International reggae/ska singer Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals, whose 1968 hit single “Do the Reggay”, is credited with coining the word reggae, said in a recent interview that he would love to collaborate with US rapper Eve.
"EVE is a great artiste and I would love to collaborate with her on a song - old or new. I think it would be an interesting mix of our creativity and vocal style. She is one of the most versatile talents coming out of the hip hop movement...she can rap, write, act and has a lot of fashion style...great talent" he said.
Toots will have the opportunity to let his feelings known to Eve on March 12, 2011 in Kingston, Jamaica when she performs at the 7th Annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards. The two met almost 10 years ago, when they performed at the 'Bob Marley, One Love Tribute Concert' at James Bond Beach in St. Mary.
"She was then and still is, a very beautiful artiste" Toots affirmed. "It was a pleasure meeting her and I look forward to seeing her in Jamaica again."
Toots and the Maytals, originally called The Maytals, are considered legends of ska and reggae music. Their sound is a unique, original combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock. Following the release of “Monkey Man” - the group’s first international hit in 1970 - they have recorded hits like “Pressure Drop”, “54-46 was my number,” “Monkey Man” and was featured in The Harder They Come, the 1972 film and soundtrack starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair’s Top 10 Best Soundtracks of all time. The group's current release, titled Flip & Twist which was released last year, has so far spent 3 weeks atop the Jamaica Music Countdown (JMC) Albums Chart and features Toots singing, R&B, funk, gospel, blues and country in his own inimitable Jamaican style. The next release will be a DVD of the documentary Reggae Got Soul: The Story of Toots & the Maytals which premiered on BBC last month.
"I am always working on new material and have a few singles in the pipeline for release by the summer and another studio album in production. I will continue to work on completing that album in between upcoming tours of Australia, North America and Europe" he said.
Last year Toots was honored at the EME Awards with a "Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to the reggae genre.
"It is always nice to be appreciated for your work and last year’s EME honour was particularly nice because it was a Jamaican award" he said.
This year to show his appreciation for what the EME is doing to move the industry forward, his label will be a sponsor of the glitzy awards show.
"D&F Music is pleased to support the growth of the EME Awards and the promotion of excellence in the music. Jamaica's music industry needs this type of award show to recognize and promote the standard of excellence necessary for us to continue to make music the world wants to hear" he said.