“Poverty, talking about suffering, I don’t even have words to explain it because this is the way we live. It is part of our lives that we never try to eliminate it.” – Anthony B.
Anthony Keith Blair, popularly known as Anthony B, is one of Jamaican globetrotting versatile musicians and member of the Rastafari faith.
Usually on stage in African attire depicting his roots, and a staff in his hand, the energetic- reverb musician’s lyric reflects on poverty, injustice, and crime, giving hope and consolation to the downtrodden masses.
Once in Antwerp, Belgium, after entertaining the massive spectators at the venue ‘Petrol,’ I took the opportunity to talk to Anthony B, about his life and music.
“Poverty, talking about suffering, I don’t even have words to explain it, because this is the way we live. It is part of our lives that we never try to eliminate it. We always have to remember our roots, as Burning Spear said. For me, there is too much suffering in the world. People live rich, while others live in poverty, yet no one cares. This was created by a man, not God. This is what ‘Mr. Heartless’ is about,” says Anthony B.
You were born Anthony Keith Blair. Did changing your name to Anthony B, enhance your success as a musician?
Not really but growing up in music in Jamaica as an artist, you need to find a name for yourself. I’m oriented African with an English name, so I made it Anthony B.
Anthony B speaks about his experience in Gambia
I have been to Senegal and Gambia. First and foremost, the reality as an African, I respect my culture. There was an incidence during my visit to Gambia as my visa expired the same day I was leaving.
I was at the airport when I was told the Gambia police were looking for me to be deported to Jamaica. It was a silly thing to know that you have been to the continent of your origin, but haven’t enough days to see the people. All these problems were created by political leaders.
If you want a visa to the Gambia you have to go to England first. They have to remove all these political barriers. I remember a friend from Accra, Ghana, who was deported from Germany to Jamaica because he claimed to be Jamaican.
He doesn’t know anyone in Jamaica. Luckily he had my number. He had to call me to help him because we are all Africans.
Do you want to know more about other reggae stars, including Anthony B, whose conscious and mythical music has stolen the heart of music lovers around the globe? Get a copy of ‘The Passion Of Reggae And African Music,’ available at https://www.amazon.com/Passion-Reggae-African-Music-ebook/dp/B013L9A1JQ