The Wailers was the original band fronted by reggae legend Bob Marley, with Bunny Livingston and Peter Tosh, then becoming Bob Marley & The Wailers two years later, consisting of Aston Barrett and his brother Carlton Barrett, among others. Although Bob Marley passed away in 1981, his music and the band’s hits have endured, with The Wailers Band touring and playing the group’s best hits. Selling over 250 million albums worldwide under numerous guises, the commercial success of the band highlights its global appeal.
So what are the biggest hits of The Wailers? No Woman No Cry, Jamming, Buffalo Soldier and One Love comprise a snippet of the hits, all to be performed in Doha for one night only as the Sheraton is gearing up for a right royal, Rastafarian, reggae jam.
We interviewed both Dwayne Anglin and Aston Barrett, before finishing our interview asking “Family Man” Barrett about performing with Bob Marley and his career spanning six decades, as well as recent humanitarian work and the roots of reggae.
Why do you like coming to the Middle East to perform?
Dwayne Anglin: The Middle East appreciates The Wailers’ music. We are always excited to perform here.
Does reggae music get the recognition it deserves?
Aston Barrett: Well reggae music is very spiritual, so yes, As Bob [Marley] said, this music will reach its rightful people.
DA: Music always finds its people. Reggae music doesn’t need recognition, it needs followers. Reggae is not just music, it is the “Movement of Jah People.”
What are the key components to reggae music?
AB: Peace, love and unity.
DA: Message and mood.
Why is reggae music so important to you?
DA: Reggae is my life. Without reggae I would have no purpose.
Tell us of a band that are hot on the reggae scene right now.
AB: Rootz Underground. The group has a unique sound that I like, and they know how to communicate with the people.
DA: Steel Pulse and Morgan Heritage are among the elite reggae bands. I like them because they have established a legacy over many years of consistency.
What is the first reggae experience that you remember?
AB: Playing in Jamaica as a kid with a high school all girls band.
Has the reggae scene today been influenced by Bob Marley?
AB: Yes, not just by Bob Marley, but by my father, grandfather and uncle as well.
DA: All positive music today is influenced by Bob Marley. He is the symbol of peace worldwide.
Tell us some of the hits you will be performing in Doha…
AB: Jamming, Could You Be Loved, Is This Love.
DA: Of course One Love and No Woman No Cry.
How did you both get into joining The Wailers?
AB: I was born a Wailer, so I just finished up my education and then it was time.
DA: I joined the Wailers in 2010, after the release of my first popular single in Jamaica “Excuse Me Miss.”
Why should people come to your gig in Doha?
AB: To help to spread and keep love, peace and unity in their hearts.
DA: People should come to the show to be a part of this musical feast of positive vibration.
Aston, you performed with Bob Marley. Can you tell us what it was like to perform with him?
AB: My brother and I came in as the drum and bass as the architects for The Wailers’ sound. Bob had a very special connection with the musicians and the audiences we played for around the world.
Is Bob Marley the greatest musician you have ever performed with?
AB: I have performed with many great musicians, but with Bob there was a “Natural Mystic” blowing through the air.
Who else have you performed with over the years? Who sticks out?
AB: Gilberbo Gil, Alpha Blondy, Kenny Chesney, The Fugees and most recently Lauryn Hill.
Where did the nickname “Family Man” come from?
AB: I was given that name when I started out in music, because I keep the music together and I kept all of the musicians together and we were a family.
The Wailers will be performing at The Sheraton Doha on May 22. For ticket information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up tickets from the Sheraton reception from 10am-6pm daily. Sheraton Doha, West Bay (4485 4444).