Ranking Jnr Is Carrying on the Ska Legacy of His Father, Ranking Roger of The Beat – Phoenix New Times


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For British singer Matthew Murphy, honoring his musical influences and honoring his late father are one and the same.

Murphy, 37, who performs as Ranking Jnr and Mini-Murphy, hails from Birmingham, England, the birthplace not only of legendary Two-Tone ska band the English Beat, but of his father, Roger Charlery, a co-founder of The Beat who performed as Ranking Roger.

Jnr released a single, fittingly called “Legacy,” earlier this year, with the help of U.K. pop band the Ordinary Boys on United Sound Records. His song is a tribute to his “poppa,” who died in March 2019. Jnr is donating all of the proceeds from the single to cancer research; his father died of lung cancer and a brain tumor.

“‘Legacy’ was written literally a week or two after my dad had passed away,” Jnr says. “It’s one of the most special songs I have ever written; the lyrics came quickly and naturally because of the state of mind I was in and how I was feeling. For me, this is where the magic works; when you are going through tough times in life. The best things [in writing music] come to the surface when your back’s against the wall.”

The tune jams with delight as Jnr sings with the same Caribbean-tinged patois inflections he grew up learning