Pablo Moses looks to his rebirth
Even though Pablo Moses has a name in the European music market since the 1970s, the artiste known for his revolutionary fervour, has been on hiatus from the local music scene. His last major gig in Jamaica was 15 years ago on Reggae Sumfest in 1996. But he is determined to recapture the resonance he once enjoyed at home.
What seems a fitting catalyst for his musical resurgence, is his latest album, Pablo Moses: The Rebirth. And if, as he puts it, "Roots reggae is recapturing the world," then his rebirth could not have come at a more opportune time.
One of the vanguards of reggae music, his deep catalogue includes I Man a Grasshopper (his first hit), Dubbing is a Must, We Should Be In Angola, Blood Money, Give I Fi I Name, also, the single Ready, Aim, Fire from the In The Future album. Not to mention albums like Revolutionary Dreams (his most famous which included I Man A Grasshopper) and produced by Geoffrey Chung, engineered at The Black Ark by Lee 'Scratch' Perry, A Song, Pave the Way .
Speaking against the background of what he saw was an attempt to suppress roots reggae because of its positive messages, Pablo Moses made some scathing remarks about dancehall.
"I can tell you this, don't matter what any negative force want to do to try to eliminate roots reggae, they cannot stop it. Roots reggae is recapturing the world," declared Pablo Moses.
"Why I can say this," he stressed, "When the people started to suppress roots reggae in the 80s, because of the message that it was giving, everyone was clamouring for the dancehall. And this repetitious rhythm... them get fed up of it." He adds that the market has also fallen out of favour with the beat and what he describes as the "vulgarity, aggression and disrespect for women".
"But the roots reggae music, the message that we put into it as Rastafari for equal rights and justice for all, is on a international level. So we are speaking about the negativity that exist in the society, not just among the rich, but among the poor, everyone. And we are speaking about also the joy that we get when our people accomplish positiveness."
Five years ago the singer born Pableto Henry, fell and hit his head on a concrete in his yard and was in a coma for about a week, because a blood vessel in his vein was burst. The name of the album aroused out of this mishap. "So a lot of people thought I was going to die. But any way, with the spirit of Jah, I have returned. I recuperated mentally/physically and the doctors were astonished. But I think is Jah still know sey there is still work for me to do, and that my work is incomplete. So I think to myself, the fitting name for this new album is, Pablo Moses the Rebirth."
Reflecting on his musical journey, he argued that touring is the way to solidify one's career path especially for roots and culture reggae exponents. For this is the route that led him to discover his biggest fan base. "It's the best way to go. Especially as a roots reggae artiste, I prefer to be authentic. My biggest market right now is in Europe, especially France. I have been almost everywhere in Europe. Africa is a big market for me too, but enough control is not in Africa in terms of record sales," admitted Pablo Moses who has a tour for Europe coming up in November/December which will see him appearing on fall and winter festivals.