Former Earth, Wind & Fire star Morris 'Mo' Pleasure plans to set up music academy in Aberystwyth

  • Watch Morris 'Mo' Pleasure on Backstage, Tuesday 18 October at 10:45pm on ITV Cymru Wales and online.

A musician who has performed with the likes of Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera said he plans to set up a music academy in Aberystwyth with his partner, singer Kedma Macias.

Morris 'Mo' Pleasure, from Connecticut, is a former member of the band Earth, Wind & Fire and is the musical director of Bette Midler.

He moved to Aberystwyth a few years ago with Ms Macias - who is from the seaside town. He said he feels a strong connection to Wales, after the couple had a baby daughter who was born at Bronglais Hospital.

Mr Pleasure and Ms Macias told Backstage, the ITV Wales arts programme, that they plan to create a music school in the town to help those hoping to pursue it.

Morris 'Mo' Pleasure and Kedma Macias performed together on ITV's Backstage. Credit: Backstage/ITV Wales

Mr Pleasure said: "I would absolutely love to be more involved in the arts part of town.

"I have plans for developing a music school or academy there and doing lessons, along with my partner Kedma and a few other people, and bringing first class teaching to Aberystwyth - which they have already - I would love to do that."

He said that living by the sea helps him to be creative with his music.

Mr Pleasure has spoken out about the racism he has experienced in Wales and around the world.

He said: "I think it's really important to speak out against racism, not just with words but with music and with art.

"My father and my mother, being African Americans, weren't even able to vote until 1966. I was four years old before they were able to vote...

"When I would visit my family in the South, I experienced separate water fountains... I've grown up with it and I still live with it when touring the world, from time to time. I think it's important to speak out about it.

"I see a lot of people speaking up and that's really encouraging."

Mr Pleasure told Backstage he has a new song coming out with artists including Joss Stone, Peter Andre and many more stars, with the message, "We are one, we're all brothers and sisters on this planet".