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Reggae Roots

Coming from a family of reggae musicians, Eshtemoh Morgan is hoping to get his break by releasing his first singer-songwriter album.

Eshtemoh Morgan

Eshtemoh Morgan, who is studying vocal and guitar performance at Stetson University’s School of Music, is working on his first singer-songwriter album. He comes from a line of reggae musicians, including his father, a member of Morgan Heritage, which won a Grammy Award this year. Photo provided.

At 18 years old, the Stetson University freshman is studying vocal and guitar performance, singing in the Stetson Men choir and playing in the guitar ensemble, all while making his new album.

He said being trained in a classical music program will strengthen his reggae roots.

“Although both styles are very different, the musical elements are essentially the same,” said Morgan. “Classical music is the root of contemporary music, so as I study in Stetson’s School of Music I can still work on what I do as a contemporary performer.”

Morgan’s father, Mojo Morgan, and his uncles are members of the reggae band Morgan Heritage. According to Morgan Heritage’s website, they are known as the “Royal Family of Reggae.” The band won a Grammy Award this year for Best Reggae Album for “Strictly Roots” and is made up of children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan, who is Eshtemoh Morgan’s grandfather.

“There was always a lot of music,” said Morgan. “It’s a fun environment and if it wasn’t music, it was just hanging out with dad, playing soccer. That’s his favorite sport and my favorite sport.”

On top of the many music classes that Morgan said he takes, he still finds time to record at Sunray Recording Studio in Casselberry, just outside Orlando.

Morgan said his album will have influences from other acoustic and jazz singers as well as some reggae. The album will feature cover songs, such as Daughters by John Mayer, A Team by Ed Sheeran and Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. He also will record a few of his own songs on the album, as well as the song I’ll Do Anything for You by his grandfather, Denroy Morgan.

With his degree, Morgan hopes to travel while performing and producing music, as his father does.

“I hope to achieve more than he has achieved,” said Morgan. “And that’s what he wants from me as well. That’s the goal: to make sure that all of us do better than our parents did. That’s what his father tried to do with his children and what he is trying to do with me.”

-Rhiannon Boyer