Grammy Nods Burning Spear optimistic

Published: Sunday | February 1, 2009

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

'I have done a lot of albums over the past years, but I think I put a lot more on Jah Is Real', Burning Spear says about his Grammy-nominated album. -Contributed photo

Today, The Sunday Gleaner begins the first of its interviews with this year's Grammy nominees with a look at Burning Spear. Check The Sunday Gleaner in the coming weeks to read other features on nominees Elephant Man, Shaggy, Sly and Robbie, Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Heavy D.

With a 12th nomination for a Grammy Award and a previous win, Burning Spear is optimistic about his chances this year.

Since the 1980s Burning Spear, whose real name is Winston Rodney, has been nominated in the Best Reggae Album category for albums such as Resistance, People of the World, Live in Paris Zenith '88, Mek We Dweet, The World Should Know, Rasta Business, Appointment with His Majesty, Calling Rastafari, Free Man, Our Music, and The Burning Spear Experience. This year he is nominated for Jah Is Real. He won the award for Calling Rastafari in 1999.


"I was just being nominated and nominated. When I won the first time, I said I finally won for the first time," Burning Spear tells The Sunday Gleaner.

Although this current nomination for Jah Is Real is one of many, Burning Spear is just as excited.

"It's good to know especially as a person doing your own thing and not coming through a record company. It's very encouraging," says Burning Spear who operates his company, Burning Music Production, with his wife, Sonia Rodney.

In addition, he says he feels accomplished because the nomination is an indication that people listen and buy his album.

Yet, Burning Spear no longer tours actively. "I retire, but I try to use my discretion so if something makes sense I might end up doing it. But the last time I did something (a tour) was about last year for Jah Is Real in California," he says.

He says he does not miss the extensive touring.

"I think I get everything from touring already. I am too happy being home (in New York). I have always been absent from my family. I don't miss anything from being on the road," said Burning Spear.

In addition to spending more time with his family, including his children whom he refers to as 'five big ole people giving grandchildren', Burning Spear wants to make Burning Music Production as successful as possible.

But he is also happy about the work he did on Jah Is Real.

"I have done a lot of albums over the past years, but I think I put a lot more on Jah Is Real. I used various musicians and it's very unusual. It's a very strong album. It's doing good and I got a nice strong review for the album. The sale (of the album) is great, I can't complain. Burning Spear CD sell every day, reggae music sell every day," said a chuckling Burning Spear.

However, he has no immediate plans to work on another album as he believes his latest is relatively new and has more selling potential. Yet, he will be in the studio working on other songs.

In addition, he will continue working on his documentary, 'Burning Spear: Rise Up', which he has been doing for approximately three years. No release date has been set.