Fri | Apr 12, 2024

Only God know how mi feel, Stonebwoy says of Peetah Morgan’s death

Published:Tuesday | February 27, 2024 | 12:07 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Ghanaian artiste Stonebwoy was the opening act for Morgan Heritage on his first European tour in 2015 and shared that Peetah “always introduced [him] on stage with so much love” and often hailed him for championing reggae and dancehall in Ghana with so
Ghanaian artiste Stonebwoy was the opening act for Morgan Heritage on his first European tour in 2015 and shared that Peetah “always introduced [him] on stage with so much love” and often hailed him for championing reggae and dancehall in Ghana with so much passion.
Peetah Morgan
Peetah Morgan
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Ghanaian Afropop, dancehall and reggae artiste Stonebwoy is devastated by the death of Peetah Morgan, lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning sibling reggae group Morgan Heritage, but he is doing his best “to look on the brighter side”. Peetah passed away on Sunday in the United States.

‘It hurt mi heart ... only God know how mi feel,” an emotional Stonebwoy told The Gleaner in an interview.

He shared that for nearly one decade Morgan Heritage has been an integral of his musical journey, so much so that he refers to Peetah, Gramps and Mr Mojo as his “family”.

“In 2015, Morgan Heritage ... especially Gramps, Peetah and Mojo .... they took me on the road yuh know. My first European tour was alongside Morgan Heritage, so you can understand the way I treasure dem ... and two years after that I bring dem back to Ghana for the annual show dem whe mi keep. And then after that we always a do show,” said Stonebwoy, whose real name is Livingstone Etse Sateklawhose.

He spoke about the joy of opening for the band in 2015, and how Peetah “always introduced [him] on stage with so much love” and often hailed him for championing reggae and dancehall in Ghana with so much passion.

In 2023, Stonebwoy was featured on the Morgan Heritage track, Who Deh Like, from the group’s critically acclaimed Afro-fusion/world music project, The Homeland. The single also featured Bounty Killer and Cham. Led by Peetah, Morgan Heritage won three Grammy Awards and the group has had major hits such as Don’t Haffi Dread (To Be Rasta), Down by the River, She’s Still Loving Me, and Reggae Bring Back Love.

Stonebwoy shared that last September he and Morgan Heritage did a show in Ghana “and it was a big ting”. They were in discussions to take on the United States of America next.

“They are like my godfathers, I’m not even gonna lie. Morgan Heritage took me to the world, introduced me to the reggae community across the world ... throughout all of Europe. Me and dem set for an American tour; but my scheduling and ting, it set a way... if it wasn’t for that we woulda announce di tour already,” he explained.

“So, mi nah lie, it hurt mi heart, but God know. And guess what? I am in Jamaica ... and I hear the news in Jamaica,” he said again and again.

The CEO of Burniton Music Group, Stonebwoy won the Best International Act: Africa category at the 2015 BET Awards and Artiste of the Year at the 2015 Ghana Music Awards. His sophomore album, Necessary Evil, was the recipient of three Ghana Music Awards from six nominations. He was one of the performers on the Protoje-produced Lost in Time Concert, held last Saturday at Hope Gardens in Kingston.

Determined to “look on the brighter side of things, because if we look pon di darker side we nah go gain nothing,” Stonebwoy spoke in depth about the special relationship he had with Peetah and concluded that the singer is now a sort of guardian angel.

“To look on the bright side ... we gain a angel inna di next realm who a go look ova us and mek sure seh all our dreams come true same way. Me and Peetah ... we vibe ...Peetah understand Stonebwoy, and Stonebwoy understand Peetah pon a level. Anytime me and Peetah a reason, him teach mi tings weh me and him connect. Seen. Me and him have a different relationship aside from me and Gramps. Gramps bring me in and Peetah tek mi on. Mojo always inna di back a organise ting dem. My music family dem deh. It a hurt mi heart, but God Almighty know seh we have a angel out deh a look ova di ting and mek sure seh my mission complete,” the All Eyes on me singer told The Gleaner.

Offering words of comfort to the Morgan family, Stonebwoy urged them to “hold up di strength ... we shall continue to celebrate you [Peetah] for the great impact created during your time here with us on the mission”.

In a message on Monday, the family stated: “Peter ‘Peetah’ Anthony Morgan is survived by his wife Maria Gunabe-Morgan, 11 children, and two grandchildren. We appreciate your continued love and support. We just need a little time as we gather ourselves as a family, but we’ll be in touch soon.”

Stonebwoy’s career began in the early 2000s, when he began making music as an independent artiste. In 2007, he joined forces with Samini, a fellow Ghanaian musician, to form their own music label, Samini Music. In 2021, three albums on which Stonebwoy featured were nominated for the 2022 Grammy Awards. In 2022, Vodafone Ghana recognised him for using his creativity and music to promote the awareness of environmental and sustainability issues.

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com