PHAZE Interview with Mr. Vegas
Jamaican-born reggae artist Mr. Vegas sits down with PHAZE Magazine to talk about his life and recent updates.
Q: How did you start making music?
A: You want to attract the girls, then you want to do more. Those are like my first fans; my classmates and so forth. So we would just basically beat on the desk and sing, you know? So then I got passionate about it, and the passion grew. Then I got my break in 1997, by singing on a beat for Sean Paul. We did a track called “Nike,” and I wrote about a girl that some guy, you know, got something from for a Nike.
Q: I know that dancehall music can sometimes be a little explicit and vulgar. for Caribbean people this kind of music is normal, but for people who aren’t used to that it, it can come off as a little too much. Have you ever felt pressured to change up your music or your style?
A: Well, you see, because of the internet now people are more in-tuned to that type of music. I feel like the younger generation, they love the explicit stuff. They love to hear about their culture and all of that stuff. I think when I started doing dancehall music, it was more fun. You know, you had “Murder She Wrote,” and it was like someone telling a story of something that happened. Like “Nike” or “Heads High” are just like fun songs. You know “Bruk It Down” is just a dance. “Tek Weh Yuself” is just a dance! Beenie Man- zim zimma, who got the keys to my bimma, is just like simple, catchy songs. I just think now, the kids, the younger generation, you’ve got to understand. Social media is just so busy, so people have to go extreme to get attention. If you’re sounding too decent, people are just going to skip past you. So people are trying to do it all.
Q: What are some your hobbies besides music?
A: I like sports, you know. I like playing soccer. I’m not good, but I enjoy playing. I enjoy a good conversation. I think I’m more of a people person. I love to chat. I’m always in the middle of a conversation. People sometimes think sometimes that I’m too argumentative, but I enjoy a good conversation.
Q: are you ever recognized in the street? how do you react?
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think I’ve been around long enough. I feel like I’m an easy going person. You know, some artists, they’re coming through and it’s like a lot of people, an entourage. You see all the bling and the big cars and all these things, and I feel like I’m more laid back; where I can fit in in a regular crowd.
Q: What you’ve been up to lately? Have you been recording more music? Any songs you haven’t released yet?
A: I started doing a lot of recording again. You know, more dancing tunes because I just know the kids, they’re into dancing. I think I’m too old now to do explicit stuff, so I’m more into happy music. Of course, we have a spiritual thing going; spiritual growth, trying to find oneself. At some point in your life you have to take a spiritual cleansing, you know? We’re just playing music that can please the audience that knew Mr. Vegas 20 years ago, that I can still tap into, and the new generation.
Q: My last question is where do you currently reside? Can you talk a little bit about your family and such?
A: I’m between Florida and Jamaica. I can’t give up Jamaica because of the food. The food is splendid. I have a big family. I have my kids, that are dear to me. Most of them are here in the states so that’s what keeps me here in the states.