Boney M’s Marcia Barrett says no one makes elegant music anymore
Distinguished German music producer Frank Farian brought them together in the mid 1970’s to realise his calculated dream of being in a band. But Farian never envisioned the fact that the four musicians he had roped in through the auditions will slowly turn into the new faces of the worldwide music scene.
It was not Farian’s underestimation of his confederates but their style of presenting music which turned the spotlight on them. Bobby Farrell, Marcia Barrett, Liz Mitchell and Maizie Williams with Reggie Tsiboe morphed from being absolute nobodies into global music icons under the name of Boney M.
The extremely catchy Daddy Cool, the opening track of their debut album Take The Heat off Me was the cornerstone of their musical careers followed by hits like Ma Baker and Rasputin, which helped Boney M surf the high waves of pop music. After churning out chart busting numbers for almost a decade, Boney M reached their musical shallow grave in 1985 as producer Frank Farian withdrew his finances to start rock music production.
This untimely demise of funds led to an unexpected split which started with Liz Mitchell’s departure. Within a few years, and some line-up changes later, the band crumbled into a piece of history, leaving each member as a solo artist.
One such solo artist Marcia Barrett, the only remaining member of Boney M was recently in Bangalore to perform with a new set of musicians as part of Amaze 2008.
Marcia, who was born in Jamaica, shifted base to England at a very tender age but this change in environment exposed her to a different kind of music.
It was after a brief stint as a solo artist that Marcia joined Boney M, which has been the biggest highlight of her career so far. She believes that good music should have good beats and it should be like a story. “Every song should have a storyline. Listening to good music should be like listening to a story.”
For a career which has spanned over three decades, Marcia has stood both at the top and the bottom of the mountain during her Boney M days and feels the whole idea behind music has changed a lot since the break up of Boney M.
“Modern pop stars are all about skimpy clothes and their music lacks depth. People are slowly forgetting the elegant side of music.” This is Marcia’s third visit to India and she loves visiting this country because of its multi-ethnic cultural background. She fancies Indian dance too, especially the gorgeous costumes worn by the women while they perform.
Asked about the complementary nature of song and dance, a very jovial Marcia replied: “Dancing and singing go hand in hand. A person can express his or her emotions through song and dance. One aides the other.”
Longevity is another factor that the former Boney M singer feels is important to attain success in the music business. In fact Marcia envisages Shakira, Beyonce and Lenny Kravitz to be the next frontrunners of the industry.
Though Marcia has had a very colourful musical career, she had to face the horror of cancer in her personal life. While in Munich during the early 90’s, Marcia was diagnosed with ovular cancer. Another attack stopped Marcia from ignoring every obligation in her life. It took her seven years to recover and start doing what she does best.
Taking the music of Boney M round the globe and being the last surviving member of the group, Marcia feels blessed to reach out to people with her music. “It’s a fantastic feeling when the crowd sings along with you and if they don’t know the lyrics, they try to catch up. It is really fulfilling.”DEBAYAN DEB