Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Freddie says Owning a Studio saves money

Published:Thursday | June 30, 2016 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
Freddie McGregor (centre) and his sons Chino (left) and Stephen.
Freddie McGregor

Iconic reggae artiste Freddie McGregor recently celebrated his birthday-album-listening party at Stone Love HQ located on Burlington Avenue. The new album has already been released in Asia and is called True to My Roots. However, the veteran entertainer explained that with the decline in record sales, it is important to produce your own music.

"If you are going to let somebody produce all your work, it will cost more, depending on what you are doing. The reason why I can smile is because I ensured that I had the facility and the means to do it because if you don't have that, then you have a problem because having your own studio is a big plus," he told The Gleaner.

Like Bob Marley, who started the Tuff Gong record label to handle the production of his music, McGregor said he had visions of making life easier for himself and his children, whom he suspected, would have had an interest in music.

"I saw that vision many years ago because moving forward, you need to have that. I recognised that, and when I was working and things were going well, mi never just gyal it out. I made sure to build a studio, and I built it in mind that when the youth dem grow up, at least we would have it. So if a nuh me, a dem. They would have understood the new technology, so it would have fallen right in their lap and they could help me. So a lot of expenses have been cut out because we can do it in-house," he said.

McGregor revealed that he could have sold at least 70,000 records in the Caribbean alone during the glory days of the vinyl. However, he now looks to tap into online markets, which has been a struggle for reggae-dancehall acts.


Nevertheless, True to My Roots will be available on vinyl in markets like Japan, where vinyl music is still supported. The lead single, Your Love Got A Hold on Me, is already available on vinyl in Japan. This album is Freddie McGregor's 39th project and will be released worldwide on July 1.

"Jamaica usually gets left out when we release albums, and so when Grammy time, the people are always complaining that they don't know any of the songs that get nominated. So we have to put some emphasis on the country of its birth, and that is why with this project, I have immersed into the whole media thing. In 2016, being still relevant and having this strong album with a number-one single in South Florida, I am doing the right things to make it a success," he told The Gleaner.

The album will be distributed by Vpal, 247 Records,Up Music and Tower Records, and features production work from Cleveland Browne, Dalton Browne, Lloyd Campbell, Sting Ray Records, Stephen McGregor, and Freddie McGregor.