Keeping time with Kush
This is the second of the Jamaica Observer’s 10-part series looking at musicians who have made an impact on reggae and pop.
The son of singer Winston McAnuff, Rashaun “Kush” McAnuff knew from early he wanted a music career. While he loves singing, the devout Rastafarian feels most comfortable behind a drum kit.
McAnuff is drummer and vocalist for the Uprising Roots Band, which has released one album and toured Europe and North America.
He has also been on the road with his father and guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith. Here, he talks career and drum beats with Howard Campbell.
Howard Campbell: “How long have you been playing drums?
Kush: I have been playing drums since the age of seven, and started professionally at age 14. I am self-taught, but I got a lot of inspiration from both I uncles, Dave “Mackaruffin” McAnuff and Anthony “Ras Happa” Wilson?. My father, Winston McAnuff is not a drummer but he gave I the highest formula that I am using today, the Newton Law of Gravitation. My mother Sandra Smith gave I the first drum book, called Stick Control.
HC: How much have you grown as a musician?
Kush: Yes, I have improved a lot with the help of I an’ I foreparents who set the blueprint and foundation for I an’ I culture. I am continuously working at my art, for this will lead to the perfection in I highest aim. I have improved a lot in I singing and playing, bringing both in divine unity. I have been focusing more on I delivery to connect more to the fans through words, sound and power.
HC: Who do you listen to?
Kush: I favourite drummers are Sly Dunbar, because of his versatility; (Leroy Wallace) Horsemouth, because of his unique patterns on the rim shot and toms; Carlton Barrett because of his celestial sounds, or little, divine love touches; Style Scott, because of his steady drop on the open snare. These are I favourite drummers an’ I build I universe around them.
HC: Are there any songs you played on that you are particularly proud of?
Kush: I have played on many songs that I love. Just to name a few: Witness by Ijahman Levi, Kings Bell by Midnite, Lonely Rider by Winston McAnuff, Might Can’t Beat Right by Uprising Roots. So many more.
HC: Which do you prefer, playing live or recording?
Kush: Both! I love to see when we create something from scratch then put it out and receive the love from fans all over the Earth, then performing it wherever the energy calls.
HC: What kind of kit do you have?
Kush: We use the best equipment possible every time. I love to use the Pearl Exclusive 7000 series. You know, as the ancients always say, ‘Is not the tool, but who using it.’
HC: How big an influence is your father on your career?
Kush: My father is one of the biggest influence in I life. Over the years, he taught I a lot, in I playing and the direction of I singing. He is I professor in music. I am grateful and truly humbled to have the greatest father, brother, an’ best friend.”