Questions and Answers
Born Phillip Watkis but known to friends and family as Phil was born in the parish of St.Ann , Jamaica . At the tender age of ten years old, Phil relocated with his family to live in the capital city of Kingston , Jamaica . While Phil is currently living in Fort Lauderdale , Florida he still finds time to travel back and forth to Jamaica .
JK: How did you get your start in the music business?
PW: This all started on the day of my final year production in the Exed performing arts department after doing my musical presentation. When I finish singing and playing the guitar, I was suppose to be critiqued by the judges who were making the assessment, nobody wanted to speak first everyone was saying to the other to go ahead, then I can’t forget Harold Davis said “YUTE YUH EVER HEAR BOUT MIKY BENNETTE?” I already knew who he was due to a previous emphatic introduction to him by an already established or should I say illustrious figure. So I remain silent because meeting Miky in the first place that’s the reason why I ended up in the P.A.D (performing arts dept). The following week I was at Grafton Studio own by Mr. Bennett and ready to be in a contract with the EMG music company recording my first track (BLESS OUR SOULS) and the journey continues.
JK: Do you write your own music?
PW: Yes, I write my own music however I’m open to step out my lil box: meaning singing a song or few that’s written by some other writers.
JK: How often is your writing based on your own experiences?
PW: 1 out of 5 times because really and truly I like to write songs that everyone can relate to and though we experience similar things as humans, every one can internalize them differently However, my love songs are a bit more personal (giggles). Hell yeah those are coming from a deep rooted part of my soul.
JK: I know that Luciano is one of your musical influences, who are some others?
PW: Yeah, I love Uncle Luciano amongst many others… I listen to music of all genres from Rock to Alternative, jazz, gospel, and soul… you name them and through all these genres there are many influences; so for me to really stop and single out right now, it would take up the rest of the interview.
JK: As I listen to Come Back Home featuring Uni’Verss, I notice that your style of music has changed from earlier songs like Bless Our Soul Jah, so will you stick to this style or do you like to sing all different genres of music?
PW: We can’t build barriers around ourselves as folks in the field of the Arts so I would say I’m beyond genres limitation. Seven years ago when I did Bless our Souls that was just one vibes of Phil 2yrs ago when I did Come back home that’s just another side of Phil as well, so my people don’t think Phil is confuse if you should hear me doing a rock song, just be reminded “MUSIC IS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE THAT TRANSCENDS BEYOND BOUNDARIES AND BORDERS”
JK: I have a friend Sharon Gordon with The Coalition to Preserve Reggae and one of the missions of (CPR) is to raise the bar in the creation, development, promotion and presentation of reggae: Do you feel a personal responsibility to continue to sing positive music that inspires others?
PW: It’s a joy for me personally to help by contributing in the upliftment of what my forerunners of Reggae had fought for and died while establishing too. They had left us a legacy that has gained us worldwide ratings respect and honor from all race creed and class of people. They have done this by singing and chanting positive vibes so if I want to be remembered as one of the great reggae Artists, I can and will only be able to accomplish this by continuing to keep singing positive songs.
JK: I know that you and Stefan Peninsilyn are directing an amazing play called God Over Obeah (Evil), is directing something that is new for you?
PW: Actually this is not new because I’ve graduated from P.A.D as an Acting and Directing Major.
JK: For those that would like to know more about Phil Watkis, where should they go?
PW: Places to visit and hear more about Phil Watis are: www.youtube.com/philwatkis, www.myspace.com/philwatkis, www.philwatkis.ning.com and on one of the most popular social network; Facebook- just search “Phil Watkis”, become a fan and also request my regular page .
Thanks for having doing this interview bless and give thanks.
Interview By : Shiquita Woodyard TJKS STAFF EDITOR