Bob Marley's 'roots rock reggae' courses through Alpha Blondy Image

by Biko Kennedy

A multilingual artiste, Alpha Blondy through his diverse released-songs has endured a long and chequered career; imparting spiritual, political and overall positive messages to varying audiences. As the years pass, he continues to be one of Africa's most famous Reggae musicians, having been a star on the international scene since the 1980's.

In a recent interview with Dylan Silver of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Blondy opened up about his recent album Mystic Power and his affinity with Bob Marley and Roots Rock Reggae.

Check out the excerpts below;

On the meaning behind Mystic Power:

"There is a song in the album called "Women." In that song, I'm saying have you ever seen a woman giving birth. If you have then you know that women are the highest power on earth: physical power, mystical power and divine power. That's why I called it Mystic Power. The album is dedicated to mankind really. Human beings are the biggest mystery in the universe for me. And man is the child of woman."

On his inspiration for still doing music:

"The only reason I'm doing what I'm doing today is because a little woman somewhere in the world gave birth to Alpha Blondy. If there were not mothers, I wouldn't be here. It's a tribute that women deserve"

On his remake of Bob Marley's 'I shot the Sheriff':

"That version was written in 1978 when I used to live in New York. I had made a French version of "War," a French version of "Crazy Bullet," and I made this French version of "I Shot the Sheriff " because I wanted the people in my home to catch the message of Bob Marley. I wanted people back home to know what Bob was saying. My record company asked me if I could do something for the 30th anniversary of the Death of Bob, I proposed that song."

On playing more on the 'Rock' side of 'Roots Rock Reggae':

"I try to respect the roots rock reggae dimension. Usually, we kind of forget the rock dimension. We always got the ethnic dimension, the roots dimension. But not the roots rock reggae. I also try to make reggae go into nightclubs. I mean we did not respect the trilogy, the trilogy that Bob Marley used to do, the roots rock reggae. We always do roots reggae. We do not emphasize the rock dimension of it. And that's what I tried to do."

On his religion:

"Sometimes when people ask me if I believe in Jesus, or Allah, or Adonai, I answer "God is my religion." You will see that religion divides people. The common denominator between religions, God, will bring us together. I was raised with respect for all religions, so I refuse to put a label on my faith."

You can read the entire interview here.

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