Actors are dabbling in the music business. Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood launched his label Simian Records in 2005, signing U.S. indie-rock band Apples in Stereo. Keifer Sutherland, son of Canadian actors Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas and star of TV’s 24, started the Ironworks record label and signed Canada’s acclaimed singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. And now Matthew McConaughey, who has starred in such movies as Dazed and Confused, The Wedding Planner and, recently, Tropic Thunder, has formed the Just Keep Livin’ label to showcase his discovery: reggae artist Mishka.
Matthew became enamored with Mishka’s music, a soulful, rootsy style of reggae reminiscent of Bob Marley, while partying in Jamaica back in 1999. The actor then spent the next five years trying to find Mishka, the son of a Bermudian father and a Canadian mother, who grew up on a 40-foot sailboat. When Matthew finally located the reggae singer, his enthusiasm only deepened. He told Mishka: “‘Look, man, I think your music needs to be heard by more ears than it has. Anybody I’ve ever turned on to your music ends up loving it.’”
The Hollywood star has now put his money where his mouth is, signing Mishka and co-producing his latest album, Above the Bones. With its mix of acoustic guitar and hypnotic rhythms on songs like “Higher Heights,” it’s a highly appealing sound. And Mishka’s silky voice and sunny melodies, especially on the wildly catchy title track, prove that his actor-mentor is also a canny talent scout.