Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Morgan Heritage On Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley And The GRAMMYs
The band of siblings, comprising Peter "Peetah" Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy "Gramps" Morgan, Nakhamyah "Lukes" Morgan, and Memmalatel "Mr. Mojo" Morgan, have earned their second career GRAMMY nomination for Best Reggae Album for 2017's Avrakedabra, a 12-track masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of traditional reggae.
"We look at hip-hop music and country music and rock music and as it was 40 years ago doesn't sound the same way it does today, so the genre has to grow," says Gramps Morgan. "It cannot just sound the same it sounded 40 years ago. [We] really want to be adamant to show you the music can grow while still maintaining its roots."
With tracks such as "Pineapple Wine," "Ride And Roll," "One Life To Live," and "Dancing In The Moonlight," Morgan Heritage has infused elements of funk and even dubstep into their well-worn comfort zone of roots reggae that Jambands.com called "not lit only with spiritual light, but also secular enjoyment."
While Morgan Heritage has their own prior GRAMMY moment to celebrate — they won a GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album for Strictly Roots at the 58th GRAMMY Awards — it's another seminal GRAMMY moment that stands out in Gramps Morgan's mind from watching previous telecasts.
"My favorite GRAMMY moment as a child growing up in Springfield, Mass., was when Michael Jackson won all of those GRAMMYs for 'Thriller,'" said Gramps Morgan. "You remember that blue and gold outfit, he just looked so royal, as the King of Pop should look. I remember that moment, saying, 'Wow, how can somebody win so many GRAMMYs?'"
And this year, Morgan Heritage are looking to have a little fun while they attend the 60th GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 28 in New York, with inspiration from a surprising source.
"This year I'm trying to get a little creative," says Gramps Morgan. "I'm working with Elvis Presley's mentor, a tailor. You gotta see me on the red carpet. Make sure you're there. It's gonna be a secret. Trying to get a little creative and have fun this year."