Grammy Award winning, reggae pioneer Burning Spear
(aka Winston Rodney) is a certifiable legend, celebrating more than 35 years in the music business. As the popular story goes, Rodney bumped into Bob Marley
while walking through a field, and the two began talking about music. Marley encouraged him to visit Jamaica's Studio One, where Rodney and a fellow musician recorded "Door Peep." By the time of its release, Rodney had branded the duo Burning Spear, taking the nickname of Jomo Kenyatta, who was jailed by a colonial British government in Africa but rose to become the first president of Kenya..."I think people have to remember the originals," Burning Spear suggests. "So to be honest, I don't really feel no way about it when people put reggae in a different form. Regardless who's gonna do what with the music, I don't think they interfere with Burning Spear."
"I don't know how other people see music," the reggae legend reflects. "Some people might see it based upon money, some people might see music based upon opportunity and access. But I see music as life. I see music as inspiration... A lot of artists just have no time to really look within the business section of the music business," Burning Spear reasons. "There's no one to really sit them down and give them some of that business understanding before they get into what they get into. So then people walk all over these artists and do things where it's not appropriate and it's not right. It's not in the artist's love."
For more than 35 years, Burning Spear's music-thus, his life-has inspired people on numerous continents. Since the beginning, his songs have implored listeners to fight oppression in all its forms, to work at improving their own condition and to consider the social impact of their actions.
No matter who looks at Burning Spear's career, they have to be impressed. Of his more than 25 albums, nine have earned Grammy nominations, with one of them - 1999's Calling Rastafari
- receiving the Academy's Best Reggae Album honor. And he remains one of the few reggae pioneers still working and influencing the people today. "Music," Burning Spear maintains, "is a very important thing. We have to remember that no force is stronger than the music."
Check out "Never", Burning Spear's FIRST EVER club remix:
Listen to NEVER, the Paul Oakenfold CLUB MIX
Listen to NEVER/O Rastaman (Original Version) from the set "Our Music"
(Streaming audio and/or video links may expire without notice)