“I donʼt want people to know me as the singer that did love songs or sang about sex. That ainʼt me,” says up-and-coming Reggae sensation Ray Leger. We sat down with “Love’s Messenger,” to ﬁnd out WhatItDo on his visit to the Bay Area. The title of his debut album isnʼt about love songs or how to love someone but how to love EVERYONE. Leger is an intelligent and articulate individual who has a passion for music and the power it possesses. Born and raised in American Samoa, Leger has always had a respect for Reggae music; Real Reggae music that is – untainted by pop culture, Polynesian inﬂuence and Hip-Hop. Heʼs always been a big fan of Bob Marley and other Reggae greats. His inﬂuences from music are not just from the genre of Reggae but also resonate with real authentic Polynesian music in its purist form, which encompasses the roots of his music.
Leger served a full-time mission for the LDS Church and upon his return he immediately enlisted into the military where he served in the Navy for nine years. All throughout his service both on the mission and for the military, he always sang and kept the music ﬂowing. “In the military we all get a little locker and everyone keeps their personals inside. If you opened up my locker, all you would ﬁnd is my guitar.” He now serves in a different capacity where he is serving his people through music. While living in Utah, Leger was approached by Sui and his beautiful wife Isa Leota-Amaama to begin a full-time career in music. Sui, a respected DJ in Salt Lake City, Utah, believed in Leger’s talent and decided together with his wife to manage and promote him. Leger is the only artist under their label – The Specialist Entertainment. They recorded and released his ﬁrst album within three months of signing Leger, and Leger has already toured many major cities to promote it in the last year. He is deﬁnitely in good hands!
Polys often want Leger to claim either his Tongan or Samoan side and he says, “I canʼt choose to be one or the other. Iʼm not half Tongan or half Samoan. Iʼm 100% Tongan and 100% Samoan.” Heʼs true to his birthright and uses music as a vehicle to unite the people. Historically, Tongans and Samoans have had feuds, and Leger feels it is partly his responsibility and calling to bring them together. He is a prime example of someone who is a positive product of both worlds. He speaks both languages ﬂuently which is his advantage to binding the two cultures together. Bob Marley says it best, “No man can lead man. We have to have unity.” This is the Urban Island movement for Leger – to move Polynesians closer together now! Leger considers himself an activist and wants to use his music to be the voice of the voiceless by bringing awareness and truth to those who need to hear. He exempliﬁes a combination of advocacy, charity, and love.
Leger is being heard all over the U.S. as well as the Paciﬁc and is beginning to be recognized in mainstream Reggae. His career is deﬁnitely on the radar of success. As he continues to travel and record, the biggest challenge for Leger is being away from his family and loved ones, but he doesn’t use the time away in vain and works hard as an artist to perfect his craft. Heʼll soon be working on his sophomore album and is excited. Leger says, “It’s going to be real feel-good Reggae music and better than the ﬁrst.” It will be a variety of old classic Reggae sounds with a little of the new so look out for it!
The experience with Ray Leger was golden. He is truly a humble servant and has shown his dedication by serving the Lord, his country, and now his people. The music speaks for itself and has a sound that is true to Reggae music but even more true to Leger’s passion to unite Polynesians. His philosophy is that “Reggae music is news” and has the ability to communicate better than other forms of music. We will watch as Leger’s career begins to unfold and bring us good news. Heʼs not just a singer, not just an activist, but a man with a purpose. Jamaica produced Bob Marley and the South Paciﬁc produced Ray Leger, and heʼs reporting for duty!
Article Written By: RAEN
*Article photos courtesy of Specialist Entertainment.
*YouTube video courtesy of whycer.
*YouTube video courtesy of Bolongafungi.