Ras Linga riding the wave of independent glory  Image

by Biko Kennedy

Very few artists are offered major label recording deals these days and even fewer turn them down to pursue an independent route to success. But Ras Linga decided to pursue the latter and shares with us in this in-depth interview his steady growth as an artist.

JAmusic: Music lovers globally will always be looking for that new, impeccable sound that can be looked upon as leaders of the new wave of vocalists. How would you define a musical genius that can eventually become a vocal leader?
RL: A person who express truth and courage inna time of need. Who take action by utilizing connection to make good music.

JAmusic: Some of the most genius artistes have thrived when taking chances and innovating. How important/present is that on the Reggae soundscape today; from what you've seen and that might have help in composing your singles?RL: Too many bands today all sound the same to me. Most of dem claim to be reggae but when you you attend at dem shows, none of dem play no one reggae tune. Seen

JAmusic: How do you think a single such as Rasta Son will impact your growing fan base as well as attract new listeners?
RL: When babylon constantly get away with wicked intention and it still continue til this day is what inspired "Rasta Son".  I wrote this song about all the gun violence going on in Chicago this summer and dropped my single few months before the Michael Brown shooting. Rasta only speak truth for Jah people not no fan base and I feel it is enough to keep real listeners because most of dem are already burned out of di same ole music on the radio.

JAmusic: You have an album in the works, could you talk a bit on that?
RL: I have a seven piece band from Arizona. We just finished recording an EP and hopefully working forward to a full LP album "Roots Of Art" releasing inna few months.

JAmusic: What's the biggest risk you've taken artistically; one that went over surprisingly well and one that might've gone over people's heads?
RL: Five years ago, I was offered a major label producer contract.  Turned it down and took the independent route instead.  I’m very fortunate to take the longer road.

JAmusic: Who's the artiste that keeps you on your toes? Pushes you to go harder?
RL: These are my musical influences  Rockers (1978 film), Jacob Miller, Half Pint, Ini Kamoze, Horace Andy, Augustus Pablo, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff, Meta & The Cornerstone, Antony B, Yellowman, Junior Reid, Sizzla, Alberosie, Niyorah, Delly Ranks, Marlon Asher, Johnny Osbourne, J Boog,  Jah Mason, African Brothers, The Gladiators, Midnite, Wailing Souls, John Holt, Elijah Prophet, Richie Spice, Don Carlos, Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Bob Marley and many more. The feedback I receive from the crowd and some individuals who pull me aside after shows are the people who push me to go harder.

JAmusic: When you got into the music business where did you think you'd be today or where did you see yourself fitting in at the moment?
RL: After meeting and opening for many great artists the last two years, I still feel like I don't fit in anywhere except for the pacific island reggae scene in Arizona.  Locals have nothing but love over there  when it comes to roots island reggae.  I just feel my music is very rare and maybe it's the reason why promoters love booking us.

JAmusic: What's the purpose on your musical journey? What's the message you're trying to give?
RL: The best feeling is when realize your purpose in this life. I believe I'm blessed with a gift for a reason and have to use my talent wisely to let Jah speak through my music.

JAmusic: What's one song that you hold close to you because of a particular line or better yet what's the most philosophical quote you've heard in a song that you hold close to your heart?
RL: "For we have been a victim of, Mind control and pharmaceutical drugs," No Guts No Glory - Niyorah

JAmusic: We live in an era where the average person's attention span is limited to what they want to see or hear. What are you doing differently that will hold their attention?
RL: I normally like to do my thing and take my own path. I don't spend too much time with the scene and I only perform once or twice a month. I've noticed more people are attending to my shows because they don't see me that often. I plan on eventually performing everyday when I hit the road hopefully after I release "Roots Of Art".

JAmusic: With success comes a lot of negative feedback, how do you react or deal with negativity?
RL: It's a balance of life like the ying-yang. Sun-moon, up -down, left-right. It can not exist without each other. I only project positivity for those who carry negativity. 

JAmusic: What kind of future plans have you set for yourself as an artiste (to accomplish and maintain)?
RL: I think it is time for me to hit the road, we are planning a US Midwest and west coast tour this fall. I've been already asked twice to perform in France this year and I look forward on traveling/performing internationally.

JAmusic: What insight can you give on the power of music and its ability to communicate certain messages verbally and non-verbally? And what do you think your music represent?
RL: Music is very powerfully. It has the ability to uplift many spirit with low energy and increase high frequency which can be measured in hertz.  Sound creates vibration and vibration can activate your kundalini seven chakras. I feel my music represent truth, courage and soul. At the same time, I just have to listen to mi heart and let Jah work speak through eye.

Image A music aficionado redefining possibilities while pushing the limits of success...
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