Sugar Minott continues to groom the next generation
When it comes on to music, Lincoln 'Sugar' Minott eats, sleeps and breathes it. He has a passion that sees him grooming one generation to the next. Through his Youthman Promotions outfit, Sugar Minott has propelled artistes such as Little John, Musical Youth and Garnet Silk in the spotlight. Today, the experienced singer and producer is still doing his duty, only this time he is now working with his own offspring.
His daughter, Fire Pashon, has taken up the mantle and is now determined to carve her own niche in the music business, his sons formed a group called 3B2 and from all indication his two grand daughters might just be heading in that direction too!
"You should hear my grand daughters singing 'Happy Birthday' to me the other day," he shared with the Sunday Observer, unable to hide his pride in them.
Sugar Minott feels very passionate about the business to which he has given so much of his life and expressed that Reggae is now dying.
"We need to merge the wisdom of elders with the versatility of youth," he pointed out as he added that there is just too much selfishness in the business at this time.
"Back in the day the singers introduced the deejays to the crowd whenever they are going to perform. No one would listen to deejays alone," he reminisced stressing that it would have been nice to see that same kind of partnership being carried out now that the tables have turned. "We would have liked the deejays to bridge the gap, by bringing in the singers," Minott shared.
Sugar Minott said it would be something to see the current crop of hot DJs teaming up with the likes of U-Roy and other experienced singers. This is says would be a sure hit.
Sugar, who has recorded numerous hit songs such as Mr DC, Vanity, Herbsman Hustling, Hang On Natty, Stop Fight Rasta and Ready Or Not, made no secret of the fact that he considers the term 'veteran' offensive.
"We need to get that stigma out of people's minds about veteran - people will think you done out or you're a has been," he said adding that once you don't stop singing you're a singer.
Looking ahead, the solution Sugar Minot says in bringing back the real vibes into the dancehall is to get the negativity out of it.
"Come with a new attitude towards the business. We need a new mentality to the old business, the old ways not working. There are just too many young producers without any wide experience," were his sage comments.
Hailing from Kingston, Sugar Minott has been a driving force in pioneering the creation of reggae music. After leaving school Sugar began his journey in the music business selling records and playing on a sound named, Sound of Silence Keytone. It wasn't long after that he started his own sound Black Roots which then led to the creation of Youthman Promotion.
In 1969 Sugar teamed up with Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard and formed the group, the African Brothers. Tony was the lead singer and they recorded for Micron Music which was run by Mick Johnson and Ronny Burke of Sunsplash fame. The group then recorded for other producers from the likes of Keith Weston, Winston 'Merritone' Blake, Rupie Edwards and Coxsone Dodd. Some of the releases were Lead Us Father, Mystery of Nature, Party Time and Righteous kingdom.
Fast forward to 2010 and you will find Sugar Minott still keeping the positive vibes flowing through his work with upcoming artistes as well as his children, plus he is now putting the finishing touches on his upcoming album, Raw Sugar, which is expected to be ready for release in August.
Produced by himself and his son Daniel, Sugar Minott says Raw Sugar will see him maintaining his original dancehall roots.
"It's original dancehall style, something that young and old can listen. I'm trying to bring a more positive dancehall vibes to it," said Sugar Minott about his upcoming project. Among the tracks that will be included on the album are Money, Hits After Hit and Youth Justice.
Another project in the pipeline for the artiste is a single with Caucasian reggae artiste Gentleman.
Later on in July he will be embarking on a US west coast tour which will see him making stops in places such as California, San Diego and LA.