Jamaican Music Music Interviews

11 Questions for 2011 with Pablo Moses

Pablo Moses was born Pableto Henry in the rural parish of Manchester, Jamaica.  He is true to his Rastafari roots and has never wavered from his call for justice and social balance. His recording and performing career spans more than 30 years and he has toured around the world.  From his early beginnings with a vocal group called the Canaries, Pablo soon went solo and followed his own path, which included a two-year stint studying at the Jamaica School of Music. He then produced a popular TV show before returning to the recording studio in 1980 with producer Geoffrey Chung.  Hailed as a poet with powerful lyrics that are politically and culturally connected, Pablo Moses is a legend in the creation of Roots Rasta Reggae.  He is currently performing on numerous summer festivals, including California’s Reggae on the River and Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.  His latest CD is entitled The Rebirth

1. When and where did you get started in the actual music business?  1st show/recording?
My first show was done at the Turn Table Club on Red Hills Road In St Andrew, with Cedric brooks and the Devine Light band. My first recording was done in 1975. “I Man a Grasshopper,” then the album Revolutionary Dream.

2. Who were your early influences?
A lot of different Artistes. Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Stylistics, Billy Joel, and many others in America. In Jamaica it’s Toots and the Maytals, Prince Buster, Desmond Decker and the Aces, Derrick Morgan, The Wailers, and many others. In other places in the world such as England it’s people like John Lennon.

3. What is your current project?  Or what do you have planned?
I am now doing as much tours as possible to promote the release of the new CD The Rebirth and some re-     releases such as “A Song” and the “Revolutionary Dream,” while preparing new songs for the intended recording of my new album for the coming year, 2012  

4. Where is your largest fan base located, and why?
I think my largest fan base is in France and French colonies, West Coast of North America, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina. I think why they are my fans is because they love the honesty in my recordings and my performances on stage.

5. What has been your most memorable career moment and why?
I think one of my most memorable in my career is when I got the chance to record my first song at the Black Ark studio with Lee Perry as the engineer, and some of the top studio and band musicians could be found in Jamaica at that time.  Musicians like Robert Lyn on Piano, Geoffrey Chung on Synthesizers, Mikey Chung on Rhythm Guitar, Mikey Richards on Drums, and Michael Murray. It was the best feeling of my life. I got the chance to be heard by the world.

6. What has been your biggest challenge professionally?
Getting my music played in my homeland Jamaica, and getting exposure on major radio stations internationally.

7. If you could collaborate with any artist, of any genre, who would it be and why?
Mutabaruka. I love what he stands for lyrically and culturally. Groundation, because they have contributed greatly to the continuation of the Roots Reggae music. Queen Afrika because she is a very strong and cultural black woman.

8. If you only had time left to perform one last song, what would it be and why?
That’s a difficult one to answer. I never think of having a last song to perform. Never.

9. If you could change one thing in the Reggae music business, what would it be and why?
I would give equal airplay to all of Jamaica’s ethnic music, and do away with the payola system.

10. Here’s your chance to thank someone who has been instrumental in your career, who would that be and why?
Denis Tomlinson. Why? When I was down and out, having no finances and not so confident, I could produce my songs on my own. He pushed me on and advanced me financial assistance so I could.

11. Tell us one thing about yourself that your fans do not know.
That I am a shy person. The only time I like a crowd is when I am on stage.

Pablo’s website is http://pablomosesmusic.com/
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 Peggy Quattro