Malawi: Reggae Great Gramps Morgan Confirmed As Sand Festival Headliner

After keeping their fans guessing, Sand Music Festival finally unveiled reggae icon Gramps Morgan as the Saturday headliner for this year’s event taking place from 1 to 3 October at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi.

Gramps returns to Malawi for the first time as a solo artist having previously performed here twice as part of the Morgan Heritage.

“We are excited to unveil Gramps Morgan as the Saturday headline artist because, like we promised, we will not leave any stone unturned to deliver a world class festival,” said Laura Banda, Sand Festival’s spokesperson, adding that the event is due to unveil Sunday’s gospel headline artists.

Gramps joins Nigerian superstar Mr P of P-Square as well as South African singer Makhadzi who will both perform on Friday.

“Gramps Morgan is one of the great voices in modern music. When Gramps sings, the people listen. And when the song he sings carries a powerful message of hope and validation, as is the case with his new single and video People Like You, everyone within earshot takes a deep breath and feels a little better,” she said of the Jamaican singer.

The anthemic People Like You is Morgan’s new solo music since 2012’s Reggae Music Lives, and follows 12 albums with his critically-acclaimed reggae group, Morgan Heritage.

People Like You was penned originally by Johnny Reid.

Gramps heard People Like You for the first time during Johnny Reid’s initial recording session for the track. The three-time Grammy award-winning reggae artist “immediately felt compelled to record and release his own version” to amplify the song’s message regarding the vital importance of feeling good about the good one does in life, as people around the world deal simultaneously with the emotional tolls of a pandemic and systemic global racism.

The song was dedicated to the everyday heroes on the pandemic’s front lines, the song was a heart-warming tribute to two men who lost their lives to Covid-19 – a beloved uncle and Morgan Heritage producer Robert “Bobby Digital” Dixon.

“We are living in difficult times. In times like these people need comfort and need to feel appreciated,” says Gramps Morgan. “We all need to stick together. I’m doing my part.”

“Even though we have been physically distanced this past year due to Covid-19, we’ve seen people come together like never before. My hope is that through this music we can bring people together that wouldn’t normally come together and spread more love along the way,” Gramps shared. “I want our music to transport all of us to the beach, sipping rum from a pineapple,” “An album dedicated to the ‘Islander’ in all of us.”

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