Interview: Niambe McIntosh
Tue, 19 Nov 2013 10:35:43
Peter Tosh's legacy extends far beyond music. His work embodies a spirit of freedom that's both inspiring and invigorating even today. It's something crucial that everyone should ponder and pay homage too. That's exactly what his family does with Peter Tosh's EarthStrong Celebration. This year proved to be another powerful, passionate, and poignant experience for all in attendance—especially the family...
In this exclusive interview, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino speaks to Peter Tosh's youngest daughter Niambe McIntosh about EarthStrong and so much more.
For you, what's the goal of Peter Tosh's EarthStrong celebration beyond music?
The goal of the EarthStrong Celebration is to bring people together. It's also to celebrate Peter for all that he stood for and loved. He became a symbol of struggle against oppression and a voice for the oppressed. EarthStrong is a celebration, recognition, and extension of not only his musical contribution, but also his penchant for struggle, unity and the elevation of his people’s consciousness.
How did this year differ? What was the most gratifying part?
This year the celebration was different in that we came together as a family to produce it on our own. The most gratifying piece was to watch how working together can strengthen the familial bond. At the same time, seeing the culmination of our work result in a rich and rewarding experience for the people who came to love and celebrate Peter Tosh.
In terms of curating the event, what's your favorite part of the planning process?
I can't say that I have a particular favorite part of the planning process, but I can say that coming together as a family with a purpose and working towards a common goal is personally gratifying to me.
What aspects of your father's message resonated the most with you?
There are two songs that have been a part of my core philosophy as I move forward with my father's work. "Stand Firm" and the lyrics are, "Live clean and let your works be seen..." The song "Oh Bumboclaat" starts off with a very powerful line, "I came upon this land to guide and teach my brother man." Both of these messages instill a great sense of personal responsibility and dignity in me that have remained the guiding principles throughout my life. My father used his songs to convey his messages. The message of accountability in them has great meaning to me.
Does this bring your family closer together while inviting fans to be a part of that family?
My father transcended music. And, yes, it's great for everyone to see fans of all ages coming out to celebrate Peter. It reminds us all that is something bigger than each of us individually.
Where do you see the celebration going next year?
I see the show growing by leaps and bounds next year. We took in a great deal of input and information on this one and we’ll build on our strengths and eliminate areas of weakness. We want to bring in more international artists and we’re looking into incorporating theatrical productions as well as a community enhancement initiative.
What's next for you?
We have a great deal ahead of us. The most important thing is for us to keep our eyes and ears open and remain agile and flexible in this ever so changing world. My mission is the advancement and proliferation of the Peter Tosh Estate. That encompasses so much and of course it is a challenge. My father was an ambassador for equal rights and justice everywhere, an up holder for pan-Africanism, as well as an advocate for the Legalization of Marijuana. It is our intention to continue to incorporate these philosophies into the foundation of everything that we do. We have some really exciting ventures ahead. We will be developing the Peter Tosh Memorial Gardens in Westmoreland Jamaica. We will carry on with my father's name, and now that Marijuana is finally legal in a handful of states, we have the opportunity of working with a few specific companies to develop and market products where portions of the proceeds can be directed to organizations who are leading the advocacy for marijuana law reform and helping patients in poverty that would benefit from cannabis.