Freddie Green sings for unity

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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FOR over 25 years, Nigerian musician Freddie Green has accompanied many acts from Africa on major events on that continent. In recent times, he has concentrated on establishing himself as an artiste.

The song, Let The Youth Unite, is his latest effort in that regard. Produced by Jamaican Fitzroy Francis for Mightyful13 Records and the Africori label, it is enjoying steady rotation on reggae charts in New York City.

Let The Youth Unite is a mix of the different sounds Green was weaned on. He calls it Afro-centric Reggae Swing.

“This is not new to me, I had always tried to create something different from the western ideas, as an African and from Nigeria, Afrobeat is part of my culture,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “I love my culture and try to blend it to pop, reggae and any other sound to bring out the African-ness in it.”

The 41-year-old Green, who plays guitar, bass and keyboards, was born Francis Dung Rwang in the Kabong Jos, Plateau State region of Nigeria. He grew up listening to indigenous music as well as Afrobeat, an eclectic sound made world-famous during the 1970s by artistes like his trailblazing countryman Fela Kuti.

His entry into music came with the Panic Roots Reggae Band, followed by Peace Magaohone. The latter transformed into the Green Iris Band for which he is musical director.

Throughout his career, Green said his focus has been consistent.

“I get my inspiration from Jah Almighty. I also get my inspiration from the living conditions of people, especially the downtrodden and the oppressed.

For the rhythm, of course I always try to create beats that will make someone get up and skank,” he explained.

Green co-produced most of his previous songs with Jeremiah Gyang. They include Mister Wandered, Make Love Strong, Zero Hero, Children Of The Night and God In The Ghetto.

In September, he began working with Francis who had a long association with Black Uhuru, and has produced songs by Jesse Jendau and Hugh English.

— Howard Campbell




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