Interview: Robert Emanuel

Robert Emanuel is bringing some reggae vibes to the Rose & Crown on Sunday afternoon, and he also appears on the Stow Festival CD. We spoke to him to hear what to expect.

Hi Robert. How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?

My influence is Sugar Minott, my teacher who I worked with, from when I was 16 til the day he sadly passed away two years ago. Dennis Brown, John Holt, Johnny Osborne, Errol Dunkley, Slim Smith, Barry Brown, and many others…but the most is Sugar Minott.

So I would describe my sound has a mixture of Sugar, Dennis, John Holt and Errol Dunkley. I’ll also mention Alton Ellis, who I call ‘the reggae James Brown’.

How has the year been for you so far? What have been the highlights?

This year has been a great year for me with the release of my first ever album. It’s available on iTunes, Amazon and other downloads. The album is called ‘Ruff and Smooth’, and it was recently Number 1 on Conscious Radio’s D.C. Ninjah’s ‘UK Reggae Outburst’ show, making me Reggae Artist of the Month. This gave me much needed exposure to the public. I also got an award for Best Newcomer back in ‘83 with a track called ‘Jah is my Light’, which was arranged and produced by the late and great well known reggae star Sugar Minott.

What can people expect from your gig at The Stow Festival?

The song that is very popular from the album is called ‘Happy Is He’ which I will be singing on Sunday at the Rose & Crown.

Many thanks to Stevie P, who made all of this possible. He produced my great new great album, and is also a great reggae artist. He played all the instruments and did the arrangements with myself, and he did most of the backing vocals.

Robert Emanuel plays at the Rose & Crown on Sunday 23 September from 1pm. Entry is free.

Here’s ‘Jah is my Light’ by Robert Emanuel and Rankin Simeon.

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