Reggae Legend Burning Spear - Keep The Music Alive

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burningspearone.jpgGrammy Award winning, reggae pioneer BURNING SPEAR is a certifiable legend, celebrating more than 35 years in the music business. As the popular story goes, Rodney bumped into BOB MARLEY while walking through a field, and the two began talking about music. Marley encouraged him to visit Jamaica's Studio One, where Rodney and a fellow musician recorded "Door Peep." By the time of its release, Rodney had branded the duo Burning Spear, taking the nickname of Jomo Kenyatta, who was jailed by a colonial British government in Africa but rose to become the first president of Kenya..."I think people have to remember the originals," Burning Spear suggests. "So to be honest, I don't really feel no way about it when people put reggae in a different form. Regardless who's gonna do what with the music, I don't think they interfere with Burning Spear."

"I don't know how other people see music," reggae legend Burning Spear reflects. "Some people might see it based upon money, some people might see music based upon opportunity and access. But I see music as life. I see music as inspiration."

For more than 35 years, Burning Spear's music-thus, his life-has inspired people on numerous continents. Since the beginning, his songs have implored listeners to fight oppression in all its forms, to work at improving their own condition and to consider the social impact of their actions.

OUR MUSIC builds upon the Jamaican native's legacy of musical activism. With its inimitable dancing groove, the album percolates and bubbles rhythmically in its call for unity between races, between nations, between individuals and even between business associates.

OUR MUSIC is the second album released on his Burning Spear label, following 2003's Grammy-nominated FREEMAN. In the midst of its expected messages about love, oppression and African history is the title track, a public confirmation that his brand of positivity is tempered with a strong sense of self. "Our Music" is Burning Spear's reclamation of his own artistry-a justification for establishing his record company and a challenge to all artists to commandeer their own future.

"A lot of artists just have no time to really look within the business section of the music business," Burning Spear reasons. "There's no one to really sit them down and give them some of that business understanding before they get into what they get into. So then people walk all over these artists and do things where it's not appropriate and it's not right. It's not in the artist's love."

With his art and his business now firmly in his own control, Burning Spear's OUR MUSIC stands among the most joyful albums of his career. Bolstered by its throbbing basslines, bright horn parts and slinky female background singers, the songs embrace persistence ("Try Again"), self-analysis ("Friends"), love ("Fix Me") and community ("Together") through deceptively simple lyrics that point to deeper issues. It is, in effect, smart music you can dance to.

"It's like art," he says. "You're gonna paint this thing, and people are gonna look at this art and say that it looks like a tree, looks like a car, some people it looks like a flower. People are gonna say different things according to what they see. It's very different, what it looks like to them."