Richie Spice believes positive influences will keep the genre alive
Hazelann Williams, Voice Reporter
REGGAE MUSIC may be experiencing negative fallout on the United Kingdom charts and on mainstream radio stations, but it seems the only people not bothered by the social exclusions are reggae stars.
Having previously spoken to veteran musicians Maxi Priest and Freddie McGregor, who both affirmed the notion that reggae music will continue to make strides, it was refreshing to catch up with a contemporary of the genre, Richie Spice.
Rising to prominence with his 2004 hit Earth a Run Red, the singer hails from an increasingly growing musical family, with brothers Pliers, Spanner Banner and Snatcha Lion being stars in their own right, all making a noteworthy and positive contribution to Jamaican music.
Sharing the sentiments of Maxi Priest and McGregor, Spice also believes reggae will always remain relevant on the international music scene, especially when the music has a positive message.
"My main focus is positivity; I always try to remain positive," the 42-year-old explained.
"Life is not perfect, but you have to be more focused. As musicians, what we have to do is play the music the right way. For me, the right way is to create proper lyrics with positive content so it can reach the masses of people."
Although a well-known Rastafarian and preacher of good vibes, Spice acknowledges that life isn't always a bed of roses. While he highlights the constructive aspects of life, the musician does not believe that the negative messages portrayed by some dancehall stars have detracted from the more uplifting music.
"Everything has its negative and positive story, but I think the positive is the right side. They [the dancehall stars] have their negative side to tell, but I try to focus on the other side. I'm an artiste who has been very fortunate and I always try to play music so people can relate to what I'm saying," said Spice.
While doing well on the Jamaican charts and touring the world, Spice sadly learned of the death of his mother, Violet Bonner, who died aged 74.
Coming from a close family of 11 siblings, the singer said the support of his family got him through the tough times.
"Thinking about it brings back so many sad memories. When we lost our mother, it was hard and a very sad moment. It wasn't easy, but I did what I had to do because I am a man and I have a family. I stayed focused and tried to overcome it."
The singer's latest album, Richie Spice Acoustic - Soothing Sounds is a testament to the real Richie Spice, he said.
After going through some troubling family times, Spice said he wanted to separate himself from his brothers and show his fans what he was really about.
"One thing that makes this album different is it's an album that has a lot of heart. I know that people will really accept this one; it has a different vibe. I use different instruments and people can hear the music more clearly; my vocals are more pronounced."
He added: "I was inspired by the fact that I always wanted to do something in my career by myself, and I wanted to show what was in my heart. I wanted people to understand what I stand for - which is positive music and lyrics. I like people to know that my music is a positive vibration, and when people listen to my music, they will realise the uplifting vibes I am trying to bring to the world."