Mark Wonder is a well respected Rastaman who has been out the highest quality Roots Reggae Musik for over twenty five years. With a number of albums and singles under his belt; he has just released "Working Wonders"; a tour-de-force and destined to be one of the most original releases of 2012. This is an interview conducted in early September from his home in Kingston, Jamaica. This will shed light on the works of this humble Jah messenger.


Q: Tell us about your experience at Black Scorpio recording your first single "Caution", and how it opened up the door for you?

A: It was a great experience and a great learning curve for I as a youth coming into the business, but I have already recorded two earlier songs for the producer Black Scorpio which were released on two compilation albums -- "Got The Loving That You Want" and "Don't Pressure Me". That led to me being part of the Black Scorpio family, and those two songs happened to be my first ever songs released on the Black Scorpio imprint. Then came "Caution" which was well received in the English territory.

Q: You've worked with a lot of small and crucial studios. Can you name some of them?

A: Cell Block, Leggo Studios in downtown Kingston, Black Scorpio fi sure, King Jammy studio. True Friends. And quite a few small ones inna the European territory such as Irie Ites. Barry O' Hare in Ocho Rios.

Q: It's been said that Garnett Silk is a big influence. Your early single, "Low Profile" (flipside of Garnett's "Retreat Wicked Man"), shows that. Who are your other influences?

A: Last year during the Oland Festival inna Sweden, some journalists wrote Mark Wonder's performance was reminscent of the late Garnett Silk. It's a great pleasure to be seen in the same high esteem of those great warriors such as Garnett Silk --it's an honor. That goes to show that there's just one African spirit, one African blood running through wi vein. So we are all one. Long live Garnett Silk who chanted fi Rastafari, that was the most important thing fi I. Haile Selassie I. I and I early influences growing up, early r&b,60s r&b. Yeah. And early Ska/Rocksteady. And the Reggae Revolution of the '70s. I grow up on those types of music because those were the type of music inna my mother's house. So I grow up on people like Burning Spear, The Wailing Wailers, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Bob Andy, Delroy Wilson, Marcia Griffiths, you know. And the many great Motown superstars including my alltime favorite Stevie Wonder. Yeah. But it was Dennis Brown as a youngster who created that whole vibe that makes me want to be a Reggae singer.

Q: Your first album,"Sign Of The Times", saw limited release on Zola and Zola label and then disappeared. What happened to this classic album?

A: It was a big mess between the executive and the producer of the project. And that really hurt the album, "Sign Of the Times". However, we will make it available online real soon.


Mark Wonder

Q: "Jeremiah" and "Break The Ice" were solid releases! Can the world expect rerelease of your back catalogue?

A: We nu deal with back. We go forward. No disrespect mi lion king. But with due respect fi sure there's plans to rerelease those projects that suffered from improper marketing and distribution situations.

Q: You are big and broad all over, especially in Europe. You had a historical tour with Admiral Tibet and Uton Green (nuff raspect). How was that experience?

A: Well first of all, mi nu big and broad. Yeah. We just trod Earth and do Jah work, you know. Yeah, it was a great experience fi me because it was the first time touring with three of more persons together on the same bill. Yeah. And after the first trip during the winter season we were requested again for the summer season for a few festivals all around Germany. So the whole vibes and experience working with my fellow peers and also breaking grounds within that territory was good, you nuh mean. That enabled us to link and record for some of the young budding producers in Germany. So the whole vibes did irie!

Q: You've worked with Reggae's best, from Firehouse Crew to Alborosie to Sizzla. Of the people that you haven't worked with; who would you love to work with?

A: Realistically, most of the bredrin and sistren I've recorded with, these are not planned situations, it's just a vibes and spiritual connection. And because I and I live for the music, the music live in I and I. So once we are recreating the Life within the format of music - the art form, spiritual art form - all connected artistically, all things are possible within Life's trod.

Q: Your newest release, "Working Wonders", is an absolute gem! Can we expect a tour to promote this ital album?

A: Yeah, fi sure, wherever Jah lead I. Presently, we are working on a tour to support the album.

Q: What projects can we expect from you soon come?

A: Several projects in the pipeline including an untitled project from California based Nowtime and also the massive "Dragon Slayer" album produced by Irie Ites... Big up all massive from San Francisco and the Bay Area, Oakland, Berkeley, the whole of California - large up. Give thanks for the giving of thanks. Yeah Mighty King Selassie I, Jah Rastafari.
Interview by Robert "Higherman" Heilman (September 2012)
(Please do not reproduce without permission)