Una, one of the reasons I wanted to speak to you this time is the title of Morgan Heritage’s latest album ‘Here Come The Kings’. Your brothers seem to have overlooked the band also counted a queen in its ranks.
Una Morgan: "(laughs) I know! The theory behind that is that for every king there's a queen and that doesn’t necessarily have to be stressed because it all depends on your outlook on life and the things you believe in. For me personally it was no problem because I know I’m an integral part of the band and I know my worth. I want to be an example for other women to think of themselves in that light and that manner."
From all the members of Morgan Heritage you were the one who took the longest sabbatical. What did you gain from that hiatus?
Una Morgan: "It gave me a lot of confidence… The Lord God Yahweh guided me into totally different business ventures outside of music, enabling Morgan Heritage to focus more on charity work. We formed a movement called Cool To Be Conscious with which we're trying to convince both adolescents and adults that it's not uncool to be conscious or spiritual and you don’t need to get involved in negative stuff to be cool."
When Morgan Heritage just started out you were still studying to get a degree in law. You subsequently abandoned those studies when things with the band really took off. Haven't you ever felt the urge to complete the course?
Una Morgan: "Even my dad, Denroy Morgan, asked me that question, but the passion I had for it when I was younger, now that I'm a mother, a business woman and a musician, has shifted. A lot of what I learned at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York I've been able to apply in what I do with and for Morgan Heritage. I truly believe God has guided towards what he needed me to become and what I needed to get from my law studies I got out of them."
Even though you've been blessed to be able to tour the world with a band that's made up entirely of your siblings, you're still the only woman in the band. Is that hard at times?
Una Morgan: "Sometimes it is, yes. I'm a woman and that means that sometimes you feel the need to talk about women's stuff. That being said, my brothers have a feminine side as well - they might look tough, but in fact they're all big teddy bears - and they try to accommodate me as much as possible making the loneliness I sometimes experience a lot more bearable. The upside is I always have a full crew of bodyguards with me to protect me! (laughs)"
You guys have all been living in Jamaica for several years now, but you and your brothers and sisters were born and raised in Brooklyn. Do you still return to your old neighborhood often?
Una Morgan: "Oh yes, a lot of us grew up there before our dad decided to relocate to Massachusetts. We still have a lot of family and friends there and even some of our businesses are located in the area, so New York will always be in our hearts."
Morgan Heritage's biggest anthem is still 'Don't Haffi Dread'. As if you guys set out to underline the message of that song, Lukes goes through life without his dreads these days. What's the story there?
Una Morgan:laughs) Well he wasn't looking for a new look if that's what you were wondering about. What happened is that he was experiencing serious back problems; between the weight of his dreads and his guitar, there was too much pressure on his spinal cord, so he was advised to cut his dreads. He is slowly recovering, but Lukes isn't one to complain."
Mojo was briefly hospitalized during the recording of 'Here Come The Kings'. How is he doing now?
Una Morgan: "We were all exhausted at that time, because due to the fact there had been this hiatus we had to do a lot of promotional events. We were in the final stages of mixing the album down in Miami when things got the best of him. He recovered fast though and he's back in full shape now."
I have to ask you about your father as well. Last year Denroy got involved in a huge ganja case (charged with possession of 25 pounds of marijuana in the Bronx, New York, Denroy Morgan walked away from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York virtually unscathed with only 90 days probation and a court filing fee of 25 dollar, red.). Has he managed to put that behind him?
Una Morgan:laughs) Thank Yahweh he has! The Good Lord blessed us and him with the right lawyers and the State of New York luckily saw fit to let him go with just a slap on the wrist."
Gramps' son Jemere has followed in his father's footsteps recently releasing the great 'Neighborhood Girl'. How would you feel about your children wanting to pursue a career in music?
Una Morgan: "I'm kind of letting my children decide for themselves. In fact Jemere had first set his sights on becoming a rapper and it was Gramps who encouraged him to use his singing voice. One of my sons is at Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship, another is in high school playing football and my daughter wants to become a pediatrician. Football is something that runs in our family; Gramps also played football for a while and two of Lukes' sons do as well. Sports and entertainment are in the Morgan genes! (laughs)"