Q & A with Winston Jarrett
June 4, 2007
Q: What was it like growing up in Trenchtown, the toughest ghetto in Kingston?
A: Those days was bad, and it just build up, build up, build up until it got out of hand. Really poor people are living there but there are good people living there too, man. In everything you do, you have good and bad mixed together. So you have to separate the wheat from the corn. If you want to make good for yourself you have to put your hands to the wheel.
Q: What is Trenchtown like today?
A: Still a ghetto. Same way. No changes.
Q: How did you survive?
A: I didn’t want to grow up a bad man or a stealer because I grew up in a Christian home. I go to school and every day of the week and we go to church in the night. And Sunday we go to Sunday school. When you grow up with a mother and father who taught you to do the right thing it will never depart from you.
Recommended Stories For You
Q: Who were your musical influences from the United States?
A: The R&B is one of the best quality music that America ever produced. I like Impressions; I like Curtis Mayfield.
Q: What about The Meters?
A: Yes, the Meters, and I love Sam Cooke and I love Brook Benton, and I love Fats Domino. So much artists to name a few. But all of them I love. Because we learn from them too, you know. They learn from us and we learn from them. So when we have the American culture and the Jamaican culture put together it is so wonderful because you get a mixture of music. You mix it and you blend it and that’s what makes it so good.
Q: What about reggae’s influence on hip-hop?
A: The hip-hop now, I’m not gonna mention anything about the hip-hop. I will say there is a market for it. It is a culture of the States. It’s their culture. And because it is the American culture there is a market and people support it. So that is all I have to say about the hip-hop.
Q: Do you always play with a horn section?
A: Horns have to be there. It’s like cooking. There has to be spices on the top. Horns are like that – spices to sweeten up the music.