While his name may be new to some, the lineage of Reuben Shaw is probably very familiar to many. Shaw has just won over thousands of new Jamaican fans on Instagram with his riveting appearance a few days ago on ER, the award-winning entertainment show on Television Jamaica. His edgy interview covered a range of highlights from acting to dancehall music to hip hop.
Reuben Shaw is the latest arrival on the reggae block with a dual career in music and Hollywood films. He is the first grandchild of reggae & R & B icon Denroy “I’ll Do Anything For You” Morgan. His mother, Janet (Morgan) Shaw, is one of the founders of the reggae Grammy-winning group Morgan Heritage. And many of the uncles on his father’s side like Gramps and Peetah Morgan are group members. His youngest uncle Laza Morgan is the reggae/ hip hop trailblazer that gave the world the smash single “One By One”.
Reuben was born in Brooklyn, New York but he is currently based in Atlanta. Since he was literally born into a family of musicians, his music career started early. At six years old he was already being trained to play the guitar, and he was influenced as much by R & B, hip hop and the new jack sound of the early 90s as he was by reggae and dancehall. He admired New Edition, Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown on the R & B side. And over on the reggae fence, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Garnett Silk, Super Cat, Shaggy, Steel Pulse and Bunny Wailer were among the artists who captured his attention while growing up. And his family played a big role in moulding and fast-tracking his ambitions in music.
“My parents, Robert and Janet Shaw played a big role in building my love for music“, Rueben told Caribbean Times. “My father was a DJ and an events promoter in Springfield, MA so I was surrounded by all the new dancehall music. My mother was putting me in recitals at an early age and I was very inspired too by my grandfather who had made many personal sacrifices so as to push Morgan Heritage forward“, he added.
The hard work that Reuben Shaw invested in his career is paying off as he currently has a few songs out, spanning the genres of hip hop, dancehall and R & B. The songs are Alien, Bandz, Loud Pack, Winning and Bout It. ‘Winning’ was released on V Pal, a subsidiary of VP Records. He has also been able to place some of his songs on television shows including VH1’s smash series Single Ladies starring Queen Latifah, La La Anthony, LisaRaye McCoy and Stacey Dash. But how has he been able to find a prominent space in each of the various genres of music that he has been producing?
“One of my gifts in music is my ability to cross all genres and yet still be authentic to who I am and what I represent“, Shaw told Caribbean Times. “My music is a culmination of all the various music spaces that I reside in, and my success proves that I am not a gimmick but a representation of true artistry“, he added.
And while Reuben has been busy making music, he has also been very busy with the film side of his journey, securing roles in films like Barbershop 3 – The Next Cut starring Ice Cube, Nicki Minaj and Cedric the Entertainer. Right now he is reviewing a number of scripts and awaiting the reopening of the film industry so he can get back to film work. But music is embedded in his DNA, so for the next several years he sees himself working in both areas, with them cross-fertilizing each other.
“I am totally passionate about what I do, so I will continue on my dual path. If awards come my way that would be a blessing, but a great desire is to continue producing the music I love, and using my gifts to teach upcoming talent about the game of entertainment“, Reuben Shaw stated.
His current music releases are available on all major platforms.
BY DAVE RODNEY