Jamaican Music Music Interviews

Conversation with Jamaican music veteran, singer EVER-G

Written by Staff Writer

Everett G. Streete, professionally known as EVER-G, is a talented Reggae artist who hails from Hanover, Jamaica and currently resides in Hampton, Virginia. EVER-G writes and sings positive, conscious and uplifting songs with messages of peace, love and unity. Whether EVER-G is headlining his own shows, is the opening act for such greats as:  Steel Pulse, Third World, Shabba Ranks, Yellow Man, Sanchez, Ky-Mani Marley and Gregory Isaacs, or recording his CDs, he takes you back to a time of great reggae rhythms and electrifies his audiences. EVER-G’s fan base is international with Music lovers of all genres.

EVER-G’s talents as Writer, Producer, Arranger, Lead Vocalist, Musician, and Performer shine through on all tracks of his 6 successful CDs: WORLD PEACE – 1999, INDEPENDENCE – 2003, MISSION – 2005, CHRISTMAS MOOD (Seasonal) – 2007, JAH LOVE – 2010 & LOVER’S ROCK – 2013.

Where in Jamaica are you from?
Cash-Hill, Hanover, Jamaica

Tell us about your background and how did you get started in music?
I was born & raised in deeply rural Jamaica, the youngest child in my family. Materially we were a poor family, but we made up for that with an abundance of love.  My love of life and passion to succeed was evident, since the tender age of 4, where I took every opportunity I could to sing in my neighborhood churches or schools. My passion and thirst for growth and knowledge became a reality, at age 12, when I received a full scholarship to Rusea’s High School.  My passion for learning continued there as did my lust for music. By age 15, I was playing the guitar and by 16 I was lead vocalist in the school’s band. I continued my string of successes with my acceptance to college, where I graduated from the Jamaica School of Agriculture (JSA) with a Diploma In Agriculture & Teacher’s Certificate and the additional titles of lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist of my college band.

I was very fortunate to complete my first recording at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. This was done with a group of musicians that I grew up with, while we were all studying at tertiary institutions in the corporate area. I migrated to the USA in 1984, after going through a traumatic experience.  Shortly after landing in the U.S., I integrated myself into a new life on the East Coast. I continued to feed my music passion and built a name for myself, as a rhythm guitarist and vocalist, by playing with a number of local bands.  I joined forces with some musicians in the DC area; we established our own group of which I was the Lead Vocalist and Rhythm Guitarist.  We performed regularly and for a while it was good.  All of the material we performed were cover songs.   After a New Year’s Eve event in Rockville, MD, I got so sick & tired of regurgitating other artists’ songs that I had to make a personal decision.  I told the group that I will honor all our contracted gigs we have on the books, but I will not be available for anything new.  I took sometime off to do some soul searching – I had to decide on a direction for me.  I have so much to say that needed to be said, so I started writing.   My discography serves as evidence of all the songs I have written, recorded & produced.

You have been in the music business for over 30 years now. What is the biggest changes you have seen?
Many changes have taken place in the business over the years, unfortunately, a lot of these changes are not positive.   One that I have observed and is troubling to me is the lack of pride, drive & desire to make the best quality music you can both rhythmically & lyrically.  A quality product takes time, hard work, dedication & commitment; I am not seeing a great deal of that these days.  All the greats that we talk about everyday were committed to making music of the highest standard.  The level of commitment & professionalism we need to record and produce high quality music is sadly missing, as the focus is now on Money, Stardom & Instant Gratification.  Reggae is suffering on the world stage because of this and we have to do something quickly to reverse this trend.

Reggae has evolved over that time and based on the media the top charts are dominated by non-Jamaican reggae artists. What are your thoughts on this?  This is a frightening & sobering thought, but increasingly true.  As an older Jamaican and one who grew up with the very best Jamaica have produced musically, it is a difficult “pill” to swallow.  I think about Bob, Peter, Dennis, Bunny, Third World, Jacob, Heptones, Marcia, Rita, Judy – I could go on & on & on.  We are losing / have lost our place on the International Stage and this is not good for our genre.

Does it reflect on the quality of music produced by Jamaican reggae artist?
The Roots of Reggae is Jamaica – this is an undeniable fact!!!  I am a “Yardie” to the bone – a very proud one too…..Can I honestly say, the best Reggae music is still coming out of Jamaica?  I am not sure anymore.  Yes, it does reflect on the quality of music produced by the artists.

Tell us about your newly released Lovers Rock album and your song “Bonafide Lover”?  
LOVERS ROCK is a collection of love songs from my previously released albums.  The CD has 11 tracks – 10 listed and one hidden track.
 

Did you write the song?
Yes, I wrote the song “Bonafide Lover”. It is one of the original tracks on my JAH LOVE album.

What was your inspiration to write the song?
I was inspired to write this song because of someone special.  This person’s loyalty, commitment & unwavering support have had a profound impact on my life personally & professionally.

What is the best compliment your newly released Lovers Rock album?
A lady told me this: “After listening to the track “Miss Beautiful”, I realized how much you loved your mother and the positive impact she has had on your life.  Your words have motivated me to be a better mother to my children especially my young son”.

How would you describe your sound?
Tough question: My music is a blend of positively uplifting, spiritual & conscious lyrics set upon solid rhythmic melodies.  It is meant to inspire, educate as well as entertain – my desire is to bring people together, to see beyond our differences and just try to find the humanity in each other.

Can you tell us a few of the songs by Jamaican artists that you have penned? 
Unfortunately, I haven’t had any of my songs performed by a Jamaican artist. I would love this to happen and hope it will in the near future.

What music projects are you working on right now?  
I am currently working on my new album which I am hoping to have released later this year or early next year.  The songs are already written and copyrighted – I am listening to & working on some melodies as well as background harmonies.

Any new tours coming up?
 I don’t have any tours on the books right now, but I will be performing In Knoxville later this month, I have performances in Hampton & Herndon, VA as well as Raleigh, NC in May & June.  I will be performing with DRUMS in Hanover, Jamaica this summer & I will be headlining a Festival in Richmond, VA sometime in September. This is what I know as of now.

Which Bob Marley songs is your favorite? 
Who The Cap Fit.

Growing up my hero was…
My Dad – Eric Streete.  My father was a selfless, caring, honest, hardworking, loving man who did everything he could to support & be there for his family. He taught me many things, but I will always remember this statement he made to me as a youngster.  He said “how can you expect anyone to respect you, if you don’t respect yourself”? He was small in stature, but a giant to me. If you wanted me to name someone outside like a public figure, that would have to be Paul Bogle.

A movie I never get tired of watching is…
”Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin”.

Do you any closing thoughts?
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with you & your readers.  Reggae has always been a part of my life and by the grace of God, it will always be.  I hope we can find the courage (artists, producers, musicians – everyone in the business of Reggae music)  to do what needs to be done.  We need to once again educate & uplift with our music.  Present music of the highest quality to the world on an international stage. Write lyrics that anyone can listen to:  young or old, black or white, male or female, wealthy or poor. My tagline for all my performances goes like this: My Message was, My Message is & My Message will always be: Peace, Love & Unity!!!!

For additional information on EVER-G, please visit his websites:

http://www.evergmuzik.com/
http://twitter.com/EVERGMuzik
http://www.myspace.com/evergm1
http://www.facebook.com/pages/EVER-G/126028984102569
http://www.reverbnation.com/everg
http://www.youtube.com/user/EVERGMuzik
http://www.jango.com/music/EVER+G
http://store.bentmusic.ca/ever-g

About the author

Staff Writer