Interview: Brother B meets Empress Miriam Simone

Music is a peace of art and I think all musicians are children of instruments’

My name is Empress Miriam Simone. I am from Surinam and was born and raised in Amsterdam. My parents were born in Suriname. I grew up to see the world as a Surinamese girl and as I got older, my view of the world changed. That is part of growing; within yourself and in everything that you do. Growing up from ancestors with native indian and from a african bloodlinage, who arrived in South America (Surinam). My ancestors were working on plantations in a country that was a colony of Holland. I went deeper into myself as a woman from the diaspora and started to deliver reggae music; not only for me, but to free everybody mentally and spiritually.

REGGAE-AGENDA: A nice vision and intention that you have for your music! You put a lot of emphasis on growing. Why is that so important for you?
MIRIAM SIMONE: Well… We are all souls, we all came in this body vehicle and we all came here to grow. It’s like a seed that you sow. It will become a tree. It is the same thing for us as people. Everyday we learn and every day we grow. It’s all about consciousness and spiritual awareness. Most of the people are still in the mindset of the world system. Luckily you also have spiritual minded people and those are the ones who turn into themselves. They know that the world is within. These people are trying to live in oneness with

You getting to know yourself much better. Who you are and where you come from. Then you can go and fulfill your mission…

Seen! So, when was the moment you knew you wanted to make (reggae) music?
From the moment I started to sing I realised I really wanted to make music for the people. It’s about the deliverance of the message in the music. When you grow as a person you also gonna bring a smarter and brighter message. I remember the time I started to sing. Back then I just wanted people to hear my voice. Just to let them hear I could sing. I was singing the songs that they heard and that you loved. After that I started with love songs, because everybody was singing love songs at that time.

What timeframe are we talking about now?
Well, it was about ten years ago. Love is the spirit of everything, but it was also the period I was growing out of the flesh. There is much more than just the earthly things you know… So you realised: ‘singing is very natural for me, it brings me something…’

What happened after this point towards the time we are now in?
You getting to know yourself much better. Who you are and where you come from. Then you can go and fulfill your mission… Even by hearing music you get the message you got to deliver from your soul. You see, that it is a bigger message. Music is a peace of art and I think all musicians are children of instruments. When you start to work like that, the divinity of yourself will come out. When you hear my music I want people to know that it is me.

My music depends on what the people need to hear. There are so many situations that you want to solve and singing of it, it’s a meditation you know! You are giving people spiritual freedom. Giving them the words that they need to hear. You can sent out a positive message or you can sing about issues that needs awareness. It is up to you what you do with your voice. I think the best thing you can do with this voice that the Almighty gave you, is to bring a positive meditation towards the people.

Jamaica 2021

You went to Jamaica in 2021. Can you tell us a little bit more about your experience in Jamaica? What was the main purpose visiting Jamaica and what happened there?
In 2012 I went to Jamaica to do my (previous) E.P. launch. That was a great thing to do, because over the years there are some people I worked with over there. It was time for me to go back to Jamaica. I wanted to present to them what I learned and and what reggae music taught me. Because, a lot of my productions were produced by Jamaicans such as Calibud Stewart, Caveman, Bobby Digital, Echo Minott and one from Chaka Demus & Pliers. It was nice for me to present it to them. I also work with DJ Kat… Lots of Jamaican
producers. One Dutch producer called Mr. Patze, he is from Arnhem. He did three very great productions. Jamaica is the base of reggae music and there are a lot of Rastafarians. More than anywhere ever in the world. It was a deliverance back to the I from me. A spiritual journey and I give thanks that it was well received

What an honour that live gives this gift to you! That you could go to Jamaica and do the launch over there…
Yes! I have to say that the people I have around me in Jamaica are a very good team. They work with a lot of professional people. Like One Blood Carl, he is like my roady. He worked with artists like Richie Spice and Capleton. He does a lot of roadworks for a lot of artists. I also work with Sista Isis Miller. She is the radio host for Roots FM and hosts one of the platforms for conscious reggae music. Artists like Chronixx, Jah9 and Queen Omega were there. Junior Gong… Everybody goes to Roots FM. It’s like the base where we all come together, give thanks to the I and bring the deliverance of the piece of art.

I am proud because I am from Amsterdam and got to show the people in Jamaica what i’ve learned. That makes it very special for me. We are all children of one creation. Earl Chinna Smith, Fantan Mojah, Fred Locks, Capleton all came. A lot of media came. Everybody gave me a lot of strength. Jamaica gave me a push that is very indescribable. Going back there was like going to my family and they lifted me up.

Photo: Miriam Simone & Mau Kappar (ZenSocial Productions)

Can you tell us more about the album. Is it conscious roots, steppas or lovers rock…? What is the vibe on the album?
I think it’s something fresh, something new. There are collaborations with Sizzla Kalonji, Capleton and Queen Omega. Also one track with my son! So mother & son. He is singing for me and I sing for him. Like a mother. I sing what I feel for him and for my other children… Another track with Capleton is a message to stop world violence. There are too much people killing each other. The one with Sizzla is to give people strength, to always go on and keep on doing what you do. The song with Queen Omega is just to hail Jah. It is a very
positive piece of art and I give thanks.

if I have to chose, two songs I love the most are “Drum daddy Drum” and ‘Hailing King Rastafari’.

How was it for you to do this together with your son? That must be very special!
Very special. I was listening to the production from DJ Kat on my couch. I started to sing and then he answered me. A song about my children and my son started to vibe and answer me. I thought ‘Hey this sounds good, you know what… You write your piece and I write
mine!’ I got three sons, one is nineteen years old, one is eightteen years old and the third one is twelve. They all love music but the youngest one and the olders one love to sing. It was very special. Like a deliverance of my soul.

What is your favorite tune on this album? Which one means the most to you ?
I love all the songs so I cannot really pick one! They are all the way I meant them to be. But, if I have to chose, two songs I love the most are “Drum daddy Drum” and ‘Hailing King Rastafari’. Because of the way I created them, I just started to sing them and I felt it. Those are productions of Mr. Patze. These songs really came out of me… All of the songs of course, but these two… I sometimes just close my eyes and sing. Its like your soul sings it.