Ras Midas Interview
Interview at Palookaville in Santa Cruz, California|
November 18, 2000
Photography and interview by Diane Adam (2000
Diane Adam: Can you tell me some of the songs you sang tonight?
Ras Midas: I sang, "Melchizedek", "Trouble Town", "You Don't Know", "Blood In the Sky", "Pushing Inside" and "Can't Stop Rastaman Now".
DA: Ras, which of your albums are these songs from?
RM: "Melchizedek" is from the album Rastaman in Exile; "Trouble Town" is from Rain and Fire and the rest of the songs are from my new album, Confirmation.
DA: Can you tell me more about your new album, Confirmation?
RM: My new album has been released for a year now in the United States, Africa, Europe and the Middle East and all the French speaking Caribbean-African countries because I'm bilingual too.
DA: What languages do you speak?
RM: I speak seven different languages and I sing in three. I sing in French, Swahili and English.
DA: That's beautiful. I didn't know that.
RM: Well, everything takes time, now you're getting to know.
DA: Are any of the songs on your new album, Confirmation sang in different languages besides English?
RM: Yes, one song called, "Kude A Bamba" which is Swahili.
DA: What does "Kude A Bamba" mean?
RM: It means, "love of the common people" - it's a song from the Ashanti people in Ghana and Kude A Bamba is part of their language. So, it's beautiful. So, I'm here now promoting my music in the United States.
DA: Are you touring now.
RM: No, I will officially start my tour next year but I'm just starting to introduce my music and myself more.
DA: Where are you based?
RM: I live between here, Jamaica and France.
DA: Perhaps that's why we here in the States have not seen your live performances.
RM: Yes, but it's nice to perform on a professional level.
DA: Ras, can you tell me the names of your band members and the vocalists that performed with you tonight in Santa Cruz?
RM: Fazel Pendergast on rhythm guitar, Vince Black on lead guitar, Steve Hoffman on keyboards and Manas from Nigeria on drums. The backup singers are twins Lenetta Norman and Loretta Norman and are African-Americans from Atlanta, Georgia and use to sing with George Clinton.
DA: Fascinating, twins that sang for George Clinton. Sing with you must be a big change for them.
RM: Yeah! They're tired of that music now and they like the Reggae music that I do, they say its more appealing to African American's now.
DA: Yes, it definitely has a "softer" edge than the funk-infused George Clinton does.
RM: Yes! And I would like to promote my music that way...so that African-Americans know that Reggae is part of their music too and we can all learn to rekindle ourselves again, learn to respect ourselves again. You know? Because African people through colonialism and imperialism and slavery have lost that divine love that we have for each other from ancient Africa. Now, the people in the western world are living on the European fantasy. You know?
RM: So we want to rekindle that divine love from ancient Egypt from the time of Osiris and Isis, Selassie I and Makeda and all these. So, we would like African-Americans to get into their history.
DA: Are you doing anything specific to get the music to the ears and hears of African's here in the U.S?
RM: Yes, I have a website, rasmidas.com and I'm also dealing with American distributors, but I am more interested to get the music to African-American people.
DA: That's really great to hear you say that Ras.
RM: I know that people are hungry to have a good time. But this music is a message. A message of love and unity and explaining the sorrows and the pain that we go through all these years and if we can put away all these things and come together in one love and unity and rebuild ourselves with that respect. Because one of the first thing we have to do. We have to learn to love each other again. Because the respect between African woman and African man has been wide away and we have to learn to create that respectability together again.
DA: Exactly how I feel, because how can you love other people when you can't even love yourself and your brothers and sisters as the African people that we are.
RM: Yes! Yes! And we don't learn to love ourselves yet because it's a long time, because we only hearing about love. Because in the Western world, love is a bedroom thing. But in ancient times love is the life you live. You know? Respect, acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, responsibility, working together, unity and building together and we want to create that overstanding between each other again, so that we can rekindle that love and we can share that happiness one more time. That's what my music is all about.
DA: Ras, very profound and beautiful words and, if people don't know Ras Midas your words tonight will surly offer a deeper overstanding of what your music represents. Thank you so much.
RM: Thank you also.
Bless Up Clutch Productions and Jah Scout Records for sponsoring the Palookaville Show
that included Norris Man and Rankin Scroo and Ginger.
(c) 2000 by Diane Adam