Reggae great Jimmy Cliff sees himself as an actor more so than the Jamaican singing star he became.
Jimmy started out as an actor and starred in the 1972 movie ‘The Harder They Come’. He also recorded the title song for the movie which is now considered one of the greatest reggae hits of all-time.
“It has become a classic,” Jimmy tells Noise11. “But People are still watching that movie. I am proud of the movie because I did fulfil a part of my own aspirations which was to be an actor”.
As a child Jimmy wanted to act, not sing. “Long before I decided to sing as a career acting was what I wanted to do at school,” he said. “I thought I would become an actor and I still think I’m a better actor than a singer”.
However as fate would have it Jimmy Cliff became much more famous as a singer than an actor. His hits include ‘The Harder They Come’, ‘Many Rivers To Cross’, ‘Wild World’ and ‘ I Can See Clearly Now’.
In a few weeks, he will compete for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for ‘The Rebirth’ against Sean Paul, Sly & Robbie, Toots & The Maytals and the Original Wailers. “I’ve won a Grammy and have been nominated for Grammy Awards before. I won one for the album ‘Follow My Mind’, I think in ’92,” he said.
Jimmy will be heading to Australia in March for Bluesfest, the Deni Blues and Roots Festival, Womadelaide and West Coast Blues & Roots Festival. “My shows are always uplifting,” he says. “I am an uplifting artist and try to stay positive in this world of complexity. I like to think that when people leave my show they re-energize and have the same positive feeling. I want them to appreciate life and hop my show gives them that kind of feeling. I will do all the classic songs that they expect”.
March 19 and 20, Cairns, Tank 5
March 24, Perth, West Coast Blues and Roots Festival
March 27, Melbourne, The Corner Hotel
March 28, Sydney, Metro
March 29, Byron Bay, Bluesfest
March 30, Hope Estate Winery
March 31, Deniliquin, Deni Blues & Roots Festival