Sicilian-born reggae artist Alborosie is known for hits such as 'Kingston Town', 'Herbalist' & 'No Cocaine', which has seen him join the ranks of some of reggae's biggest names. As the star gears up for his UK tour this November, he lets us know about his move to Jamaica, becoming the first white reggae artist to win a MOBO award and his plans for the future.
Quick icebreaker. If you could eat only 3 things for the rest of your life what would they be?
Uh, Jesus. Only 3? Well, my pasta, pizza and mozzarella.
Nice. So what’s happening with your music at the minute?
Well, this is the last leg of my two year and a half tour 'Freedom and Fiyah', then next year I will have an album coming out. I will take a break and then tour again for this project.
How has it been touring for so long?
Oh, Amazing! We toured the world, people know the music we play even when it is new stuff. We always get good crowds so… I can say it totally fulfilled the expectations.
Do you think reggae is perceived differently in some of the countries you performed at?
Usually, I play at different places but in front of the same people if this makes sense. Everybody come together, and this is what I like about reggae: it globalizes people. There’s an underlying motive that connects everyone.
What do you think reggae music means right now and where does it stand in the international scene today?
I think reggae is very powerful when it comes to live shows. It’s not doing well when it comes to streaming or mainstream radio and all that. Fortunately, live shows always go well. So, I guess we’ll keep working until maybe the times change.
Have you met any artists that have caught your attention lately?
I don’t usually speak about no artist, but there’s a couple of artists that I respect, and I watch them. Just as a listener, not judging or critiquing. We’ll see what they do.
If you were a prime minister, what’s the first law you would change?
Whoa! In which country?
Either Italy or Jamaica.
Alright, let me be prime minister in Jamaica. There’s a lot of work to do to really fix the justice system so that when people do something wrong and become criminals they will pay the consequences.
When did you move there?
First time I went I was 19, then moved permanently there around ’98/99.
Is there anyone that inspired you to do that?
I am a person that does his research. I get deep into what I like and that was my inspiration. The music inspired me to research and in a way, it brought me there.
You also won the MOBO award as the first white man in the reggae category, how did that feel?
Well is a great honour. What I like about the MOBO is that is voted by the people, not by a jury. When there’s a jury there could be a lot of corruption, especially within this industry. If the people vote, then is different. I am looking forward more prizes, not for myself, for the fans.
Is there something you’d like to do before you die and you haven’t done yet?
Ooh. This is a serious question. You see I have been travelling the world, I was blessed. If I had no family I’d tell you I want a wife and a child, but I have that too. I am good, I am a very simple person. I don’t wanna be the president of the US, yet some artists wish that for themselves. I am good, I am doing what I like!
Considering that music has changed you so much, what would you do if you weren’t a musician?
My dad is a retired police officer. I grew up in an environment where protection is important. So I’d like to protect people, which is what I try to do with my music as well. Probably I would be a security officer or something like that. I like to make sure that people are good.
Since we are on the topic of family, what would you like your child to learn?
The only thing I am doing with my son is taking care of him. I let him be whatever he wants to be. I don’t impose anything on him. No religion, no politics, no music. I let him be. So, when the time comes he will be ready to be what he is supposed to be.
I wish there were more dads like you out there. Thanks, and good luck for the future.
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