RAS MIDAS, "The Musical Prophet"
Ras Midas is an internationally established singer, songwriter, performing and recording artist, and composer and producer; he has produced dynamic Reggae music since 1974. At the age of 16, Ras Midas began recording unique and innovative songs for the famous Jamaican producer Harry Johnson at Harry J. Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, with Reggae's finest musicians and vocalists.
Ras Midas, a true Rastaman, is an original. With a distinctive style and a silky smooth voice, he sings with the mission of a musical revolutionary; he was dubbed "The Musical Prophet" in Europe early in his career. Ras Midas consistently delivers dynamic, high energy performances, with positive and pensive lyrics floating over steady, solid roots rock Reggae music.
Ras Midas's first international hit was the single release "Kude-A-Bamba," recorded in English and Swahili on Island Records/Harry J. Records; the single quickly sold half a million copies worldwide. The first Jamaican artist to record Reggae lyrics in French, Ras Midas's bilingual hit song, "Too Long In The Wind/Tout Long Temps Dan Le Vent" on the "Rastaman In Exile" album (released on the Disc A-Z [France] label) quickly climbed the charts in France and French-speaking African and Caribbean countries. "Rastaman In Exile" earned the Album of The Year award in France (1980) and is still regarded as one of the best roots rock Reggae albums of all time.
Ras Midas's first album, "Cover Me" (1974), was recorded at Harry J. Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, and released on Trojan Records/Harry J. Records. Also recorded at Harry J. Recording Studio, "Reflections" (1976), "Kude-A-Bamba" (1978) and "Rain & Fire" (1979) were released on Island Records/Harry J. Records; "Rastaman In Exile" was released on Disc A-Z (France) in 1980, and "Stand Up Wise Up" (1984) was released on Celluloid (France) and re-released on JML Records in the U.S. in 1988.
Background vocalists on these albums include Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Pam Hall, and Anesia Banks. Musicians include: Drummers - Sly Dunbar, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Mikey Richards. Bass players - Robbie Shakespeare, Val Douglas, Circle Lewis (Inner Circle). Guitarists - Andy Bassford, Dwight Pickney, Gitsy Stuart, Earl "Wire" Lindo. Piano/organ - Gladstone Anderson, Ansell Collins, Winston Wright, Franklin "Bubbler" Waul. Clavinet/Synthesizer - Peter Ashbourne, Robert Lyn. Horns - Dean Frazer, R. Nambo Anderson, Junior Chin. Percussion: Sticky Simpson, Skully. Sylvan Morris, one of the most acclaimed Reggae music engineers and arrangers, worked with Ras Midas on all but Ras Midas's last two albums.
Inspired by the acceptance of and demand for his music in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, South America and the United States, Ras Midas founded JML Music Productions/JML Records in 1987. Ras Midas produced "Loving Vibration" (1998), "Confirmation" (2000), "Reaching Out" (2006) and "Fire Up" (2010) on the JML Records label. "Loving Vibration" was ranked No. 3 by worldwide music critics in the 1998 Top Ten independently produced Reggae albums category, and "Confirmation" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Ras Midas's powerful messages of social justice, love, unity, and consciousness have remained unchanged over nearly four decades; "The Musical Prophet" pushes traditional Reggae music into a new, contemporary dimension while retaining its Reggae roots.
HITS AND AWARDS:
- "Cover Me" (1974) Trojan Records/Harry J. Records
- "Reflections" (1976) Island Records/Harry J. Records
- "Kude-A-Bamba" (1978) Island Records/Harry J. Records
- "Rain & Fire" (1979) Island Records/Harry J. Records
- "Rastaman In Exile" (1980) Disc A-Z
- "Stand Up Wise Up" (1984) Celluloid
- "Stand Up Wise Up" (1988) JML Records (U.S. release)
- "Loving Vibration" (1998) JML Records
- "Confirmation" (2000) JML Records
- "Reaching Out" (2006) JML Records
- "Fire Up" (2010) JML Records
LANGUAGES: English, French, Swahili, Gan Chinese
- "Rastaman In Exile" - Album of The Year Award, France (1980)
- "Confirmation" - album - nominated for a Grammy Award (2000)
- "Kude-A-Bamba" - 45 RPM - sold 500,000 copies
ALBUM DISTRIBUTION: Europe, Africa, Caribbean Basin, North America, South America
TOURS/FESTIVALS - HIGHLIGHTS:
- EUROPE - England, Holland, Belgium, West Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Germany.
- AFRICA - Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Zimbabwe.
- SOUTH AMERICA - Brazil, Venezuela, Surinam.
- NORTH AMERICA - Highlights include: Sierra Nevada Reggae Music Festival, Vermont Reggae Festival, Grand Rapids Sunsplash, North Michigan Funsplash, Utah State Fair Park Coliseum, Reggae Under the Stars, Murray Amphitheater, Forest Meadows Amphitheater, Hopi Civic Center, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, University of Utah Mayfest, California State University/Fresno, Reed College, Snow College, University of Montana, Idaho State University, North Arizona University, Jamaica My Weekend Reggae Festival, Monterey Bay Reggae Festival, North Western Reggae Festival, 2005 Calabash Awards Performance (Awards recipient), and a 45 minute live TV performance, "Musician's Weekly," Comcast Cable, Santa Cruz, CA.
- National Association of Recording Arts and Science - 2000 to present
- The Recording Academy - 1999 to present
- Broadcasting Music Incorporated (BMI)- 1996 to present
- American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) U.S.A. - 1986-1996
- MCPS/Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) London, England - 1990
- Performing Rights Society Ltd. (PRS) London, England - 1976-1985
Text & photo courtesy of Nan Lewis, Entertainment Works (2012).