CARLOS MORGAN - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com
About Carlos Morgan: Solroc Music recording artist Carlos Morgan, a talented singer, songwriter, producer and performer is poised to break on a global level. “Feeling Alright,” Morgan’s debut album, showcased the diversity of Morgan’s sultry singing style with seductive ballads like “Get Down To It” and “When Two Become One” to the upbeat R&B tracks “Give It To You” and “Baby C’Mon”. Originally recorded as an independent release for DTone Records, it quickly became one of Canada’s hottest selling independent albums of 1997. “Feeling Alright” topped the charts at #3 on “The Records Independent Charts” after two weeks of releasing.
“Feeling Alright” went on to garner the Juno Award F/ Best R&B/Soul Recording, 2x Canadian Urban Music Award Recipient, MuchMusic Video Award F/ Best R&B/Soul Video, SOCAN Music Award, and 2x Caribbean Cultural Committee Award Recipient. In 2013, Morgan won first place for the “John Lennon Songwriting Contest.” Morgan was inducted into the “2001 & 2002 Canadian Who’s Who.” Individuals are inducted into the Who’s Who publication based on their contribution to life in Canada. Morgan recently released his sophomore CD, “The Compilation,” on his label, Solroc Music. This album features new songs written and produced by Morgan, James dePinho, Mystery & Matt Early, Colin Munroe, Peter Natale, Earl & Laura Torno, Kurt Hagan, Perry Alexander, and Tyson Kuteyi.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself? I was born and raised in Toronto, ON. I also lived in Montreal and New York. My parents are both Jamaican. I'm the 4th of 6 children for my father and the 2nd of 5 children for my birth mother. I grew up in Etobicoke and North York. I began singing in church at age 12. I started performing in nightclubs at age 16. I attended five different high schools in Toronto. I dropped out of high school but returned to get my high school diploma at the City Adult Learning Centre. I enjoy dancing, reading, writing, sports, politics, animals, social justice, art, live music, and travel.
Tell us something not many people know about you? One thing not many people know about me is that for the first seven years of my life, I was handicapped and my birth name is Carl Parks.
What's your inspiration or how do you get motivated? My first inspiration is God!! Secondly, I'm inspired by love and life experiences. I'm inspired by leaders such as Dr. King, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali to name a few. I'm inspired by musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross and Donny Hathaway.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect? I got to where I am by believing in God, myself and not giving up. Of course, there have been times when I felt that my life meant nothing and I wanted to give up but in my times of solitude and prayer, I know God is with me. I have what it takes to make it which gives me the courage and strength to continue pursuing my goals, dreams and aspirations. The more people can expect from me is writing, recording, producing and releasing good and timeless music. I am working on releasing an album every year for the next three years, God willing. People can also expect to hear more about my record label, Solroc Music and my "Innerchild Design" clothing line.
What would you like to be remembered for? I would like to be remembered for being an artist/musician who has a deep love and passion for music and deeply respects the art form. I also want to be remembered for being a compassionate, loving and strong person who believes in fairness, equality and seeking understanding and knowledge. I want to be remembered for taking responsibility, accountability, not giving up and striving to become a better human being and man.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure? The way I balance work, family, friends and leisure are I do my best to make sure that I prioritize my time for whom and what’s most important. I am not very close with my family so I don’t see them very often and spend time with them. I enjoy spending time with my friends when I can. In my leisure time, I love reading, writing, dancing, exercising, going for walks especially nature walks and going out to see live entertainment. I love traveling as well.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie? My favorite food is West Indian (specifically Jamaican) although I love all kinds of foods and I love to eat. My favorite book is "The Bible." I love reading The Bible and studying it. My favorite music is Gospel and R&B/Soul. I enjoy all genres of my music except Grunge, Heavy Metal, "Emo" and Techno. Gospel and R&B/Soul are my favorites. Regarding having a favorite movie, I have so many. My favorite types of movies are films based on Afrocentric figures, history, characters and events.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada? My experience as a Black person in Canada has been both positive and negative. I was born and raised in Canada. What I find positive about being Black and living in Canada are the many opportunities to grow and excel in education, to live amongst diverse cultures and the freedom to be who I am and pursue what I want to do and be in life. Unfortunately, I have more negative experiences as a Black person in Canada. The most negative experience I have had is in regards to being pursuing my career in the music business. I find the music industry in Canada is based on race and politics. In my experiences, as I have found with many artists and musicians who write, record and perform any style of Black music, it’s been very difficult to have and sustain a successful music career in Canada. Yes, there have been a handful of black artists who have had successful careers in Canada and doing it from and in the country but in comparison to artists who write, record and perform Rock, Pop and Country music, and doing it consistently for long periods of time; I feel and believe that Canada has not and is not open and willing to embrace, develop and build an infrastructure that supports all forms of Black music and in longevity.
What is the Black community doing right or wrong in Canada? What I feel is the Black community in Canada does "wrong" is that we do not support each other. And whatever support we extend to each other goes to a certain, very limited extent. Unlike our African American brothers and sisters, African Canadians don’t have the same sense of community and support I find that is in America. Although African Americans have issues and dissension within their community, they are still strong and formidable with vast resources to succeed in whatever pursuits they want, desire, own and lead. I find that we as African Canadians, do not have or possess the same depth neither do we have the same level of community and commitment to support each other. We have not created our own infrastructure for collective success.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada compared to the US? I personally believe there are as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada just as there are in the U.S. Of course, we don’t have the population of Blacks that America does but I believe that if we can look at their examples of how to unify, create and have our own educational, political, arts and sports opportunities and platforms to sustain success in each of these fields, we can have the "leaders" that America possesses. African Canadians have the talent, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and work ethics to have our own Canadian versions of "Beyonce, Obama, Oprah, Tyler Perry, BET" etc. but we have to know how to use and utilize the "mainstream" resources for ourselves in order to obtain, maintain and sustain our own community support and successes.