Andrea Milam on Assignment: Crucian Frederick Morton Making V.I. Proud

St. John Tradewinds staff writer Andrea Milam gets the scoop from Tempo’s president, Crucian Frederick Morton, at the Tempo Turns One concert on Saturday, November 4.

St. Croix native Frederick Morton has made his fellow Virgin Islanders proud.

At the young age of 36, Morton has already earned a law degree from Rutgers University; earned a masters in public administration from Columbia University; worked as an attorney at a prestigious law firm; and worked as corporate counsel for Johnson & Johnson, as chief litigation counsel for Viacom Inc. and as deputy general counsel of business and legal affairs for MTV Networks.

Last year, Morton added yet another accomplishment to this lengthy list when he founded Tempo, MTV Networks’ Caribbean music channel.

Not many people are lucky enough to be both happy and confident in their jobs, but Morton is sure that he is doing what is meant to be for him.

“Everything that I’ve done in my life tells me that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing,” Morton said backstage at Tempo’s first anniversary concert on Saturday, November 4, at Cramer’s Park on St. Croix. “It all converged.”

Morton was excited to be home, celebrating Tempo’s first anniversary, he said.

“It’s great, it’s extraordinary to be home,” said Morton. “We launched Tempo last year on St. Croix, and now we’re one and coming back to celebrate.”

Launching Tempo was no easy task, but Morton was up to the challenge, he explained.

“I had to convince a whole lot of people,” said Morton. “I grew up seeing my parents work very hard, and I’ve always been busy doing something.”

Tempo Bringing Love
Morton was feeling the appreciation for all his hard work at the concert, he added.

“Tempo is bringing the love tonight, and folks are giving the love back,” said Morton.

While each Caribbean island has its own distinct culture, Morton feels he was somehow destined to unite the Caribbean as one.

“My goal is unity in the region,” he said. “I was built for this. It feels like destiny was involved.”

Several of the performers at the St. Croix anniversary bash were singing Morton’s praises.

“He really is an ambassador,” said Jamaican reggae star Wayne Marshall. “Tempo is not just about music. It’s about bridging a gap between the islands.”

Caribbean artists have been praying for a channel like Tempo for a long time, according to Bajan soca star Rupee.

Vibrant, Rich Culture
“Tempo has answered our prayers,” Rupee said. “It’s a blessing.”

Caribbean culture deserves to be showcased, according to Morton.

“The culture I came from is so extraordinary and vibrant and rich,” he said. “It deserves a platform.”

Tempo is about more than just playing the latest hits. The channel will soon launch its pro-social campaign, “One Love.”

“One Love seeks to engage, educate and empower the community in tackling issues that affect us,” according to a Tempo press release. “The campaign seeks to openly, and for the first time, truly explore what the legendary Bob Marley wished to express by advocating a philosophy of ‘One Love.’”

Expand Stateside
The issues facing the Caribbean that Tempo hopes to positively affect include HIV/AIDS awareness, disaster preparedness and relief, and creative arts education.

Tempo is currently seen across the Caribbean, and will eventually be expanded to the states.

“We absolutely, without question, will expand to the states, when the time is right,” said Morton.