Fri | Dec 13, 2019

Five Questions With … Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore

Published:Friday | November 15, 2019 | 12:10 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore (second left) with other members of the band, Third World.
Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore (second left) with other members of the band, Third World.

Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore is a name synonymous with reggae music in Jamaica. Almost every conversation about the genre could include the veteran, who has a wealth of knowledge about the industry. Aside from his expertise, Coore has also contributed to the development of Jamaica’s music industry as an entertainer. Credited with establishing the world-renowned Third World band, Coore has dedicated more than four decades to reggae music. He has toured the world, introducing country after country to Jamaica’s rich musical legacy. And even after 45 years, he and the Third World unit are still flying the Jamaican flag high. With the release of their 22nd album earlier this year, the group have shown signs that they have no plans to slow down any time soon, establishing that there is still ‘More Work to be Done’. This week on Five Questions With ..., we chat with Third World’s cellist and guitarist, Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore, the man who started it all.

What do you do to relax?

Well, what I really like to do is to swim. I try to swim every day. Unfortunately, now it kinda get a little bit cold up here in Florida, so the swimming doesn’t work out so wonderful. I also like to walk because I find it very stimulating, and I love to watch TV, the news. I also listen to Power 106.

What accomplishment in life are you most proud of?

I think it would be very unfair of me to say which accomplishment in life I rate the most because I’ve been so blessed to have accomplished so many things without even really wanting it or craving it. I really am very pleased with just being able to be a part of a musical brand for more than 40 years. That, perhaps, is the best accomplishment. I couldn’t really want anything more than that.

What accomplishment in life are you most proud of?

I think it would be very unfair of me to say which accomplishment in life I rate the most because I’ve been so blessed to have accomplished so many things without even really wanting it or craving it. I really am very pleased with just being able to be a part of a musical brand for more than 40 years. That, perhaps, is the best accomplishment. I couldn’t really want anything more than that.

What, in your opinion, is the best thing about Jamaica?

Jamaica has two best things – its physical beauty and its people. Those are the two best things about Jamaica. Jamaica has a lot of problems, I agree, but let me tell you, the people and the beauty of the land stand out anywhere in the world, and I have travelled all over the world. Believe you me, we’re very blessed.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think that if I could change anything about myself, it would be the fact that I get too emotional sometimes; that can be good and bad. But at the same time, that’s a natural part of life, too, so I’m not really certain that it would be something I would want to change too drastically. Otherwise, there isn’t much I’d change. I’d like to be a little more hard-working. I think sometimes I’m a little lazy, but everybody is sometimes.

How has being part of one of the longest-reigning reggae groups impacted your life?

Being [part of] one of the longest-reigning reggae bands has impacted my life in very wonderful ways. I’ve been able to travel the world and ... meet some of the most wonderful people and interact with them. I also get to play music, which is what I love to do, and it’s fun. There’s a lot of hard work around the music business that people don’t realise is very difficult. Sometimes even the personas, the people around you can be very difficult, but these things are a part of the business, and being a part of it for over 40 years has been splendid, and I couldn’t have asked the Father for anything better.

Bonus: What is the best thing about being in that musical family?

It’s very special to me. I really would advise young musicians to get together and form bands and make your own music. Don’t just wait to get a job with some artiste who is going out on tour because that is the quicker way to make some money. Get a band together, struggle, and suffer your way through. You will make it through, trust me. Plus, Jamaica needs more bands right now; we don’t have enough. We have great musicians playing with various artistes, but we don’t have very many bands, and I am very disappointed about that. I’m hoping that culture will change and we will come back to the days of Third World, Chalice, Inner Circle, Steel Pulse, you know.