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Gramps Morgan Beautifully Blends Reggae & Country On His ‘Positive Vibration’ Album

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 30, 2021

Gramps Morgan is a GRAMMY-winning reggae artist with a love of country music so deep, he dropped everything to move to Nashville, Tennessee nearly a decade ago. His latest album Positive Vibration blends the best of both genres with songs that have a tropical island feel, with the added beauty of country instruments like the steel guitar and dobro.

There are 15 tracks with upbeat songs like “Float Ya Boat” featuring Morgan’s good friend Shaggy, love/tribute songs to include “A Woman Like You” and “Paradise” with India Arie, and the emotional, must-hear song honoring those we’ve lost called “People Like You.”

Morgan recorded the aptly named Positive Vibration album in the hopes of offering comfort, and perhaps bringing joy and inspiration during these challenging times.

“The one thing we all have in common,” he says, “is that in the past 18 months we’ve all been going through the same thing, trying to survive, trying to figure things out. We’re afraid, we’re wondering what’s going to happen in our lives. It’s the one time in history we can all relate, you know? So, I believe it’s my duty as a musician to bring joy, upliftment, and reassurance.”

And the best way he knows to do that is to bring a little bit of “the islands” to people (his family’s home country of Jamaica) through music.

“When you see the blue water, when you sip a margarita or a pina colada, it lifts your spirits, and that’s what I set out to do with Johnny Reid in creating this album.”

Reid is a Scottish singer/songwriter and producer who partnered with Morgan to write, record, and produce this album at Reid’s Soultrain Sound Studios in Nashville.

Morgan’s decision to live in Nashville is a story all its own. He’s a longtime member of his family’s GRAMMY-winning reggae band, Morgan Heritage, but he also grew up listening to country music. He says people might be surprised to discover country music is big in Jamaica.

“Kenny Rogers was a huge icon in Jamaica and nobody in Nashville knew that until I started telling that story,” he explains. “I remember when Rogers came to Jamaica and started singing “The Gambler,” he was shocked and said, wait, how do you guys know my songs?’”

Morgan goes on to say, “Music is music. And it’s bigger than people think.”

In 2012, while touring with India Arie, Morgan was onstage at the Ryman when something inside him clicked.

“Something just ran through my body and to this day I don’t know what happened. I threw my arms in the air and said I’m moving to Nashville, and the crowd went nuts! I was like, oops, what have I done?”

The move, he says, has been life-changing, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I don’t know where else I could live.”

His friendship with Reid, and the work they did together on his album, culminated in his first solo project in nine years.

“It’s two friends who came from two different genres, two different walks of life. Johnny is an amazing songwriter, adult contemporary artist himself, and a studio owner. And one of my biggest things was I wanted to work on my songwriting abilities. And Johnny was like, ‘Alright, Mate,’ come on over.’ And we just started making music.”

Their strong partnership shines through in every song on the album with each one special in its own right.

 “People Like You” honors loved ones lost, a song that resonates with many in the wake of the pandemic. But as it touches on loss, it also offers a feeling of hope.

“For me, it was the loss of my uncle passing away from the coronavirus and a producer friend of mine named Bobby Digital. But when Johnny Reid brought me that song, it made me know that they’re in a better place and they’ll be rewarded for the good they’ve done on this planet in their time here.”

The album also has collaborations with friends, and members of Morgan’s family.

“I called on my friend, Shaggy, we’ve been friend for 25 years. And of course my dad, Denroy Morgan, and my son, Jemere Morgan. And then, India Arie. I think I’ve been on the past four of her albums, and she’s been on all three of my solo projects.”

His song with Shaggy, is a fun, feel good song that reflects where they are in life.

“Me and Shaggy have been doing so many things throughout the years and we’re at a point in life where we just want to float our boat and relax.” He laughs, then adds, “It was just a point of calling on friends and saying, hey man, let’s sing some music throughout this pandemic. That’s how the album was born.”

He’s proud of the end result and hopes people will take time to listen.

“If you’re a connoisseur of music, then you love good music and that’s what the Gramps Morgan experience is all about,” he says. “It’s genre less, it’s timeless, and you can’t put it in a box. And I’m happy about that.”


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