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'FORWARD' - AN INTERVIEW WITH MARCIA BARRETT (PART 2)

Marcia Barrett, the former lead singer of Boney M is much more than a disco singer; she is a role model, a warrior, a lecturer and a spiritual individual, whose words are worth listening because she has faced almost everything during her life. The poor Jamaican girl turned into a pop star, then became a fighter. She is a very kind, open, positive person who is the living proof of the phrase: "Whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stronger."

Her book, ‘Forward: My Life With and Without Boney M.’ came out four weeks ago and getting rave reviews in the media and on the internet. While the first part of our conversation focuses on her Boney M. life, her later years are as interesting as the years of big successes. This is where we continue.

Photo credits: © Marcia Barrett of Boney M. Facebook Site

- During the early and mid-1980s, you collaborated with many musicians, like Eddy Grant, Kelvin James and recorded several solo songs. What are the causes they were not released at that time?

- I recorded some tracks with Kelvin James - for my solo launch.Eventually, among that session the track ‘Breakaway’ was chosen by Frank for the new Boney M. album,‘Boonoonoonoos’. Several years later I was working on songs with the legendary Eddy Grant. However,before the studio work we were interrupted by Frank. He said that I was the member of Boney M. and it was my priority.

- You also recorded a cool song, called 'Everybody Wants to Dance like Josephine Baker' in 1989. What is the backstory behind it?

- When Frank said he was not interested in Boney M. any more, and Liz also left the band, we wanted to continue. A new singer, Madeline Davis joined us. We recorded this song which was well-received, the radios were interested and we got airplay, it seemed that we were going to have a big hit soon. Its B-side, ‘Custer Jammin’ was also a great number. We had just started promoting the single in Europe and England, everybody was happy to get new material after the silent years when the bad news came: Frank heard it and jumped on the name: Boney M. He withdrew it from the shops, saying that without his permission there could not be new Boney M songs.

- You are said to be very critical towards Boney M. compilations, reissues. Why?

- I think it is too much for me and the fans too. Everything is all about money, more money, much money. I think it is unfair to the fans because many of them are hard collectors who save money to get everything into their collections. However, I think I I want to insist on my share of the legacy. When the anniversary box set came out in 2015, I was very angry because I was not involved in the new songs at all, which came out as Boney M. songs. These new songs were not good ones, moreover, I think it is a cheek after putting my image on the cover, my voice in the songs. Moreover, in the booklet, the international fans were insulted also in a way. I think that this single was a flop because it is not a Boney M. song at all despite it was recorded under this name.

Photo credits: © Marcia Barrett of Boney M. Facebook Site

- When you post your Christmas messages every year, it seems that fans who are called ‘fanmily’ are essential for you.

- Yes, they are! The support they have given me throughout the hard years, it’s fantastic! It is emotional to think about them and write them. I think my book has given them huge happiness and it seems I can give some love back I have got from them throughout the years. When I write these Christmas notes for them, it is moving because there is much trouble in the world but there is this community who give much energy not to stop but go on, it is fantastic!

- You are a five-time cancer survivor and a warrior, role model alongside with your singing role.

- Yes, it is a fantastic thing to help and give yourself as an example for people. If you are in the limelight, it is very important to give something great to your fans and be a good example for them. I have responsibility for them. I think I am a happy, positive, humble and kind person who likes balance and harmony. However, when I faced cancer, these times were very hard, but I have never given up, I felt I had to fight. I have faith in God, I have faith in fans, friends. I would like to send words to people who are in the same situation. Shake yourself and do your task, fight for yourself, your health! Miracles do exist.

- When you don't have a concert, how do spend your days?

- It is funny but free time is when my husband and I are off the road and we stay at home. We close the door of the flat and have fun indoors. We have to be on duty if there is a concert, however, we would like to get to Jamaica. For concerts, three weeks are needed to get ready for the show. I like to work and be on the road!

- Have you got any connections with the other former members?

- The last time we met at Bobby’s funeral and since then nothing happened. I had a concert in Moldova and got a ‘Boney M.’ champagne there and I thought it would be great if we would sip it together for the sake of old times. It has never happened. I kept the champagne for years, then drank it with my husband’s family, However, one week (13th June) before my book was published I got a phone call from Liz from out of the blue that she was thinking about me. I said that was a big honour. When I told her that my book was coming out the following week, she was surprised because she did not know I was writing a book. I also offered them to come on over to chat about the great old times when she is in Berlin; so she should be prepared to book for an extra day and night!

- If we want to see a Marcia show, what shall we expect?

- When I do my show, I choose from my solo songs and of course, some Boney M. hits, In our band there are two dancers, a girl and boy, the show itself is much more like a Marcia show than a Boney M. tribute act. We do not do the same concert program in every country! Nowadays concert organizers see the costs at first if the image is okay or the first sight, the genuineness does not matter. However, It would be great to come to your country, Hungary to perform there because there are many fans who have been waiting for me for a long time.

- I know that you had concerts in Hungary back in the late 1970s. Can you still remember the country?

- I love Hungary, especially the spas. When we were there, Maizie and I went to one of the spas to relax a little bit and get a hand massage. The Hungarian female masseur started scratching our skin with soap and a brush! Then we wanted to swim in the female department, however, around the pool, there were men as well! We were wondering if we could walk around there in those gowns which bottoms were cut out! We thought maybe we went to the wrong spa!

- As a closure, it is a fact that you have faced everything, poverty, luxury, health and illnesses. What was the thing which helps you through hard times?

- Well, my career, actually. I felt my life is not finished, so I had and have the urge to go on and fight. Of course, mentioning the faith is essential, because you feel then you must do your job and go on. Faith in God, faith in myself and faith in people, you know. Moreover, I think it is important to follow your instincts, your intuition what to do and what not to. You see, I am a very very positive person, if I was not positive, I would not achieve the goals of my life and could not go through the dark periods of the life.

 

FOR PART ONE, CLICK HERE.

 

Marcia Barrett's book,‘Forward: My Life With and Without Boney M.’ is avaliable on Amazon both in English and German versions.