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Mark Mohr of the group Christafari Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Mark Mohr of the group Christafari Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show


Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer: We are a Gospel reggae band that tours the world bringing hope to the masses through music.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Answer: It was epic. We did 12 tours spanning 15 countries. One of the highlights was when we set up a stage in the most remote corner of Kenya and did a two day festival for the Maasai tribe. We gave away a cow to the highest jumper in a jumping contest that we held and blessed them with music and hope.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?

Answer: it’s called Original Love And it’s doing very well so far. We initially launched it internationally in Brazil during our carnival tour and then took it to Asia last month. The people the people loved it! This week we are launching it in America with a California tour and we are hoping that it hits number one on the Billboard Reggae charts as our last five CDs have.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD Original Love?  Is there a story behind the name?

Answer: Great question. A lot of emphasis is put on man’s original sin, and the failings of mankind. This album isn’t about that, it’s about how God‘s love precedes and ultimately supersedes man’s shortcomings. It’s about how long before Adam and Eve ever sinned, God had a plan, a solution… His original love. We love him because he first loved us.

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?

Answer: This album is far more downtempo, some people my call it lovers rock. It has more of a bluesy feel with some country influences on the lead guitar thanks to our new Brazilian guitarist Taimes. 

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Answer: The effortless ones, the ones that almost seem like they are a page torn out of my journal. The ones that are written in minutes without a headache, though they often include a heartache.

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over your music?

Answer: all. It’s both a blessing and a curse. We have the power since we have our own studio, our own label and our own film company. So we can release any song that we record and do a music video for it. And lately we have. It’s very freeing to not be limited by the industry. I did that for six years in Nashville and we had a hard time getting the bankers to understand and share our passion and purpose. So yes, it is very freeing. But you know how they say: be your own boss and you’ll never work another day for the rest of your life… But at the same time you’ll never have a day off either!

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Answer: We’ve seen it change a lot in the last 29 years that we’ve been recording; From vinyl to cassette, CD to download, then to streaming and now back to vinyl. I think the benefit to the change is that it’s leveled the playing field and anyone can get their music out there for relatively cheap, if not free. The negative side of it is that there used to be gate keepers that only signed you if you had real talent and it was hard to find a bad album in the stores because a label had to put as much as $100,000 behind it. Now without that quality control, there is an oversaturation of low-quality material that makes it harder to find the true gems. As for the future of the industry, I believe it will be in ads and streaming. I believe YouTube Spotify and free or virtually free services are bringing the death of the CD as we know it and the standard royalty rate that artists are used to receiving from an album sold will seriously be affected. We now have the opportunity to reach more people, while working harder to receive less.

Lamitschka:  What's unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

Answer: first of all, the fact that we are Gospel and reggae immediately differentiates us from most artists. But beyond that, we are musical missionaries or as we call it musicianaries. Which means that we target the third world and developing nations and bring free tours to them and don’t just give them music, but often feed, clothe, and perform in prisons. We are one part artist, one part Billy Graham and one part humanitarian. 

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

Answer: not losing our soul to it. As the Bible says, “Gain the world - lose your soul.” Compromise is rampant in every single facet of the industry. 

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de ) for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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