The following is a sweet interview with the reggae star Joseph Hill, of Culture, conducted by Joel Savage – Voice Magazine Belgian Correspondent. We are posting an excerpt of it here for our readers at the request of Joel who is working on his own blog. – zzb

BY JOEL SAVAGE – PolePole festival, Gent-Belgium 2004

Down in Jamaica, where Garvey comes from, many groups and musicians started in the early seventies, like the mighty Joseph Hill of Culture. But they are no where to found today. Like the spirit of the Lord upon Joseph Hill, for the past thirty years, nothing at all could stop him from spreading his strong message against war, oppression, crime, discrimination, poverty, racism, corruption, and injustice. Last year 2003, he came out with “World Peace” seeking peace worldwide and rejecting war totally through music. On July 25, 2004, after performing live, he granted this interview to the Voice Magazine Belgian Correspondent. Joel Savage

TV: I have to call you sir Joseph Hill. Let’s rally round Jehovah’s throne. I have some few questions to ask you.

Joseph: You are welcome (Then he smiled)

TV: It was in the seventies I heard of Culture. Can you please tell me what has inspired you to be in this hard music industry for all these years?

Joseph:It’s Jah (referring to God) that gives me the strength. Always feel that there is something watching out for me. For my self, I love to play for the people. They are also part of my inspiriation. This is what has inspired me through all those years.

TV: You have been singing all your life, about corruption, oppression, discrimination, war, poverty and so on. Were you a victim to such things in any circumstances?

Joseph: There are people I saw in comparison. Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! I have seen those things through political reasons. I have seen people die and not a word of justice is been said. Think of the person’s life. It is priceless. My last grief I had was this woman in Afghanistan, separated from the land. They treated her so bad that she and her sixteen year old child were eating grass. (Joseph moved with sorrow spelt the word grass, G R A S S -grass) That was my last grief.

TV: Your lyrics and beats in every song of culture touches and moves everyone on the road of trials and tribulations. Where do you get such wonderful rhythms and lyrics from?

Joseph: The big man that rules the earth. (He laughed) He is the governor.

TV: You were in Sierra Leone on two occasions, when the war was at its peak with brutal activities of the rebels. Did your visit create any impact or change your view on the suffering masses in that country?

Joseph: Yes my visit brought a change. When the people saw me, they didin’t know what to say. They just cried and cried. You know, the rebels told the government that “You should be glad that Joseph is here, this place would be destroyed within 24 hours. I just came back from there few weeks ago.

TV: I learnt that in the capital Freetown, at the guest house you lodged, there is a tree near by and every morning a bird came to sing, and out of the song of the bird, you composed a song from it. Is it true?

Joseph: Yes it’s true. Read More…

Feel free to read the entire interview on Joel’s blog! – zzb