Interview with JAHMINGS MACCOW A citizen of world...

RF: Who is Jahmings Maccow? Tell us something about your story.
JM: I define myself as a World Citizen, from Creation,coming through this dimension byway of a little Caribbean island call Anguilla. My parents are the offspring of African slaves who grew up under the depressive conditions of slavery! The African enslaved humans in the Caribbean always had a connection to their African enslaved Bredren and Sistren throughout the Americas! Always communicating to one another through the language of music. The African rhythms of the African enslaved humans in Brazil and the blues of the North American enslaved humans in North America had a major impact on the Africans enslaved in the Caribbean. So coming through those conditions had a major impact on my musical outlook. The effects surrounding those conditions had a major impact on my parents, causing them to separate from one another. My Mom at the time moved to the neighboring island of St. Kitts, and shortly thereafter me and my sibling back in Anguilla joined her and my other siblings back in St. Kitts. She was seeking out some relief from her surrounding conditions back in Anguilla, only to find herself facing the same harsh financial conditions of the island. So she decided to leave me and my siblings with her Aunt back in St. Kitts and to seek out some financial opportunities on the island of St. Thomas USVI. I Her arrival in St. Thomas exposed her to music coming out of The USA.
It was during this time period she was drawn more to listening and singing more of the blues, of the North American offspring of the enslaved Africans around the house as opposed to the music coming out of Brazil. This was my first encounter with the blues. She was listening to artists coming out of the Mississippi Delta and Texas, like John Hurt, John Lee Hooker, Lead Belly and others. I didn’t know the artists by names, because I was only about four or five years at the time. Around the same time period I used to listen to local musicians in the area hashing out fusion of all kinds of rhythms of different musical styles, but two brothers in particular really grabbed my attention! My Mom sent me to the store one evening to get some bread and on my way back from the store, I was going pass this Sunday School Church, when I heard some unusual piano music coming out of the Church! When I took a look I saw two brothers playing some early 60’s rhythm & blues and rock music on one single piano! What was unique about this? Well, one was playing rhythm in one octave and the other was lead fills and lead in another octave without getting in each others way musically! The piano sounded like two instruments being played!
After my return to Anguilla when I was about ten or eleven years, I started to experiment more with scales and playing with a local band who was covering several genres of music! By this time my Mom was living in the USVI steadily. A couple years later , I reunited with her there. In the US Virgin Islands I was playing with and listening to mature experienced musicians who were into soul and jazz music.
A couple of years later I left The USVI on a quest to further my musical education in New York. This was the time period I started to bring the total musical package into focus! During my years in New York City, I started to sing and play with a string of different groups and bands there.

RF: After a long time playing, finally you find a path was found playing “reggae-rock”. In what way you define this kind music and style?
JM: As I mentioned earlier on in this interview, Reggae itself is a hybrid music deriving from a speedup rhythm & blues and the slowing down to rocksteady and slowing down further to reggae! Robert Nesta played roots reggae and put some R&B back into the music! One of group Third World’s biggest hits in the US and Europe was an O’Jays cover song, done in a king of reggae disco style! These kinds of reggae styles are what we call crossover reggae! So I am simply putting blues and rock back into the music.

RF: Humm, so.. I should to think that Hendrix is one of your references? Who are your other most important influences?
JM: I wasn’t particularly trying to highlight Hendrix as a particular reference, but to more highlight the level of respect I have for musical guardians along my musical journey. I believe you came away with that kind of thinking, based upon the article and other previous published articles covering that particular subject! That wasn’t meant as a reference but simply as respect.
Let me give a little more insight into how that subject came about! As I mentioned earlier in the interview Hendrix was not the first blues guitarist I’ve listened to in the Caribbean, but he became one of the most, if not the most influential guitarist to me and the direction I wanted to go in, as a guitarist!
Here is why and how that happened! When I was in the USVI, shuttling back and forth from my Mom’s home in St. Croix to St. Thomas, I hung around guitar players! In addition, when I was in St. Thomas I lived in a house filled with musicians! One day while hanging out in this guitar player’s room, another musician came through to visit him and dropped the sad news surrounding Hendrix! This was the first time I heard the name Jimi Hendrix.
Initially upon my arrival into New York I had been listening to the music of the Civil Rights Movement’s Generation! A much bigger brother who’s record collection was nothing but acid rock and was heavily into Hendrix and Johnny Winter! He sat me down and played some of his Hendrix and Johnny Winter record collection and told me about a couple of Hendrix concerts he had seen, in particular the final Madison Square Garden Hendrix concert with the Band Of Gypsies. He outlined to me that those artists was also a part of the Counter Culture Movement and the important role Blues was playing in the music in general! This was his way of focusing my attention on the roots of the music. I wasn’t into acid rock at that time, I couldn’t find the blues under all that guitar distortion effects! It wasn’t until one day in a Midtown Manhattan Subway ,I ran into record store selling a Hendrix album for $1.99 entitled: “Mid Night Lightning” . I bought it and t really took the time out to mentally nullify the distorted guitar effects out of the way and just hear what the guitar was playing, that’s when I realized Hendrix was playing blues with distorted guitar effects on it and in some cases sped up blues with distorted guitar effects! Once I realized that’s what he was playing it motivated me to explore more deeply into the Mississippi Delta’s wealth of Blues guitarist style of playing! I discovered a long list of great guitarist that up until that point, I had never heard about who eventually had a great influence on my playing style down through the years on where I wanted to go musically! Just to name a few! Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, Skip James, Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, who is one of my favorites, Son House and the list goes on and on!
It’s not only great guitarists who have impacted me musically! Great singers and songwriters have had a similar effect influentially on my musical outlook! Artists such as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, The Wailers, Dobby Dobson, Ken Boothe, Jackie Opel, The Impressions, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cream, Three Dog Night to name a few.

RF: Your way of working — the way you writes music — changed much since you first started in the 70’s or you’re still a loyal server of your deep vibes?
JM: That is a good question. I wouldn’t say I changed, because the root is always there, but I would say I have evolved! What I come to find out about songwriting, is this. A song has a life of it’s own and can’t be forced one way or another! If you are not in sync with where it wants to go, then the music is not going to come out right! Some bring their own ideas to the table as to where they think a song should go, and at the end of the day, when things don’t come out right, they blame the song, and discard it! A lot of record producers struggle with this idea, and place a lot of artists under pressure and time constraint around songwriting just to produce records! If you are not evolving idealistically and musically to go where some songs want to go, then they are not going to allow themselves to come out right. So for me, it’s more about evolving idealistically and musically to reach my full potential rather than change because roots is going to be always be there.

RF: You’re a solo artist, but do you use to play with a band in your shows?
JM: Yes! I always work with a band, unless I am doing promotional radio tours!

RF: Our readers they are avid to discover different sounds to impact them. Why do you think you’ll be able to hit it where other artists (even famous) have failed?
JM: Well a couple of things to point out here , I think those artists who tried and failed had already labelled themselves into a particular genre and were just trying to experiment with other genres to see what works and what doesn’t work to gain more of a fan base for themselves.Reggae is kind a like rock! It’s a music that evolved, just like rock has evolved! If you listen to some of The Rolling Stones, Beatles and other British rock bands cover tunes you will see what they call rock n’ roll is nothing more than sped up blues! Similarly the original reggae derived from rocksteady and rocksteady derived from ska! If you listen to Rhythm & Blues artist Fats Domino you will hear Ska music is a sped up version of rhythm & blues! A lot of rock n roll actually derived from rhythm & blues.
So as you can see those two genres of music evolved and are closely related to one another actually coming from the same origin! Rock Bands like Men At Work, Sting, Boy George and rock bands have had no problems bringing that across in their music. If you’ve been ever been or anyone has ever been to Robert Nesta show in Europe or The USA you would have seen for the most part the audience was a rock n roll audience! For me, because the music allows you as an artist to evolve creatively and come into your own and bring something to the audience fans would love and appreciate that in an artist.

RF: What about your lyrics? Which things consider Jahmings Maccow in your words?
JM: Anything projecting Positivity, Righteousness, Love and Livity!

RF: Your mixture of”rock & reggae sound” is competing with all this other new music. This kind of eclectic bands, you know. I want to say, commercial bands who like to mix folk, pop and some kind of “hipster” tunes disguising it with a face of classic rock. How can a reggae man maintain a honest style in these days of plasticized sound?
JM: I want to make sure I overstand the question. I believe you’re referring to dancehall music, which is an offshoot of reggae! You have to keep these two genres of music separate. Reggae is the Rastafarian’s Music. Music that Projects Positivity! Dancehall on the other hand was projecting vibes in the opposite direction! This was instigated by some political interest groups in Jamaica, UK and America to destroy Reggae and the Rastafarian Movement around the World! They tried to accomplish this by using and promoting the ignorance of the youths! The laws of negativity does not allow Creativity!Every musician knows this rule! When you come on the block! You come on the block to learn and grow your Musical and Creative skills and not to just come on the block to throw things together!
The longer you stay on the block, the more skillful and creative you become musically. It’s not an overnight thing seen! Those interest groups previously mentioned tried to promote this illusion in dancehall of entitlement! Pushing that the youths don’t have to come and follow and do things the way their predecessors did things! Only to find out later on down the road, that, that is laughable!
So I will say to all reggae musicians! When you are traveling over rocky roads, stay focused and don’t lose sight of the roads or you will surely stumble. I will say to all dancehall artists, be Positive and Creative! Every Cause have an equal effect. Jah say an idle mind is the devil’s playground.

RF: What other things are really important in your life — apart from music — that help keep you motivated?
JM: The Cause of suffering among the human race and the manipulation of those Causes by politicians to control the human race!

RF: Are you preparing a next tour? Where?
JM: At the moment there are no tour plan, which is subject to change in the coming months! For any updates and news surrounding tours and other ongoing activities people can checkout my Facebook page

RF: If our readers they want to buy your music, where they can do it?
JM: iTunes & Amazon

RF: You’re starting to record your full album? When we will listen next melodies?
JM: There is no set release dates set by my distributor on any new recordings at this time. Any near future ground breaking news on any new releases will be found on my Facebook page!

RF: Thanks Jahmings. It was really great to talk with you. Good luck and success!
JM: It was a great pleasure talking with you! Give Thanks for the interview! BlessUp!

Jahming Maccow little

Jahmings Maccow

Rock, Reggae Rock

From: North Hollywood, CA, USA

Label: Letmegoo Records

Band Members

  • Jahmings Maccow – Guitar & Voice
  • Red I – Other
  • Delly – Other



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