That's Lymie Murray and I at Nyabingi event at Sizzla's Judgement Yard on Sunday Feb. 14th 2009. Even though we are already in the middle of the month, I am extremely excited that he is my first interview for the Reggae Month feature of our 20 Questions Segment! Remember all artists interviewed will have to answer the same 7 questions listed below, plus the usual 20 Questions.

1. Do you remember your first introduction to Reggae music?
1981. Bob Marley. He was larger in death than he was in life. That moment was defining. Anybody who never knew anything about Reggae would know then because Bob Marley was at the front and foremost of the minds of just about everyone at the time.

2. When people think of Reggae they generally think Bob Marley, peace, positive vibrations, conscious lyrics. How do YOU define Reggae and what does it mean to you?
The drum is the heartbeat and the base is the pulse. This for me is liberation music, it’s fire music, it’s the music that burns, it’s the music that deals with things that get said that you think about when you go to sleep. It is the salve' s music. It’s the movement of a people. The heartbeat. The bridge.

3. I personally think that Reggae is a lot about saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Do you feel any pressure from the commercialization of music to say things just to sell records?
For me it is important to be politically correct. It is important to understand that when you have that microphone, your voice is loudest. When you get the opportunity to talk to people in masses, in numbers there’s a power that is vested in you. There's a responsibility to teach, to educate. Now I have not made a song in my time that I am not proud of, or that I would not have my daughter listen to. I don’t compromise on those values. There are millions and millions of people who share those sentiments, hence I will have a marketplace for my songs, even if the majority of the people don’t buy my music, I will still have that percentage of the market and I would be o.k. So you can be commercial and then you can sell out. Commercial is when people identify with your songs and buy it. There are millions of good people, who still buy good music. There is no pressure.

4. Are there any trends in the industry that you welcome and/or that you would like to see go away?
I welcome the reemergence of live music. I would love for that part of the music which is negative, to go away. Cause there's no negative beat. So for example when some people say they don’t like Dancehall, for me its not, not liking Dancehall, it is more the lyrical aspect to the point where it is now violent. That violence is what I would love to see go away out of the music. Reggae music was meant to grow you, not bring you down. So if it’s music that bringing you down, it’s not Reggae music

5. What would you say is your greatest contribution to Reggae music thus far?
I have maintained and not compromised on principle.

6. Reggae has been blended with so many genres from opera to Rock and Roll, to Hip-Hop and even Bhangra. Is this a plus for the industry or a loss of some sort?
It has to be a plus and then those of us who do pure, authentic, unadulterated reggae music work harder when the competition grows. So welcome all of that because it shows us that this music is transcending all barriers where most people are in tune with this reggae movement. If someone invites you to their home, that means they respect you.

7. Is Reggae month really necessary? What meaning does it hold for you?
I guess a Reggae Day was never enough. For me the same way you have a time that you reflect on Jesus, Bob Marley, Politicians, events, you have to have a time to reflect on the contributions that Reggae music has made and the people who were frontal and who still remain a vital part of it. Welcome Reggae month, welcome another two months of Reggae- where we will take note of the value of this music not even only as a foreign exchange earner, but just what the music does for the people. Anytime you want the people dem to be calm you carry dem and play dem some music "Play I some music, this is Reggae Music."

Click HERE to read Lymie's 20 Questions interview!

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