Inspired by the music of legendary garifuna artist Pen Cayetano, Ras-Z started his own musical journey that is now 3 decades strong.
Below is his interview
Genie: How long have you been in music?
Ras Z: I've been in the music scene since 1985.
Genie: Who are some of the people that inspired your career?
Ras Z: People like Penn Cayetano and Mohobub Flores.
Genie: Aside from the United States, where else have you performed?
Ras Z: Yes I have performed in Belize, Guatemala City, Puerto Barrios and Livingston.
Genie: Tell us more about your recording history?
Ras Z: Well so far I've done albums with Isanigu and with Inebesy Band.
Genie: Where have you been in the last five years?
Ras Z: Well I've been performing with the Sta-Tic Crew and different bands doing shows in San Francisco, New York and here in Los Angeles.
Genie: Where do you see yourself in the next two years?
Ras Z: In the next two years I want to be like a master in my field and have another album out.
Genie: Do you write your own songs or do you have someone else to do that?
Ras Z: I write my own songs with the inspiration of the creator.
Genie: How many songs have you written since September 11 th ?
Ras Z: Right now I have songs for two more albums.
Genie: Did you think that Punta Rock Music would make it this far?
Ras Z: I myself is Rasta and I try not to think negative, so about Puntarock its gonna be here forever.
Genie: What do you think make people interested in Punta Music?
Ras Z: I think people get interested because its different but catchy. The culture is captivating and it makes you curious.
Genie: A lot of Belizeans are influenced by other genre's of music. If you weren't a Punta Rock artist what would you be singing?
Ras Z: I'm pretty sure it would be Reggae music cause thats in my blood.
Genie: I've noticed that they aren't as much recording female vocalists in Punta Music. What do you think is the reason for this?
Ras Z: I'm really not sure but I do want to encourage more women to get more involved in these recordings because they are the backbone of our lives and we can't go on without them.
Genie: Who are some of the artist that you would like to work with in the future?
Ras Z: I would like to work with Ledgends like Paul Nabor, Junior Aranda and Penn Cayetano.
Genie: What impact has Punta Music has on the Garifuna People?
Ras Z: Well Punta music has brought an awareness to the Garifuna people especially when it comes to the language and the dance.
Genie: Do you also speak more that one language?
Ras Z: Yes I speak English, Spanish and Garifuna.
Genie: When you start touring again. Is there any special place or places that you would love to perform?
Ras Z: Yeah Chicago is one of my dream destinations then Florida and Texas.
Genie: How does it feel to release your first solo album?
Ras Z: I'm nervous but at the same time feel like I'm on top of the world.
Genie: Who are some of the people that contributed to your project?
Ras Z: Well Aziatic, Skull, Pa G, Que, Maggie, Pele and Stamina.
Genie: What's your favorite part of being an artist?
Ras Z: My favorite part of being an artist is showtime, nothing beats a good show.
Genie: When is your next performance?
Ras Z: My next performance is April 10th at the Garifuna Street Fest, the same day of my album release.
Genie: What is the meaning behind the Puntarock Soldier?
Ras Z: The Puntarock Soldier is just a strong believer and supporter of Punta music and this music has faced a lot of obstacles so I'm basically saying that I'm ready for whatever lies ahead in trying to promote and preserve our culture .
Genie: What do you see yourself gaining from making an album?
Ras Z: Well I'm already getting calls to do more shows but really the album will introduce me to people before they get to see me perform and they can sing along to their favorite tunes, so I'll be gaining a lot of exposure.