “Love You Higher” (originally recorded by Randy Crawford) with her – as a duet.

6.    What has been your biggest challenge professionally?
•    The marketing and promotion of my music.  Although well received by fans, when heard, it has been a challenging task; therefore, supports my opinion that the music being promoted does not reflect the entire range of the music being recorded.

7.    If you could collaborate with any artist, of any genre, who would it be and why?
a)    Quincy Jones
b)    He represents the “muse” in music.

8.    If you only had time left to perform one last song, what would it be and why?
a)    “Thank You Lord”
b)    It symbolizes recognition, appreciation, and a will to humbly commit to the Supreme Being.

9.    If you could change one thing in the reggae music business, what would it be and why?
a)    The way it’s commercially promoted
b)    We need to preserve its organics

10.    Here’s your chance to thank someone who has been instrumental in your career, who would that be and why?
a)    Herbert Morrison Technical High School’s Music Department
b)    They nurtured what was already harnessed at church and being worked on at home

11.    Tell us one thing about yourself that your fans do not know.
•    I have two daughters, and raised my oldest as a single parent.

About the Author:
M. Peggy Quattro, Reggae Report founder and publisher, celebrates 30 years in the Reggae business in 2011.  As head of RRI Media Corp., she manages  ReggaeReport.com Reggae Report on Facebook, performs freelance writing, editing and PR, public speaker from a personal reggae perspective on Reggae history, and is a Certified Social Media Strategist and consultant.  -  Reggae Report/Facebook    ReggaeReport.com  Blog- www.mpeggyq.com ReggaeReport Twitter    [email protected]

About the author

M. PeggyQuattro