Bongo Herman, speaking the pulse everyone hears Image

by Biko Kennedy

In the immortally hypnotic and pulsating beats of the drum, it has undoubtedly passed on its diverse vocabulary from generation to generation. With an effort to convey those reiterating messages of freedom, Bongo Herman life-story plays as a percussionist and singer whose success dates back to the early 1960's.

Looking on as one of Reggae's few remaining pioneers, Herman delves into his musical legacy in a recent interview; highlighting a few hiccups he sees in today's musical podium.

On his a few of his career highlights: "Back in the day, I hung around with Bob Marley in Trench Town and used to record at Studio One and Randy's. I also performed with the Jackson 5 when they came to Jamaica in 1975; I'm the only person Michael Jackson hung out with outside of his hotel."

On the role percussions play in music productions: "Drums connect to people's spirit. Most of these youths who claim to be producing songs leave out the percussion, but the percussion is a very important element, it's like seasoning; you can't cook good food without seasoning."

On his secret to success: "You have some artistes who come and you have others who were sent. I see myself as one of those who were sent; and that's why I'm still here. I'm 70 not out and still singing good. I've played on a lot of big songs with artistes such as Gyptian, Fanton Mojah, and Capleton; the drums and percussion you hear on many of their songs are mine. There is no speech nor language where my percussion is not heard."

On what he'd change in Reggae's/Dancehall's music scene: "I would love the musicians to go back to the foundation of the music when the bassist, drummer and keyboardist were all in the studio. Nowadays everybody has a studio, so they just lick a ting and call it a riddim. Back in the day, we never even got paid, but we loved the music so we'd sit in the studio and record. And we never build a riddim without the artist being there so he could get the proper key; that's why those songs stand the test of time. Now they have a thing called dancehall, but they named it wrong because the dancehall is place where you go to dance. I don't call this music dancehall, I call it standoff; because when you go to a dance, you see a set of man over one side and a set of girls on the other side, like a cowboy film."

 (Spotted at bashmentvibes)

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



Artist Title Album / Riddim Label / Producer iTunes Social  
You have not yet added any tracks.