What you need to know about reggae band Big Mountain before they perform at the Colombo Music Festival
The roots of the American band Big Mountain started in 1986 in San Diego. The ten-member outfit first topped the charts with Touch My Light in early 1993 from their debut album Wake Up. They also achieved international fame with their remake of Peter Frampton's Baby, I Love Your Way. The band heads to Sri Lanka for the Colombo Music Festival 2018 and we speak to the lead singer Joaquin "Quino" McWhinneythem about that and more:
As a band, Big Mountain has seen a number of members leave and eventually replaced. How do you manage to continue to exist as a band with such huge changes taking place?
Big Mountain organisation is a large network of highly talented reggae musicians that are like one big family. Just about everyone that has performed in Big Mountain since 1992 to present are all friends with each other up. Big Mountain is blessed to have such a great organisation of Reggae musicians.
You have also had considerable success on pop charts. Tell us a little bit about it.
Our first original was single titled Touch My Light. This single launched the Big Mountain network of super star reggae musicians into international fame. Next was the single Reggae Inna Summertime, and, simultaneous in Johannesburg, South Africa, Big Mountain's song Peaceful Revolution, as the anthem for the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, gained traction on the major FM radio stations and became a short lived radio hit. By 1994, there was a growing curiosity and unity within the reggae music scene about this group of reggae musicians called Big Mountain.
Then in March of 1994, RCA Records released the single Baby I Love Your Way and this single took over the entire planet. Following that Sweet Sensual Love took us into top 10 on the pop radio charts in Spain and Japan. The follow up album titled Resistance had three regional hit singles, Get Together went to top 5 in Brazil and Norway, Caribbean Blue is a major hit single south of the equator and Where Do The Children Play did well throughout Europe and United Arab Emirates. Next was the Free Up album, containing the single All Kinds Of People that gained top 40 radio traction in Austria, Norway and Mumbai, India.
If you were to switch genres, which one would you pick?
That is a very difficult question to answer. I never have thought about that I would probably go harder edge political roots reggae.
Musically, who have you been inspired by?
Many artists. The top three that come to mind is Bob Marley, Freddie McGregor and Frankie Paul
Who are some current artists you've been listening to?
I listen to almost all of the new artists. I love hearing what is going on today.
What are some of your favourite memories from your long career?
There are way too many favorite memories to list one, or even ten. Every world tour is a great experience.
You have enjoyed longevity in your career. What do you credit that to?
Putting out lyrics that make people feel enlightened and quality musical arrangements.
What is something no one knows about you?
I sometimes get cravings for blue berries and late at night chocolate.
What can your Sri Lankan fans expect at the Colombo Music Festival?
A fun loving reggae party Big Mountain style.