Luciano is one of the most successful modern roots singers and has recorded several well-acclaimed albums since the 90’s. On his latest album – United States of Africa – he takes a political approach. Reggaemani has talked to him on the state of the world and his ideas for change.
One Way Ticket, Where There is Life, Sweep Over My Soul, Serious Times and now United States of Africa. The list of great albums from Jamaican conscious singer Luciano is long, probably due to his intense recording during many years and – of course – great voice and sense for melodies.
Personality shows on the new album
United States of Africa has received great reviews around the world and many seem to regard it one of his best albums yet.
− Even John Masouri said it had great vibes, laughs Luciano over the phone, and explains the success factors:
− I’ve been able to express myself more with these roots riddims and I think my personality comes out well. It’s a selection of original riddims that run right through my veins.
− You can’t always sing about going to Zion. Many young people see me as a messenger and I have to sing about what happens in the world, he explains.
Luciano is in a great mood and is keen to talk about the new album and the core message of it; a unification of Africa.
− I think there is hypocrisy in the world. You talk about one Europe and one world order. But it’s a shame and disgrace what happens in Mama Africa. Mama Africa is still suffering and no one is realizing it, he states and gives an example:
− For example, there’s no picture of me on the album. These are serious matters and I want a unification of our people.
“Corruption has gone out of hand”
Luciano is obviously interested in politics, so I asked him about his view of U.S. President Barack Obama.
− It was time for a change in the U.S. There have been too many plutocrats and bureaucrats and the whole world is affected by the U.S. For example, people turn a blind eye on the oil spilling. But it doesn’t only affect the U.S. It’s travelling along the waters and causes a big threat.
He’s now excited and talks considerably faster. It’s hard to follow all his reasoning. To get things even more interesting I decide to ask him about Jamaican politics.
− Brother Erik, I’m glad you asked. There’s a pressure in Jamaica right now. There’s financial strain. Every country that Jamaica owes money has come to collect it. This is therefore reflected in the streets, he says and continues:
− The corruption has got out of hand and I think it’s too late now. Sedentary is a word that describes the situation well.
To solve the problems he has a simple and illustrative idea.
− I think you have to straighten where it’s crooked.
Vote for the Almighty
Luciano is troubled by the corruption in the world and explains that there are at least three professions that need attention from politicians.
− Corruption is everywhere in the world and I believe that the governments need to pay more attention to sports, nurses and musicians – people who are not getting paid properly. Artists are due to get the respect they deserve, he explains in a serious tone and then adds:
− The government just turns a blind eye on musicians! It’s a joke!
Several of Luciano’s albums are religious so it’s no surprise who he votes for.
− I vote for the Almighty. A bureaucratic government doesn’t work; it has to be ruled by the Almighty.