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Interview: ReggaeChapter speaks to TOOTS HIBBERT

We caught up with the legendary FREDERICK “TOOTS” HIBBERT of TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS for the last ever ReggaeChapter interview.

Ahead of his UK tour later this month, HIBBERT talked about returning to the live scene after a three-year hiatus and his plans for the future.

The Jamaican musician’s career was put on hold back in 2013 after an onstage bottle attack at a Virginia music festival.

After filing a US$20m lawsuit against the producers of the event, his team finally reached an undisclosed settlement in March this year.

Despite the setbacks, Hibbert was upbeat and sounded confident about the upcoming tour: “It feels very good to be out there performing again,” he said. “It’s a good change for me to know that and to be doing my work again.

“You know what, I was off for three years, but now I’m back on the road and I’m feeling okay.”

Hibbert said he never imagined as a young man that he would still be on the live circuit well into his later years. “No, I never thought that. I had no plan. I just kept on doing my work, working for my friends and my family,” he said.

Looking back to when he was a young man, he said he would tell himself to believe in the right thing and believe in what he does:

“School and college and make yourself to be a better person. If you want to do music you have to listen to endless music, like myself, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and others,” he said. “And then they should be okay,” he added.

Looking forward to new music, Hibbert said he has a new recording that he wants to release, but is currently waiting on management to make the decision.

“The team are getting the call for good performance and happiness – they want happiness, you know, coming from Jamaica. For me, people call me, so I am there to deliver,” he said.

When it comes to music other than reggae, Hibbert told that he listens to a lot of different music:

“I listen to dancehall, I listen to hip hop and R&B music from America, England, all over, I listen to every music, but my main music I listen to is dancehall.” 

TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS will be touring throughout the UK later this month.