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Mojo Morgan from Morgan Heritage chats about industry longevity and roots inspiration

Reggae | Friday 15th May 2015 | Christina

Morgan Heritage – the group made up of the children of the legendary Denroy Morgan – is reggae royalty. They have been making music for over two decades and have established a reputation as a fantastic live act. The group is set to release their tenth studio album Strictly Roots on June 15th, via their own label CTBC Music. Mojo Morgan gives us some insight into longevity in the industry and roots inspiration. 

How are you doing? What have you been up to recently?
We are doing well. We are currently in the midst of our Strictly Roots World Tour.

With your background, was it inevitable that you would start making music, or did you have other career ideas growing up?
I personally wanted to be an architect but as children of a legendary musician in Denroy Morgan, we wanted to follow in the footsteps of our father just like any other kid growing up in a loving home.

You have been producing music for over two decades, what do you think the secret to longevity in the industry is?
We think the secret is first off staying true to the music and secondly staying in tune to your audience. It's also very important to always push the envelope musically and lyrically.

Can you pick out any highlights from your amazing career so far?
So far we've been blessed to travel the world and there has been so many highlights thus far. From visiting the pyramids in Mexico, to performing for 60,000 strong in Dakar, Senegal to visiting Goree Island while in Senegal. It's just been an extremely amazing journey thus far.

How do you balance producing music and touring as a band with other side or solo projects?
Music is what we do wherever we are. So it's not so much about balancing more so prioritizing what needs to be the focus at any particular time. However, we are very grateful that we have the ability to write amazing songs while traveling on tour.

Your new album Strictly Roots is out in the UK in June but has been very well received in the US. What was the inspiration behind the record?The inspiration is about showing everyone that everything in life has a root that we all must stay true to. We wanted to display the unity that we feel is missing in the global reggae music industry. We also wanted to musically display how Jamaican music has influenced popular music by capturing those elements on this album. Since the root of those influences are from Jamaica, we chose the title Strictly Roots being that our roots are from Jamaica.

Strictly Roots is your first independent release, out on CTBC Music Group. Why did you decide to go independent at this point in time?
We went independent to be able to fully engage with our fan base worldwide. So far so good!

Do you have plans to sign and release other artists to CTBC Music Group?
We plan on bringing new and established artist to the world in years to come.

You’ve made a great video for your single ‘Perform and Done’, was it as fun to shoot as it looked? And how did you come up with the concept for it?
The video was a brainchild of IDS Productions and it was a lot of fun. It's an ode the Jamaican cult classic film Dancehall Queen and it fit the message in the song completely.

There are a lot of guest performers on the album – Shaggy, Chronixx, J Boog, Rebelution and Bumblebee – why did you choose to have so many features?
In order to present a unified effort for the music, having this many features of reggae artists from around the world was the best way to get that done.

You partnered with Oxfam America for your latest tour of the States, how important is it for you that you used your fame/popularity to help good causes?
If we can't give back then all our hard work is for naught. As we do music for the betterment of mankind. So charity is a must for us at this time in our career.

You’re touring a lot over the summer, do you have plans to come to Europe?
So far we don't have any confirmed dates this summer but we have an amazing tour being lined up for the autumn.

Is there anywhere in the world that you haven’t played yet but would love to make it to?
China.

What are you listening to at the moment?
U2 - Songs of Innocence.

What’s the first record you bought?
Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill.

Follow Morgan Heritage on Twitter.

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