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Ras Muhamad readies for Earth Hour 2015

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2015 | 3:00 AMDavina Henry
Ras Muhamad

The self-proclaimed 'reggae ambassador of Indonesia', Ras Muhamad, says fans are in for a treat when he performs at the third staging of the Earth Hour Acoustic Concert this Saturday.

Earth Hour is the single, largest, symbolic mass participation event in the world. Born out of a hope that we could mobilise people to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.

As one of the biggest acts at the forefront of music in South East Asia, he not only limits his talents to that of recording and performing artiste, but is also a producer, radio announcer and published author. But music remains his first love. He told The Gleaner that he did not choose reggae music, it chose him.

"I was exposed to this genre at a very young age. I used to live in New York when I was younger and the first dancehall/ reggae song that I heard was Buju Banton's Champion. I was immediately drawn to it and have been influenced by it over the years. One of my biggest songs is Musik Reggae Ini, which translates to 'this reggae music'," he said.

The artiste, who arrived in Jamaica on Monday night, said he was looking forward to the performance, which will also include surprises.

"It's gonna be a whole heap of energy. I'm gonna bring some Indonesian vibes. I'm fluent in both English and my native tongue, so I'll be incorporating some of that into my set. Me being a part of this concert is actually quite interesting. I met Alex Morrissey, who runs the website Jamaicansmusic.com, in Indonesia. He linked me in 2010 and said he wanted to introduce Jamaican music to Indonesia. Right now we are on a mission to represent Indonesian reggae to the world. It's a huge honour to be invited here in Jamaica."

He added that the Earth Hour concert is a welcomed idea, as it is important to give back to 'mama earth' and raise awareness.

Chief executive officer of Jamaicansmusic.com, Alex Morrissey, also agreed.

"There are varied climate-oriented issues that are plagued throughout the world and locally that the average Jamaican may not be aware of, or just simply turn a blind eye to. So with our concert, we want to present said issues in a manner we (Jamaicans) can relate to best ... music."

The event will take place at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and will feature artistes like BLACKasCOLE, Keznamdi, Runkus and The Old SklBand, Kelissa and Kabaka Pyramid. The concert is presented as the first step in getting the Jamaican public fully aware of the global climate changes currently taking place.

Inspired by the beyond the hour activity, Earth Hour will this year ask participants to share how they are taking action via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook platforms promoting the #EarthHour, #EarthHourJA and #ChangeClimateChange hash-tags.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com