First Solo Project in Nine Years Features Star-Studded Collaborations with Shaggy, India.Arie and More
Today Nashville-based reggae artist Gramps Morgan releases his new album Positive Vibration. Bringing a unique voice to Music City’s increasingly diverse sounds, the 15 track LP is the first solo project from the GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter in nine years and features star-studded collaborations with Shaggy, India.Arie, Lybran (The Rum Boss) and three generations of Morgans with Denroy Morgan & Jemere Morgan. Following an unprecedented year of civil unrest amidst a global pandemic that left so many isolated and suffering devastating losses the soulful “Positive Vibration” crooner hopes the album will be the perfect soundtrack to bring us all back together this summer. Listen to the album HERE.
“Even though we have been physically distanced this past year due to COVID-19, we’ve seen people come together like never before. My hope is that through this music we can bring people together that wouldn’t normally come together and spread more love along the way,” Gramps says.
American Songwriter calls Positive Vibration, “one of the summer’s most-needed releases,” while the Tennessean echoes the sentiment saying, “His bold new album…is a pure celebration.” Produced by Scottish-born, multi-platinum recording artist/producer Johnny Reid and recorded both in Nashville, at Soultrain Sound Studios the former home of historic Scruggs Sound Studios, as well as in Canada at Toronto’s Revolution Recording Studio, Gramps co-wrote 13 of the 15 tracks for the project.
“Johnny and I came together in solidarity to create a soundtrack of positive vibes for all the good people out there,” Gramps shares. “I hope this album helps us celebrate the goodness that is possible when people from all walks of life stand together as one. I want our music to transport all of us to the beach, sipping rum from a pineapple…an album dedicated to the ‘Islander’ in all of us.”
A Nashville native since 2012, Gramps moved to town after falling in love with Music City following a performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium while on tour with India.Arie. While his reggae roots are at the forefront with “Positive Vibration,” Gramps sees his music as genre-less…bursting with positive vibration…a soundtrack to celebrate both love and Music City. By flavoring reggae with dashes of both country and soul, Gramps effortlessly blends the sounds of legendary artists like Ken Boothe, Toots Hibbert, Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney creating a sonic recipe all his own to bring everyone to the metaphoric table.
“I grew up listening to soul and reggae music,” Gramps explains, “but when we would make Sunday dinner—we called it ‘rice and peas day’—all we listened to was old reggae and country songs. I developed a great appreciation for country music and always wanted to create music that celebrated both reggae and country.”
The album follows the release of tracks “If You’re Looking for Me,” “Positive Vibration” and “A Woman Like You” this year as well as last year’s “Runaway Bay,” a love letter to Jamaica incorporating elements of 1950s-skaa, a precursor to reggae. Last year Gramps also released a one-off track “People Like You,” dedicated to the everyday heroes on the pandemic’s front lines. The song was a heart-warming tribute to two men who lost their lives to COVID-19 – a beloved uncle and Morgan Heritage producer Robert “Bobby Digital” Dixon.
Positive Vibration Track Listing:
1. Positive Vibration (Johnny Reid / Tyler Cain / Gramps Morgan)
2. If You’re Looking For Me (Johnny Reid / Morry Trent / Gramps Morgan)
3. Float Ya Boat Ft. Shaggy (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan / Tyler Cain / Orville Burrell)
4. Water In My Whiskey (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan / Jodi Marr)
5. Paradise Ft. India.Arie (Johnny Reid / Jodi Marr / Miku Graham / Michael Shand)
6. A Woman Like You (Johnny Reid / Brent Maher)
7. Secret To Life Ft. Denroy Morgan & Jemere Morgan (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan)
8. Money (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan)
9. Rumnesia Ft. Lybran (The Rum Boss) (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan / Lamon Cousins)
10. Runaway Bay (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan / Michael Shand / Miku Graham)
11. My Love (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan)
12. The Peacock (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan / Miku Graham / Michael Shand)
13. Islander (Johnny Reid / Jodi Marr / Miku Graham / Gramps Morgan)
14. Conkytonk (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan / Jodi Marr)
15. All About Love (Johnny Reid / Gramps Morgan)
About Gramps Morgan
Roy “Gramps” Morgan entered one of reggae’s royal families when was born on July 7, 1976. His father, Denroy Morgan, a Jamaican immigrant, helped form the Black Eagles, New York’s first reggae group. He also organized several of his children into a reggae band with Gramps joining the appropriately titled Morgan Heritage. Morgan Heritage debuted at Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash Festival in 1994 and signed a recording contract with MCA Records that same year. Their debut album, Miracles, featured Gramps on vocals and keyboards. In 2009, after fifteen years of touring and recording with Morgan Heritage, the band decided to pursue solo careers.
Gramps’s first solo effort, 2 Sides of My Heart, Volume 1, came out that same year. It landed him on “Good Morning America” and on tour with India.Arie and John Legend. India.Arie invited Gramps to be the featured vocalist on her breezy 2009 single “Therapy.” The song hit No. 22 on Billboard’s R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and remains Gramps’ highest charting single.
In addition to his solo career, Gramps continued to work with Morgan Heritage. The group’s 2015 Strictly Rootstopped the Reggae Music charts and earned a GRAMMY® Award in 2016 for Best Reggae Album. Morgan Heritage garnered two more GRAMMY® nominations: for 2017’s Avrakedabra and for feature vocals on Shaggy and Sting’s “44/876” (A&M Records, 2018).