Ras Minano - 10 Music Interviews
The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for We Are the Music Makers.' Ras Minano'song "Africa Oseeyeii' was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Reggae/World song.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I was born into a Royal home and surrounded by traditional musicians within my family. When I was 4 years old, my mother passed away and my father came and took me from my mothers family home to live with he and my step mother. From the time I was a little boy I was a drummer for my school and my church. The son of the church Pastor was my best friend and would tell me everyday that when I drummed, it would heal people and uplift them. I was not a confident child because of all that had happened to me. After year 7 I left school as school and I did not get along. Eventually my father came to accept that music was to be my life and took me to join a dance band called Classic Handles in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. It was here that I heard music from Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Joseph Hill (Culture) and other great artists. As a drummer, I was inspired by the great Tony Allen and so began my journey into Reggae and World music.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
The craziest thing that has happened to me would have to be how far I have come from living in the ghetto to travelling the world because of my music and using my music to raise awareness. I thank Jah Rastafari for all the blessings he has showered upon me every day.
What has been the high point of your music path?
The high point of my music path has been to have been able to use my music as a vehicle of progress and a tool of development to raise consciousness and help educate the youth from the ghettos of Accra.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I deal with reality. My music shares my reality. Coming from a traditional Royal home and then having grown up on my own in the ghetto, I see what the African reality is. Our history, our culture. and the genisis of life is what inspires me to write and sing and share a voice where there is no voice. I hear the cry of the poor and I see Mother Earth being polluted and this makes me sad. So I write and I sing.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
The biggest challenge to me is surviving without an equitable and structured form of income. Chasing the dollar does little to enhance creative process which is sad. To create, produce, record and distribute our art costs a lot. It would be a wonderful thing to see the fruits of our labour reciprocated as other professionals do.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Tarrus Riley. The man has a fantastic energy, he is conscious and sends out a great vibe.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
We are family. The hope we share during our live performances begins during our rehearsals. Before rehearsals or a live show I go into deep meditation to prepare spiritually.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Mamma Africa is Crying has been my greatest challenge to date. This was because many advised me that it was too political. But for me, the truth is the truth. The truth is an offence but it is not a sin. This song was my truth.
What's coming up in the future?
I am currently putting together my next album. This will be my fourth and by the grace of Jah, it will be as well received as Real Rasta has been.
Tell us where fans can access your music?