We are honored and humbled to get the opportunity to speak with reggae recording artist Una Morgan. Most people are familiar with Una because of the work she has been doing with the group Morgan Heritage. That being said, we want to use this interview to highlight her, not the group. We want to focus on her solo projects both in music and in life.
Hi Una, thank you for taking time out of what I’m sure is a hectic schedule to answer these questions.
Una Morgan: Thank you for having me and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be able to share my story and to be able to share what’s happening with me now in my life with everyone! I know I have a lot of old fans, but I also look forward to meeting and speaking with my new fans! Let’s Go!
Before we dive into all that you are doing now, can you just start by giving the readers a summary of the role you play in band Morgan Heritage.
Una Morgan: The role that I play with Morgan Heritage, is that I am one of the songwriters, one of the keyboard players, and one of the vocalists in the group. We have myself, my brother Peetah, and my brother Gramps, who are the main vocalists in the group. Peetah is the lead vocalist, and then we have my brother Mojo, who is the rapper/chanter, for Morgan Heritage. You know, for years, when our Dad (Denroy Morgan) was managing the group, along with my brother Lukes, we were all part of the management team for the family groups of entertainers, such as, LMS, and Laza Morgan, just to name a few. We were all trained in the business of music, to be able to carry those responsibilities for some time, until God said that it was a “new season”.
I think it is unfortunate that in bands or groups that’s made up of both male and female talents the men almost always overshadows the women. Any thoughts on that?
Una Morgan: You know what, that is a great question… I completely understand how you feel, and I understand and do feel that the imbalance between men and women in groups, and in music and THE WORLD, because it’s not just in music alone, I think that women are always put on the back burner in any industry, for that matter, but it comes back to the woman as well; we keep ourselves to the utmost level and consider ourselves, and do the things that keep us on top, we shall remain on top. We are the mothers of civilization! We are the ones where the seed is planted, to bring forth life! So, there is no one on this planet that can put us on the back burner, except ourselves. So, to all of the women who read this: You know what!?! Make yourself #1, do not depend on no man, or no one of the flesh, to make you feel any way but know that you are important – because we are!
One of the things I know our readers are eager to know more about is your illness. In 2015 you had to step away from the public because you got really sick. Can you tell us exactly what happened and how you are doing now?
Una Morgan: 2015!!! Yes! That was the year that I was brought to my knees, literally, by the holy spirit! I had to find him for myself, I had to find the Most High to be able to get thru the physical aspect of my illness. I had hyperthyroidism first, and then that was not treated properly, although I did go to the doctors, but I did not believe in the traditional, pharmaceutical ways. Although I didn’t educate myself or investigate the holistic or naturopathic aspects of healing yet. Some called it Graves’ DISease, but it’s all DISeases in our bodies, and I know that now. We have the power to overcome these DISeases in our body. So that DISease led me into developing a heart condition, which led to congestive heart failure. To make a long story short, I ended up having a cardiac arrest because of all of this. While I was on the Catch A Fire Tour with my brothers in Morgan Heritage. Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, I was GONE. It was September of 2015, the actual date was Sept 17th, when It all became brand new for me. I did suffer a cardiac arrest, which is different than a heart attack. That cardiac arrest was what the Most High had to use to get my attention. We sometimes have to go thru something that drastic, to actually know that we are not the bosses of ourselves. We are here for a purpose, we are here to do that purpose, and sometimes we are blinded by this world of what that purpose might be. So, my song “EVOLUTION” is a testimony of what I have gone thru and where I need to be. SO, I hope y’all get that one and feel that one, and are able to utilize it in your own personal lives.
Something that jumped out at me when I read the press release that was submitted by your publicist is this line; “Please do not take for granted or ignore what your spirit and body are trying to tell you.” That’s a direct quote from you. As I am a spiritual person myself I wanted to know what spiritual messages were you getting that you ignored?
Una Morgan: The spiritual messages, that’s funny that you chose that quote… well, the spiritual messages that I was getting… it’s like your spirit, “your gut”, the physical side of it. As in “your gut never lies”, in that particular quote is what I was referring to. Your spirit will tell you when you’re not on point, or when you start feeling lethargic, for example. I had a problem of feeling like I can do anything, as long as I put my mind to it. I became so physical, that I forgot that it is your spirit that feeds me, and keeps me alive. A lot of us confuse that, because we are so driven by our minds, which is a great thing…but you must feed the spirit, that way your mind is healthy and your body is healthy as well. Feeding my spirit, I did not take it as seriously as I do today, by doing daily meditations, daily correspondence with the holy spirit, daily communion with the holy spirit and with others, that think like you, that feel like you, that eat and sleep like you, it’s very important to have in your surroundings, to have like-minded people around you, and similar lifestyles, because if not, it could bring forth stress and other DISeases that we are just not built to take.
Let’s switch gears and get into your new single as well as the upcoming album. So I was really surprised when I heard the new song “Evolution.” I guess I wasn’t expecting to hear you going so hardcore. So why dancehall? and why that particular title, Evolution?
Una Morgan: Oh my Gosh, “HARDCORE”, I wasn’t thinking like that! I was thinking that it was a word that would make you want to listen to it. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a dancehall record, I guess to each his own. I would say it’s a musical record, it’s a black music record. You have reggae, afrobeat, you have dancehall, these are all genres from my culture. You know, I’m a black woman, you know, slavery was a tool that was given to the oppressors to divide us as a people. So I’m not going to allow them to do that to our music, I’m not going to allow that division to happen. So, EVOLUTION is a brainchild of that, to my new album, which comes out next year. It’s just who I am musically. I’ve been influenced by so many genres of music, like black music, pop music, jazz music… all of it is MUSIC. In particular, with who I am, reggae is mi foundation, black music is mi foundation, so with this solo project and my career, I am able to explore and experience all types of music that I’ve always wanted to explore. With Morgan Heritage, they are a focus roots reggae rockers band and Una Morgan is 1/5 of that. So, the R&B side, the Hip Hop Side, it comes in different flavors through all of us, but on my album you will be able to definitely experience a different side of me that you’ve never heard. A lot of people said that they’ve never heard my voice, so it’s a chance for all of that to come underneath one umbrella, a chance for us to all have a good time! And feel good while we are listening to it. I don’t like to get caught up with a record that’s just saying something, where you can’t dance to it, and you can’t move to it. I always wanted to put out a record where you’re saying something, you’re learning from it, and feeling empowered, but you can still boogie to it! I love to Dance! David danced in the streets before the Lord, and Una Morgan is doing the same thing, honey! “New Time, New Sign!”
Did you write any of the lyrics?
Una Morgan: Oh yes! My lyrics are very close to my heart, what these songs say…wow. My dad always put into us that we must write. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, so writing on this project is a dream come true. I had a lot of great contributors who have come thru on this album. I have Beada Briglia, a young talented writer out of NYC, who is a Broadway actress, Beada is so talented. The world is going to be so happy when they are finally introduced to her. She is a dope songwriter, she is a dope vocalist, and she has been a part of my album on a few songs. EVOLUTION is written by me, with a few lines from Beada. Remember I’m not the type of person who wants to take all the credit, the lyrics on this record are definitely from my heart, but I do have collaboration on it. Also have rapper “Hood Pres”, who wrote his part (he is the nephew of Donald Faison), and “Jah D”, who happens to be my cousin. We are keeping the Black Royalty going here!!
There is a line in the song that goes something like; “do weh me waa fi do, say weh mi wah fi say, no care weh you waa fi say.” This gives the impression that in the past you held your tongue on occasions when you wanted to speakout, if that is the case can you share a couple of those stories?
Una Morgan: I knew that line was going to catch a lot of people!! (Sings that line), you know, that line is the way of life, it isn’t just for me, it’s for anyone who feels like they cannot speak their truth. It’s a line, like you said, women who feel that they’re not heard in their job, in the music business…we should not be, or cause ourselves or force ourselves to be muzzled by anything because of fear, because of you not wanting to take away anything from anybody. If it’s the truth, then it’s the truth! I had to learn that, and that’s why the song is called EVOLUTION, because I evolved into that! I was someone that never wanted to speak the truth, I would feel like I would down somebody, or I’m going to say something that is going to hurt someone’s feelings, but if it’s the truth, then it shouldn’t. I’m growing into that now, and understanding that, and so I wanted to put that into this record – to say that “don’t be afraid of anything or anybody. Say what you need to say, no matter what it causes, as long as it’s the truth!”
What does a fully evolved Una Morgan look like? In other words what exactly are you trying to achieve as a person (physically, mentally and spiritually)?
Una Morgan: Wow, a fully-evolved Una Morgan?!! She is still being worked on! (Laughter) Every day you face something new, you see something new, your eyes see a new day in this world, it’s something you’ll pick up on and it’s constantly changing. EVOLUTION is a constant change, it’s something that happens daily. You have to identify what are the things that you want to change, you have to identify how you are going to change it, and you have to at least try to set some goals for how soon you want to change it. One thing that I’ve learned from the teachings of my parents, is that when mind is planning, our God is wiping, so I don’t get too much into MY will, but the will of the Most High, and I pray that his will is my will… evolving is just growing, into what you believe is right, EVOLUTION is something that has to take place, in one that wants change. You have to want to evolve! Physically, I had to go into another mind frame, and let my food become my medicine, the way that I take care of my body is evolving, like yoga, my understanding of yoga has evolved, so it’s a constant and daily change my love, and I wish for that change to continue to reach everyone, because we all have to go thru something physically, mentally, and spiritually, to actually believe and know that an EVOLUTION is taking place.
Tell us about the new album. When is it coming? Who is on it? What do you want people to walk away with after they’ve heard it?
Una Morgan: The new album will be coming out in 1st quarter of 2020. I’m so excited about it! If I needed to put the album out right now, I could. But I’m the type of artist who wants to make sure that it’s one of the best pieces (I’m not sure if I’ll make another), but I want to make sure that this one is one that I want my children’s, children children to say that “G’ma” or “Nana” did her thing! The single is out on my label, as well as the album, Unafyed Entertainment. We will be negotiating…TBA Honey! This single was released under my label, Unafyed Entertainment in conjunction with Royalty Network Distribution, and Krian Music Group.
One of the things that I particularly want the listeners to walk away with when they hear this album, and even the singles like EVOLUTION, is that we control our own destiny once we allow ourselves to be guided by the spirit, by the Most High. Everything that we would like to achieve while we are still in this existence, can be! It is where we place our minds, where we place our hearts, and how we live with our fellow human beings. It all can be achieved, it’s how YOU place yourself within this world – to achieve it all. That’s what I would love for you to get from this album – is that you can do anything you want to do!
Before we wrap up this interview I want to touch on your work as a women’s rights activist. To be honest I didn’t know you were involved in this. Can you please let myself and the readers know more about your work in this field.
Una Morgan: Womens Activist! Recently, this is something that I’ve really taken a very strong stand with, and has a special place in my heart. I have traveled a lot with my family, and I have seen injustice, more the IMBALANCE of the way that the system works for a women’s role vs. a man’s role. You now have the #Metoo movement, with what happened with Mr. Weinstein, and the man that just killed himself in Jail, Mr. Epstein. These people have all been accused of things, and they have allegedly taken away the rights of these women that they thought they could just utilize for their own use and their own good. I’d like to be a voice to stop that! I want women to feel empowered, I want them to feel equal, because we are all equal in the Most High’s Sight. He doesn’t say that this one is better than that one, he says “all my children”. I am pushing forward with my team, to find as many organizations and charities who are working towards making women’s rights more valuable in all areas of the world. So I’d love to collaborate with any of you who are on this path!
Is there anything else that you want to share with the readers?
Una Morgan: The things that I would like to share with everybody who comes in contact with me, is to please give more LOVE. Let us smile more with people. When you smile with people, the world smiles with you! When you wake up in the morning, and you feel like it’s not a good day, just take some time to meditate and take some time for yourself, and communicate with the Most High. It’s not a bad thing, I know it sounds cliché, but the Most High is real. There’s so many names that we use, The Most High, God, Jah, Jehovah, Yahweh, but we know that he is the umnipitent spirit, he is the everlasting, ever-present spirit, so get in touch with that, get in touch with the “I Am” that’s within you. Be Happy, Just Be Happy. Even when the tides are not flowing your way, just know that better days ‘gon come. So, I want to stay in touch with everybody. I want to continue to hear from you. From my website, to my facebook, twitter and Instagram! I want to know what you’re thinking, I’d like to know if there’s anything that I can enhance for you, just hit me up!!
Okay Una Morgan thank you very much for your time and all the best with the new record.
Una Morgan: Thank you so much! I really appreciate your time, I appreciate your love and support! From myself, and from my family! I look forward to seeing this interview come out, and I can’t wait to share my album with you and everyone else in 2020! “WE DEH PON AN EVOLUTION!” God Bless!