“Music stimulates my mind. It takes me places where my money can’t take me.” Glennardo “Mystro” Miller
Glennardo “Mystro” Miller
By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)
The highlight of my chat with Glennardo “Mystro” Miller was listening to his rich, baritone voice as he strummed his guitar under a guinep tree through Cameron Street.
Cameron Street is off Baillou Hill Road in the historic Grants Town area.
Not long after I drove through the corner, I heard the chiming bells of the nearby St. Agnes Anglican Church as the tune of a beautiful hymn rang through the air. It was an indication I was on time for our midday meeting.
The bells of the nearby, historic Anglican church, St. Agnes, rang beautifully as I prepared to interview Mystro.
I asked Mystro what is music to him. He responded, “The genre for me really does not matter. Music for me is music – as long as it is conscious. It’s to push a message and bring about change.”
“Music stimulates my mind. It takes me places where my money can’t take me. It’s an experience, a feeling. Music, to me, is priceless – although we have it up for sale,” said the musician, whose producer is Charlie Brown.
Originally from neighbouring Bain Town, Mystro was born and grew up over the hill all his life. In fact, he’s been told that his navel string is buried through Cameron Street.
Mystro was recently nominated for The Bahamas Top Music Award for Mainstream Male Vocalist with the likes of Sketch Carey, Christian Hepburn and Rik Carey. As the son of Glenn Miller, who was a member of The Bahamas Musicians Union, Mystro said music has been a part of his life – all his life.
“I grew up around Ronnie Butler, Linc Scavella, Jeffrey Chea of Baha Men,” he pointed out.
Not only can Mystro play the guitar and keyboard, he also knows how to build tracks from scratch. He has played around town with the band, Food for Thought, at private functions at The Balmoral, Café Channing Noelle and the Marley Resort, to name a few.
As Mystro’s music is influenced by the happenings around him, he recalled penning a song, ‘Protect the Children,’ dedicated to the late Marco Archer, an 11-year-old-boy who went missing in 2011 and was found dead days later. According to Mystro, he met the little boy during his days as a barber.
Mystro’s song, ‘Protect the Children’ inspired by the death of Marco.
“That was tough. I remember he was an innocent boy. He always asked me a bunch of questions like why my beard was so long; how come I was cutting people hair and aine cutting my own hair,” said the Rastafarian of over 20 years.
Having spoken fondly of the boy, Mystro went on to speak of his role in helping young people.
“As a barber, I met people from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, policemen. The cries of so many led to me being invited to speak to schools from C. R. Walker and C. C. Sweeting to Doris Johnson. My message was really to ‘Get your education. Don’t be so hurry to grow up,’” he said.
He was also involved in the Shock Treatment program for the rehabilitation of rebellious youth back in 2006 and the Hill Top Throw Back Group, which comprised nine members of the community, who provided school supplies annually.
Mystro, who was nearly fatally stabbed years ago and reportedly had to receive some 100 stitches, still bears the marks on one wrist and across his abdomen. He has also seen family and friends shot in front of him, who later died.
“It makes me value life differently,” said Mystro, who casually mentioned his birthday was the day I interviewed him.
In fact, what’s interesting is when we initially spoke via the phone, he suggested we meet at the Fish Fry. I asked him why, particularly as I prefer interviewing people in their everyday environments. He said people are usually scared to come into that area of town. I chuckled to myself. He was talking to someone who was born and grew up over the hill and who has conducted interviews with people over the hill, including the former leader of a gang – which turned out to be one of the best interviews for this blog thus far.
Nevertheless, we had a good conversation under the guinep tree that day and I’m glad we finally met. Mystro is certainly talented and a deep man. And I could tell his passion is music.
His final words about music: “Music changes emotions. It touches people in ways they can’t be physically touched. Music transcends all barriers. It’s a special gift.”
Check out his music video, Bain Town, here. It was produced by Charlie Brown.