To the mainland from the heart of the Caribbean
Boston-based reggae artist and younger brother of Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Mighty Mystic is considered to be one of the leaders in the modern day reggae revival. His latest record, The Art of Balance, is an art-filled title unto itself that is filled with spirited reggae-roots — high energy and positive vibes. With deep ties to his native Jamaica, Mighty Mystic has often credited the legend Bob Marley, for being a driving force behind his passion for not only reggae music, but the arts all together. It’s the delivery, the sense of unity and overall feeling of Marley’s messages that have resonated the loudest.
Geared up to kick-off his North American tour (which starts today), and fresh off a recent live performance at the Rebel Salute, the biggest reggae festival in Jamaica, Mighty Mystic shares here how Marley has inspired his life and music.
You were born in Jamaica and you were raised in Massachusetts, what was that like?
It was a definite culture shock. You see, I’m from a small quiet farming community called Goshen, which is in Saint Elizabeth Jamaica, so moving to Boston where the buildings are massive, some piercing the sky, millions of cars and people out and about, really took some getting use to. The hardest adjustment for me was trying to keep up the pace with all that was around me. I was definitely more use to the slower calm way of life, but eventually I got use to it and the rest is what they say is history.
When did you decide to become a reggae musician?
Well from the first time I heard Bob Marley’s music, I immediately knew I wanted to do reggae music. I think I was about 6 or 7 years old and I haven’t stopped since.
When you first heard Bob Marley, what you thought?
I thought what is this heavenly, sweet sound that is captivating my young soul. And, that is the truth!
How Bob Marley has influenced your life and music?
It was Marley’s music that woke me up and set me on this path, but beyond that his music to me isn’t just music, its real life on a disc. There is so much material for everyone at every phase of their lives you just have to open up and let the good vibes flow.
Favorite Bob Marley songs and records?
Buffalo Soldier! That’s the first Marley tune I heard it as a kid and it’s still my favorite. Wow, I cant pick a favorite album, I love them all.
How has Bob Marley’s music and message influenced and inspired you?
His music has inspired me to dig deeper into myself and find things that are not necessarily on the surface, but still vital and worth sharing both musically and in everyday life. His music has taught me that there is so much out in the world worth talking about not just fun stuff, but real-life things, things that people want to hear so I make it a point in my music to talk about life subjects, things all man can feel and relate to.
What do you love most about being a musician?
Wow, there are so many, but one that jumps out at me is touring. I love to travel from city to city meeting different people and hearing different stories, cause to be honest a lot of music comes to me while I’m traveling and seeing the world. I get to soak it all up and then write about it. It gives me great pleasure.
Favorite tour show experience when you first became an artist?
Haha, some of them I can’t share but here’s a safe one… this story is from way back… So, it was the day of the concert where we show up to the club to find out that the venue wouldn’t be opening its doors because they got into some trouble with their license or something like that. There was already about 30 to 40 people waiting in line so rather than cancel the show we invited them all to our hotel where we performed a few songs casually and partied the night away. Good times for sure.
Favorite recent tour or show experience?
Every tour seems to get bigger and better which is a great thing. But my last few tours we’ve been noticing that fans are finding the hotels that we are staying at and popping up for autographs, pictures or just to hook us up with some items. So that to me has been one of my favorite developments on tour, it really shows that we are moving on up.
- Friday’s show at Brighton Music Hall in Boston is a special Bob Marley birthday bash!
- All photos courtesy of Mighty Mystic
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