UK Reggae Pop artist, Maxi Priest will be performing an intimate show at the Honokaa People’s Theatre on June 17. He’s collaborated with some of the world’s best artists including, Sly and Robbie, Shaggy, Roberta Flack, and Shabba Ranks. Big Island Music Magazine had the opportunity to interview him ahead of his arrival in Hawaii.
I see your tour of the Pacific starts next week. Do you have any special connection to Hawaii?
Oh, c’mon! (laughs). Hawaii’s like home, man. The amount of time that I’ve been going to Hawaii… from way back when to now. I gotta give thanks, and I truly mean that for the people of Hawaii, and I truly mean that for the situation that’s happening right now. My heart goes out to the folks and families that have lost their homes.
We’re on our way there, and we want to bring some love and joy. Some encouragement and good vibes.
What can fans look forward to when they come to your show at the People’s Theatre?
Obviously, we want turn things upside down, and put a smile on everybody’s face. Let them know there’s hope at the end of the day. At the same time, you can let your hair down and experience some good reggae music. We’re coming with a good spiritual vibe.
You’ll be playing on Father’s Day. Any special message to the dads?
We just got to keep it going through all of the thick and thin. Obviously first God, and everything else comes after.
Who’s in the band, and how long have you guys been playing together?
I’m bringing my crew and band that I’ve been working with for quite a number of years. We have a new kid, a DJ, who brings a new flavor to the whole thing.
I understand you’re working on a bunch of new tracks. Would you like talk about those?
Oh my gosh! When you called I was standing right in front of the mic laying down a vocal. I’m hear with my brother and co-writer… producer of the year! Mr. Livingston Brown! We’re here doing a vocal track.
Livingston Brown: (in background) Yeah! Yo! Yo! Yo!
Who and what inspires you and your music today?
Everything is an inspiration. It could be a friend or a personal situation. Right now, we’re working on some new lyrics. We have an appreciation for everything that God has put on this earth.
Can you share any titles with us?
(Laughs. Asks Livingston Brown.) Can we share any titles? “Fight for Love.”
What does the rest of 2018 look like for you?
Busy. We’re going to China for the first time. Bringin’ some reggae music to China. Japan, Hawaii, and then we head to the rest of the States. We also drop into Songfest in Jamaica. Then it’s back to the States, and then to Europe. It’s crazy and busy but uplifting to this Maxi Priest situation.
Thank you. I feel really good, and raring to go! There’s so many different projects that we’re doing. I was in the studio the other day with Robin Trower, and we have an album coming out. I want to say we’re two people from different walks of life, but it’s funny… he comes from South East London as well. We come from two different genres of music, but we managed to find a middle ground. I’m really excited about this album. It’s produced by Livingston Brown, Robin Trower, and myself.
When can we look forward to that?
We’re hoping to drop either later this year, or early 2019.
Have you got a title?
No, but it’s going to be a nine-track album. Everything’s live. No machines. None of that. We did a whole horn and string section the other day. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this recording.
Wow! Two legends together!
Mad! Mad! Mad! Honestly!
We’re all looking forward to your show on the 17th!
Not as much as I am. (Laughs) Bless you King! Our hearts go out to all of those effected by the lava, but there is a God and the light is there.
Maxi priest plays the Honokaa People’s Theatre on Sunday June 17. You can find tickets here: https://bluesbearhawaii.com/t/maxi-priest
Visit Maxi Priest’s official website: https://www.maxipriest.com