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Admiral Tibet Unplugged: Exclusive Interview Exploring Musical History

We had the privilege to interview Admiral Tibet aka Mr. Reality in Salento, Southern Italy, following his two European tours, proudly powered by the Gege Vibes Team. These tours took place in the spring and summer of 2023, with stops in cities such as Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg, Brussels, Bologna, Naples, reaching as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the Middle East. Returning in the summer, he graced major festivals like Zwarte Cross in the Netherlands, Reggaejam in Germany, and Uppsala Reggae Fest in Sweden, among others.

Delving deep into his musical journey, we traced back to Admiral Tibet childhood when he would stroll through his community in Saint Mary, humming tunes that enchanted his villagers, from elders to friends. As a teenager, despite his shy personality, he found solace and empowerment in holding a microphone during sound system events, captivating audiences throughout the nights.

Upon his move to Kingston in 1982, Tibet began to truly build his confidence as an artist, gaining recognition in the Jamaican capital and collaborating with renowned producers such as Bobby Digital, King Jahmmy and many more. His first international hit, “Babylon War,” produced by Sherman Clacher, holds a special place in his heart, as it was the song that propelled him to global recognition within the international music scene.

Admiral Tibet attributes his main inspiration to the Almighty God, while musically, he draws from legends like Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. Describing himself as an artist inherently intertwined with music, he declares: “I don’t need to go into music; music is into me, it’s my mission”.

Discussing the messages embedded in his music, rooted in his Rastafarian beliefs, Tibet emphasises his commitment to conscious music, refusing to promote songs devoid of meaningful messages, a principle instilled in him from a tender age.

With his illustrious four-decade-long career, Admiral Tibet remains active and driven, constantly challenging himself to deliver his best. He reveals: “The best is yet to come. Nobody has heard the best album and performance from Admiral Tibet yet because I’m always challenging myself to improve and show the best version of myself”.

Reflecting on his fondest memories, Tibet reminisces about the Reggae Sunsplash of 1989 in Jamaica, a pivotal moment at the beginning of his career. Looking ahead, he plans to release a new album soon, adding to his extensive discography.

As we concluded the interview, we asked Mr. Reality about his ultimate dream, to which he humbly replied, praying for health, strength and longevity, valuing these over financial wealth. “I’m not chasing financial riches; what I ask for is the richness of health. Remember, it’s me singing: I don’t have to be rich to be a happy man.”

Eugenia Conti

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