Grammy award winning songstress, India.Arie will be in Jamaica to perform the combination hit single, Therapy, with Gramps Morgan at the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards and also to receive the International Friend of Reggae Award. The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, February 4 in the Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
According to Gramps, ever since the song has been released he has been encouraging India.Arie to come to Jamaica to "renew her acquaintance with the people ... and what better time than now".
"The collaboration, Therapy, did very well and there was a snowball effect as I did Good Morning America, VH 1 and then India was kind enough to invite me on tour with her and John Legend," Gramps Morgan, also of sibling group Morgan Heritage explained. That tour, he said, ended on September 6 last year.
He described the tour as a "true learning experience which has humbled me and made me more appreciative of my brother, Peter, who has been the lead singer for Morgan Heritage for years".
Gramps, who has been pursuing a solo career for the past year, while still a member of Heritage, spoke briefly about his respect for R&B singer John Legend, who showed him "things about my voice and proved a true artiste". He explained that the shows, some of which were back-to-back, can take its toll on a singer's voice, "and I had to put in practice all these things which I knew, but which were reinforced," he said.
Gramps also joined Buju Banton's Rasta Got Soul tour for part of the leg, and, despite the cancellations of several dates, the singer said he was still appreciative of the opportunity to represent reggae music as a solo act and also for all the positivest he was able to gain from the experience.
"From Buju, I learnt the importance of exercise and fitness and just giving 210 per cent," he said when we caught up with him backstage after his well-received performance at Saturday night's Rebel Salute in Port Kaiser, St Elizabeth.
Gramps released his debut album, Two Sides of My Heart Vol I, to critical acclaim in the last quarter of 2009. A reggae version of Therapy is also included on the album, which has been nominated in the Best Reggae Album category of the EMEs.
The singer noted that working on the collabo and subsequent touring with India.Arie has seen them develop a connection that is deeply spiritual.
"Some people have been thinking otherwise, but it's a brother and sister and also a heavily musical relationship," he said firmly. "However, the spiritual connection is incredible," Gramps declared, adding that he was looking forward to performing Therapy with India at the EME awards.
India.Arie, who has had a total of 15 Grammy nominations throughout her career, has already won two Grammies -- both in 2003 -- for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for Little Things and Best R&B Album, Voyage To India. She has three nominations going into this year's Grammys, among them Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for Chocolate High with Musiq Soulchild; Best Urban/Alternative Performance for Pearls (India.Arie & Dobet Gnahore) and Best R&B Album, Testimony: Vol 2, Love & Politics.