The moniker "rebel with a cause" is aptly ascribed to reggae artist Edge Michael. His music reflects his personal ambition to fight for equal rights and justice. "It takes a lot to listen to the things that people want to, but can't say," said Michael, who plays Friday at the Palm Room in Wrightsville Beach and on July 14 at the Calico Room in Wilmington. "But I can say it for them. Due to my reach, I can help the world hear their cries and also their joy." Despite the strong message in his music, Michael's sound is rather laid back, like an R&B-infused Bob Marley.
"When he has been to Wilmington in the past, (Michael) was part of the Down by the River Festival and then he played a benefit to raise money to get technology for a charter school," said concert promoter Paul Allen. "I noticed when doing IT work for this school that they were desperately in need of computers. Without hesitation, he agreed to do it."
Born Oral Mark Durloo, Michael is the nephew of Peter Tosh, a founding member of Marley's band, The Wailers, and a reggae legend in his own right.
"I wouldn't want to say a lot, but yes, I take some form of inspiration from Peter Tosh," Michael said. "But I'll tell you this: All people give me inspiration. It's just life in general that inspires me, both the good side and the bad side."
Michael brings his tour to Southeastern North Carolina in support of his album, "My Search." Members of the singer's team will be filming segments for an upcoming live DVD at the performances. Michael said he's always working on recording new music and hopes to release a new album in early 2013. In the meantime, he will conclude the U.S. portion of his tour and will bring his show to South America, Europe and Africa toward the end of this year.
Between his tours and recording, Michael said that he devotes a significant amount of his attention to philanthropy. The Edge Michael Foundation works closely with children, especially at the Blossom Gardens Child Care Centre in his home country of Jamaica.
"I have come to find out that life is a cycle: You give and you receive," Michael said. "I focus a lot on giving to the young. You have to feed the change that is coming."