LISTEN UP: Perry says we need to take back the music.
Grammy winner and reggae pioneer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (now 76) admits that something is missing from music today. But especially reggae and dancehall, which he believes needs less sex and way more spiritual teaching to enlighten the youth. Who doesn’t see his point? The famously eccentric producer recently sat down with MTV Iggy to offer his thoughts on the musical status quo:
On modern dancehall coming up short: “[It’s missing] that magic touch. They are missing the spiritual part of it. It’s like business now. The rapping is about business now, or they talk about being gangsta. They need more spiritual music, like something to do with god and the creation, god and nature.”
Less sex, more spirituality: “If they are not singing something spiritual, they will not teach. They ought to sing something for children to learn who do not go to school. The lyrics and the words are not teachable. They joke about girls and wining. It look a little bit unrighteous. Reggae isn’t only for bedwork. Reggae is also for spiritual healing. So, we make music for spiritual healing and spiritual feeling.”
On the thrill of being innovative: “I like to touch things and make things different. I love electronic music. I love young people. You can learn a lot from young people. They walk different, they talk different and their minds are electronic, the electronic brain cells, the electronic power. They love the music, they love to dance.”
His ambitions for the future: “I make plans to do something new. I think I will do something more in Jamaica. Make something more like spiritual reggae. Change the ragamuffin thing that goes on now. But I can’t change all of it. The gangsta do what the gangsta want to do, the raggarilla do what the raggarilla want to do.”