By Stephen Cooper
With his signature sweet voice and a successful career spanning over four decades, Don Carlos is unquestionably a legendary figure in reggae music. The worldwide appeal of Carlos’ unique style of conscious roots reggae music is well-documented; an often-cited example well-worth watching on YouTube is from a concert Carlos gave in 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya; a massive crowd of an estimated 150,000 joyous fans turned out despite a sweltering African sun to dance, to praise Jah, and to listen to Don Carlos sing.
On April 8, 2017, I interviewed Don Carlos for approximately twenty minutes after he and his band Dub Vision performed before just a few hundred lucky fans at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego, California. The many topics we discussed included: the controversy involving non-conscious dance hall music; new music he has released; a relatively new family-owned recording studio called Jus Time Records in Portmore, Jamaica; the importance of having a good sound engineer; the Jamaican government’s failure to properly invest in Jamaican music; and the influence that reggae stars Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs had on his career. What follows is a transcription of the interview modified only slightly for clarity. [Read more…]