Artistes Night 1
ARTISTES LINE-UP NIGHT 1
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Big Mountain (band)
Big Mountain is an American band known for its remake of Peter Frampton‘s “Baby, I Love Your Way“, which became a top 10 hit single in the US in early 1994, reaching No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 and No. 2 in the UK.
The evolution of the Big Mountain band started in 1986 as the San Diego, California reggae band Rainbow Warriors. In 1988, future Big Mountain frontman Joaquin “Quino” (pronounced Keeno) McWhinney joined as the lead singer of the band Shiloh. Quino is of Mexican/Irish heritage, and several members of his family were mariachi musicians. His interest in reggae began after seeing a documentary about Bob Marley and Rastafari. In 1989, Shiloh secured their first record deal and put out one album titled California Reggae. In 1991, the band changed the name to Big Mountain which was the name of a Native American reservation in Arizona. The original line-up was a sextet consisting of Quino (vocals), Lynn Copeland (bass), Gregory Blakney (drums), Jerome Cruz (guitar), Manfred Reinke (keyboards), and Lance Rhodes (drums).
The band first reached the charts with the song “Touch My Light” in spring 1993, a song taken from their debut album Wake Up. Prior to the band recording their second album, Unity, in 1994, Blakney, Cruz, Reinke, and Rhodes all departed the band, with McWhinney and Copeland finding replacements in Jamaican duo Tony Chin (guitar) and Carlton “Santa” Davis (drums), along with keyboard players Michael Hyde and Billy “Bones” Stoll, and percussionist James McWhinney. Following this lineup change, the band went on to receive major airplay on mainstream radio stations. “Baby, I Love Your Way” was included on the soundtrack for the film Reality Bites, and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart, and its follow-up, “Sweet Sensual Love” reached No. 51 in the UK, whilst Unity went on to sell over a million copies worldwide. Big Mountain’s follow up single “Get Together” became a top five hit in Brazil and Norway.
The band appeared at both the 1994 and 1995 Reggae Sunsplash festivals in Jamaica. In 1998 Jamaican drummer/producer Paul “Groove Galore” Kastick replaced Carlton “Santa” Davis as full-time drummer and primary producer in the group. Kastick spearheaded the production on the next six Big Mountain albums, spanning from 1998 and 2007. After 10 consecutive years of touring, Big Mountain decided to take a break in 2005. During this time, Quino McWhinney started to teach at Olympian High School, which received the highest test scores on their CAHSEE exams during his tenure. During the period between 2005 and 2013, Big Mountain would occasionally reunite for primarily international live performances and various benefit causes. In 2013, Quino, Hyde, and Kastick reformed the band with an extended lineup including Carlos Arias (bass), Richard “Goofy” Campbell (keyboards), Reggie Griffin (guitar, saxophone), Stephen Kamada (guitar), Danny Lopilato (guitar, vocals), Tim Pacheco (percussion, vocals). Further lineup changes have ensued, and the band now consists of Quino and James Mcwhinney, Paul Kastick, Goofy Campbell, Chizzy Chisholm and Michael (Mikey) Ortiz. In May 2016 the band released their first album in 14 years, Perfect Summer.
Stephen “Cat” Coore of Third World performing at Reggae Geel 2022
Third World (band)
Third World is a Jamaican reggae fusion band formed in 1973. Their sound is influenced by soul, funk and disco. Although it has undergone several line-up changes, Stephen “Cat” Coore and Richard Daley have been constant members.
Third World started when keyboard player Michael “Ibo” Cooper and guitarist (and cellist) Stephen “Cat” Coore (son of former Deputy Prime Minister David Coore), who had originally played in The Alley Cats and then Inner Circle, subsequently left to form their own band along with Inner Circle singer Milton “Prilly” Hamilton. They recruited bassist Richard Daley, formerly of Ken Boothe‘s band and Tomorrow’s Children, and added drummer Carl Barovier and former Inner Circle percussionist Irvin “Carrot” Jarrett before making their live debut in early 1974.
After recording some tracks with Geoffrey Chung which were not released, the band’s first single was the self-produced “Railroad Track” (1974). In their early days they played primarily in Kingston’s hotels and nightclubs and (along with The Wailers) supported The Jackson Five when they played at the Jamaican National Stadium.
They were soon signed by Island Records and toured Europe with The Wailers. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 1976. The album included a cover of “Satta Massagana“, originally performed by The Abyssinians, which became a local hit. Hamilton and Cornell Marshall (who had replaced Barovier earlier) were replaced by two more former Inner Circle members, singer William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke and drummer Willie Stewart, before the recording of their second album, 96° in the Shade (1977), which included several local hits. Notable among its eight tracks were “1865 (96° in the Shade)”, a reference to the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion, “Rhythm of Life” and the album’s only cover, “Dreamland”, written by Bunny Wailer. They played in front of 80,000 people at the Smile Jamaica festival in 1976.
In 1977 the band collaborated with psychiatrist Frederick Hickling on the Explanitations show that was performed at Kingston’s Little Theatre early the following year.
Third World’s greatest success came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, peaking with their cover version of The O’Jays‘ “Now That We Found Love” from their third album Journey to Addis. After its initial recording, the single was remixed at the behest of Island Records Special Projects division head, Alex Masucci, with new vocals and an uptempo beat. “Now That We Found Love” became a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic in 1978, reaching the top 10 in the UK. Journey to Addis became a top thirty hit album in the UK. They had first met Stevie Wonder in Jamaica in 1976, and the single prompted him to perform with them at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1981 in the wake of Bob Marley‘s death, playing his tribute to Marley, “Master Blaster“. Third World went on to perform several times at the festival, and they also took part in the “Reggae Sunsplash USA” tour in 1985. Wonder also wrote, along with Melody A McCully, their 1982 hit “Try Jah Love”, which brought them further exposure in North America. They were also guests during the third season of SCTV.
Amid claims of artistic differences “Carrot” split from the band in the mid-1980s. The resulting five-piece band then went on to record more commercial tunes such as “Sense of Purpose”, “Reggae Ambassador”, “Forbidden Love” and “Committed”.
Their version of “Now That We’ve Found Love” was used as the basis of Heavy D‘s 1991 hit rap version. In 1992 they returned to work with Stephen Stewart and Geoffrey Chung on the album Committed.
In 1983, Third World had cross-over success on the UK jazz-funk scene with their reggae single “Lagos Jump” largely thanks to Robbie Vincent and Jeff Young who played the 12-inch version on their Radio London shows. The track also became popular on the London club scene and in particular at Flicks in Dartford.
Telstar Records released a double-album compilation in 1983 which collected up all the mainstream club extended versions and remixes by artists and groups that had enjoyed relatively good UK chart success between 1981 and 1983. Entitled In the Groove, the compilation’s lead track on Part Two was Third World’s extended version of “Dancing on the Floor (Hooked on Love)”. The track had originally been released in 1981 in 7-inch edited and 12-inch extended versions, and included on Third World’s Rock the World album. With the release of the Telstar compilation, this brought about an upsurge of interest in Third World’s dancefloor output and certainly paved the way for the next two years recordings with Columbia Records (CBS).
In 1985, the group’s focus steered by a shifting music scene, brought about a stylistic change in musical direction with the release of “Sense of Purpose”. The single was released as a 7-inch edit and 12-inch extended version and later was reissued as a Shep Pettibone club remix. Whilst the single was popular, it only made the lower ends of the UK charts. The 12-inch extended version was released with an instrumental plus the full length version of their 1983 cross-over hit “Lagos Jump” which almost certainly boosted the sales of “Sense of Purpose”.
Also in 1985, “Now That We’ve Found Love” was back in the UK charts again as Paul Hardcastle decided to release a club remix but as with the case of his D-Train remix putting the Hardcastle signature sound of electronic keyboards on the track and reverbing the opening vocal. Whilst the remix was a UK hit, the remix had seemingly lost its reggae roots and the Hardcastle remix has since largely been forgotten in the decades that have followed. The result being that most DJs and radio stations have returned to the original reggae version.
Despite several more line-up changes, including the departures of Cooper and Stewart, and a decline in mainstream success, the band is still recording and performing up to the present day, including in front of a television audience at the Cricket World Cup 2007 Opening Ceremony in Trelawny.
In 2013 the group completed a 40th anniversary world tour; Illness forced Clarke to miss the European shows, with AJ Brown standing in as lead vocalist.
William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke died on 2 February 2014 in hospital in Orlando, Florida, while battling cancer. Brown was announced as Bunny Rugs’ replacement.
Irvin “Carrot” Jarrett died on 31 July 2018, aged 69.
Born in Manchester Parish, Jamaica, Barrett was initially a singer, appearing as Papa Tony or Tony Ranking in local talent contests and on sound systems including Sugar Minott‘s “Youth Promotion”. His first release was the single “Casino” that appeared in 1988 on the MGB record label, although his career took off when he worked with Donovan Germain‘s Penthouse setup in the early 1990s. He had a big hit in 1990 with “Fresh Vegetable”, and established a singjay style of delivery. He is notable as one of the few dreadlocked ‘cultural’ deejays of the ragga era. In 1992 he signed a deal with Columbia Records who released Vibes of the Times, a predominantly reggae fusion album, the following year. It spawned some of his more well known international singles such as the title track “Vibes of the Times” and “Nazerite Vow” both of which had accompanying music videos.
In 1994 he founded his record label, ‘Flames’. That same year, he held a reggae festival named Rebel Salute in Mandeville, Jamaica. It has developed into an annual event through his production company, Flames Productions, and is held every year on his birthday.
In 2001, Barrett wrote, recorded and donated the song “Not all about money” to the United Nations Volunteers programme for inclusion on the International Year of Volunteers 2001 website and CD. It was chosen as the lead song for the CD.
Rebel’s son, Abatau, has followed him into a career in music.
- Real Rough (1990) (with Capleton and Ninjaman)
- Die Hard (1991) Penthouse (with Cutty Ranks)
- 20 Man Dead (1991) Charm (with Cutty Ranks)
- Rebel with a Cause (1992) Penthouse
- Rebellious (1992) Ras
- Vibes of the Time (1993) Columbia
- If Jah (1997) VP
- Jah Is by My Side (1997) VP
- Realms of a Rebel (2001) RAS
- Connection (2004) Next Music
- I Rebel (2007) Flames
He appeared on the track “Rebel” (2000), from Dr.Alban’s album “PRESCRIPTION”.
- Collector’s Series Vol. 1 – 1998, Penthouse
- Collector’s Series Vol. 2 – 1999, Penthouse
Early life and career
Price moved to Kingston at an early age, along with his mother and siblings. His father owned and ran the Black Scorpio sound system and Price started his musical career as a sound system deejay in his early teens. At the age of 14, Price was shot by a stray bullet during a gunfight between rival political factions, and while convalescing in hospital decided on the name Bounty Killer. After recovering, he increased his performances on a greater number of sound systems, and turned his attention towards recording. 
Before his entry into the dancehall industry, Bounty Killer was in the retail industry as an entrepreneur selling figurines. He was then encouraged to record at King Jammy’s studio in Kingston. Price eventually recorded with King Jammy, the first session being in Spring 1992. One of his first tunes was the “Coppershot”, which Jammy was unwilling to release due to its lyrics glorifying gun culture. Jammy’s brother Uncle T disagreed and released the single himself, which went on to become an underground hit in both Jamaica and New York.
In 1993, Price performed at the popular reggae festival Sting (held in Portmore, Jamaica every year on Boxing Day), whereupon he had a high-profile clash with fellow deejay Beenie Man. The rivalry continued through the 1990s, with both accusing the other of a stolen act. They settled their differences after both realized the negative effect their feud was having on the industry. He has also had heated rivalries with several other top deejays, including Merciless, Super Cat and Vybz Kartel, throughout his career.
He increased control over his output in 1995 by leaving Jammy and setting up his own Scare Dem Productions company and Priceless Records label.
During the 1990s, Price voiced for several producers and labels in Jamaica, releasing songs such as “Defend the Poor”, “Mama”, “Book, Book, Book”, “Babylon System” “Down in the Ghetto” and “Look Good”. At about this time, he became known in USA and in Europe, recording with such artists as Busta Rhymes, No Doubt, Masta Killa, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Swizz Beatz and AZ.
In 1997, Bounty Killer made a cover version of Rose Royce hit single “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” with Swedish singer Robyn. The song was a success in the Caribbean. It was featured in She’s So Lovely (Sean Penn film).
In 1998, he contributed the song “Deadly Zone” to the album Blade: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture.
Further success followed with albums such as Ghetto Dictionary Volume I: Art of War and Ghetto Dictionary Volume II: Mystery, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination, which he lost to veteran Reggae producer Lee Scratch Perry, Bounty Killer later admitting that he felt he should have won the award, as Lee Scratch should have won that category during his glory days. In 2006, he signed with VP Records and released the compilation album Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls on 7 November 2006. He has been credited with having inspired many young artists such as Vybz Kartel, Mavado and Elephant Man and several other members of The Alliance.
In 2002, a collaboration with No Doubt, the song “Hey Baby”, won Bounty Killer his first Grammy Award, for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a duo or group. The win made Bounty Killer one of the few hardcore Dancehall artists to win a Grammy Award. Hey Baby also sold over a million copies making it Bounty Killer’s first single to go platinum. The deejay was also voted ‘Guinness greatest Dancehall icon’ in 2012 and later won deejay of the year in 2013, in The STAR People’s Choice Award presented by The Jamaica Gleaner.
In 2003, Price canceled two of his concerts after the LGBT magazine Outrage! petitioned Scotland Yard for his arrest, claiming songs about bashing gays would incite harassment against the gay community. He returned in 2006 after a three-year hiatus, performing uncensored lyrics at several venues without recrimination. He has since directed his focus to social commentary and party lyrics, admitting that he will not pay attention to nor attack the gay community in his music.
In 2014, Bounty Killer and long-term rival Beenie Man put aside their differences and recorded a single together, “Legendary”. The two performed a well-received Verzuz battle together on Instagram during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine on 23 May 2020.
Price was arrested twice at the annual Reggae Sumfest: he was arrested but not charged in a 2001 altercation with another performer, and arrested and charged in 2008 for using profanity during his performance. He was also arrested on 3 February 2009, after allegedly running seven traffic lights in Kingston, Jamaica, and charged with refusal to take a breathalyzer test and disobeying red lights.
Price was arrested by police in June 2006, and charged with assaulting the mother of his child. According to the Jamaica Star, “The complainant was allegedly punched in the face several times, dragged some distance away and her head slammed into a wall.”
In 2018, Price started a charity called the Bounty Killer Foundation with a series of donations to the Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica which he said had treated his gun shot wound in 1986. In 2020, Price through his foundation made a cash donation to Jamaican reggae singer, Junior Byles who suffered from mental illness and cancer.
- Roots, Reality & Culture (VP Records) (1994)
- Jamaica’s Most Wanted (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
- Guns Out (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
- Face to Face (VP Records) (1994)
- Down in the Ghetto (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
- No Argument (Greensleeves Records) (1995)
- My Xperience (VP Records/TVT Records) (1996)
- Ghetto Gramma (Greensleeves Records) (1997)
- Next Millennium (VP Records/TVT Records) (1998)
- 5th Element (VP Records) (1999)
- Ghetto Dictionary – The Mystery (VP Records) (2002)
- Ghetto Dictionary – The Art of War (VP Records) (2002)
- Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls (VP Records) (2006)
Riddim Album features
Bounty Killer has singles featured on more than 500 various riddim/rhythm album productions worldwide throughout his reggae dancehall music career spanning from the early 1990s to present day.
- Raise Hell on Hellboy (PayDay Music Group) (2009)
- Summertime – Bounty Killer (Feat. Patexx) (Syndicate Records) (2010)
- Summertime – Buss Out Remix (Bounty Killer Feat. Busta Rhymes & Patexx) (Syndicate Records) (2011)
Louie Culture “Mr Gangalee“
Dancehall fans, here he is, the original Mr. “Gangalee” himself– Mr. “I wanna be free from all chains and all bangles and rope/Free from all bars and all borders and dope/Free to praise the Lord because mi naw praise the Pope/So mind how yuh a wash yuh face wid Babylon soap/I was born to be free ’cause mi a ole gangalee/Gangalee and who have eyes they will see.” (taken from the hit song “Gangalee.”)
He’s also known as DJ Louie Culture, as that is the name he entered the music business with, but ever since he scored with his big hit, Dancehall fans, home and abroad, have branded him “Mr. Gangalee.” He’s very proud to wear this title, not only because he made it popular, but more so, because his belief in the concept of the word “gangalee” has been his main driving force to success.
Now, before driving you all nuts, here’s the history of the word and the man called Gangalee. Follow mi! “Gangalee” is an old Jamaican rural term for an unruly, uncontrollable, bad person. As old people would say, “A soon cool yuh ’cause yuh a gwan like yuh a gangalee.”
Well, Louie Culture, who was born in rural Portland (Windsor Forest to be exact), on May 9, 1968, took that old rural term and gave it a new meaning and lease on life in 1993. To Louie, a “gangalee” is a freedom fighter. One who fights for and never gives up on his beliefs, and what he wants and dreams of, no matter what the circumstances, obstacles or difficulties may be. Even if it means going or fighting the battle alone, with God by your side.
Louie Culture, born Lewin Brown, started out DJing while still at school in Portland. He took the name of his mentor Bobby Culture and fused it with his pet name “Louie,” to come up with the name Louie Culture. Like his mentor, Louie DJayed a lot of Cultural tunes. His first recording was “Rat a Bother Me” (with fellow DJ and friend Waynie Ranking) for producer Red Man in 1986. The song was a flop. Waynie Ranking got fed up and migrated, so Louie then teamed up with the singer called Positive. They recorded a few songs together, but they too were unsuccessful. Positive thought what was happening was negative, so he also migrated, leaving Louie alone, hanging on to his dreams of becoming a DJ. Louie Culture decided there and then that he was going to make it on his own. He was now determined to go “through the hills and valleys” to the mountain top of the music industry. After recording some songs for Colin Fatta, Louie met DJ Terror Fabulous. Terror introduced him to the “Mad House” crew. That’s when his career took off.
He recorded and scored with songs “Live and Learn” (with Wayne Wonder), “Excellent,” “Bogus Badge,” “Revolution Song,” “No Gal” (on the Pepperseed rhythm), and then the monster hit and titeltrack “Gangalee”, that gave him his first LP, produced by Stone Love (Released 1994/ Available at: VP Music Group).
Louie is very happy about his growing success, and he thanks Jah for making his dream become a reality. He remembers when he used to go to producers with reality tunes, and they’d tell him, “Them sound good man, but give me gal tune or gun lyrics.” So, what he did as a gangalee was to give the producers what they wanted until they had to take “whey mi want to give them, and that is Culture.”
Louie, a Rastafarian, is glad to see that Culture songs are now on the upswing; but he’s a little concerned about the sincerity of the many DJs who are recording songs based on the Rastafarian belief. “‘Nuff man a say things them don’t know ’bout because them want to be under the light,” he explained.
“A lot of them will soon have to stand up and be counted, then we’ll know who sincere from who wearing ‘the Bogus Badge.'”
He’s also aware that some Dancehall fans have been mis-interpreting the word “gangalee.”
“When mi go abroad, some man a say, ‘Whoah, mi a gangalee,’ meaning a badman thing, so, mi haffi go pon stage show them how I interpret it. But them still hold fi them view.”
Mr. Gangalee made his debut appearance at Sunsplash in 1994, where he performed a great set. Here is a story about Louie and Sunsplash that he shared with us:”A great feeling and a great experience. The only thing I never like is how they put me on so late when the people dem weary.”
Louie’s big songs in the late 90s are “Don’t Get Weary Gangalee,”
“They Lied” and “Ole Before Them Young.” From early 2000 and the following years Louie Culture continued to mash up the
dancehalls with songs like “Grap your lass and come“ feat. Mickey Spice & “Scandalina“ for Digital B Records.
In 2004 Louie Culture released his second album entitled “The
Uprising“ (Available at: VP Music Group).
The title track of this album was a next massive hit thru out Jamaica, the US and Europe. He toured the album extensively together with Freddy McGregor on a 5 weeks Europe-tour followed by individual shows in the US.
Over the years Louie Culture has performed countless shows in Jamaica, Japan, the US, Canada, UK, Europe and all over the Caribbean.
Since early 2009 Louie “Gangalee“ Culture is working on his 3rd album for his own new established label “Gangalee Music“. He plan to address a few new topics with this album – „expect lyrics about my views of the world today, critics I wanted to verbalise for a while now… and nuff more me haffi teach the youth dem“… he says with a smile…
First singles from the album are „Concrete Jungle Rock“ (for german based label „Silly Walks“), „What a World“ (for 96 Degree Records) and „Prayer for Jamaica“ (for his own label “Gangalee Music“).
Michigan and Smiley are a Jamaican reggae/dancehall duo consisting of Papa Michigan (born Anthony Fairclough) and General Smiley (born Erroll Bennett). They rose to popularity during the first wave of dancehall music in the late 1970s.
The duo of Michigan (Anthony Fairclough) and Smiley recorded at Clement “Coxsone” Dodd‘s Studio One in Jamaica, pressing their first number one hit single, “Rub a Dub Style”, which featured their call and response style vocals, overdubbed on the Studio One riddim, “Vanity” (the instrumental alias given to Alton Ellis‘ Rocksteady classic, “I’m Just A Guy”). Their next single, perhaps a larger hit, “Nice Up the Dance” was a version of the quintessential Studio 1 rhythm, “Real Rock”. These singles, with four other tracks, also versions of Studio One rhythms, were released as their first album, Nice Up the Dance. The names of these two singles were quickly incorporated into the lexicon of dancehall phraseology. Their call and response style was likewise influential on the future developments of the music, blending together straightforward singing styles and toasting. By 1982, they caught the attention of Henry “Junjo” Lawes, who recorded their biggest hit, “Diseases” over the “Mad Mad” riddim. This track was featured on their second LP, Downpression. They went on to cut an album for Channel One Records, Step by Step. The last of their hit records was “Sugar Daddy”, pressed on RAS Records, which featured yet another reworking of “Mad Mad”.
Michigan & Smiley recorded a version of Suzanne Vega‘s hit single “Tom’s Diner” that is included on the compilation album Tom’s Album.  The duo continue to record and make appearances at festivals and have both released solo recordings. Michigan is set to release the album DJ Legend, to be preceded in September 2014 by an EP of the same name.
- Rub a Dub Style (1980) Studio One
- Downpression (1982) Greensleeves
- Live at Reggae Sunsplash (1982) Trojan (with Eek-a-Mouse)
- Sugar Daddy (1983) RAS
- Back in the Biz (1991) VP
- Reality Must Rule Again (1992) VP
- Uptown/Downtown (1995) VP
As a child she used to sneak out of the house to travel round the island with renowned soundsystem Black Scorpio. After leaving school, Lady G met dancehall deejay Lord Sassafrass, who became her mentor.
She currently lives in New Jersey, United States.
Lady G is probably best known for her first hit, “Nuff Respect”, produced by Gussie Clarke in 1988. In the same year, Lady G recorded two popular songs in combination with Papa San: “Legal Rights” and “Round Table Talk”.
In successive years in the late 1980s, Lady G caused a stir with her performances at the infamous Sting stageshow in Jamaica. In 1988, she appeared in a clash with Lady Mackerel, Sister Charmaine and Junie Ranks. In 1989, she clashed once more with Sister Charmaine, as well as Patra and Lady P.
In 1994, Lady G began working with Danny Browne and his Main Street label, and in 1997 the partnership resulted in the hit single “Breeze Off” on the Filthy riddim, the same instrumental used by Mr. Vegas for his international smash “Heads High“. In 1997, she recorded “Man a Bad Man” for the film Third World Cop.
In 2000, Lady G featured alongside Crissy D on “Girls Like Us” by B-15 Project, a UK garage song which reached No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart. She performed to great acclaim at the Splash! festival in Chemnitz, Germany, in July 2001.
In 2002, she formed her own production company, G-String, with her brother. G-String productions released the Bellyskin Riddim (featuring Sizzla, Capleton and Ce’cile) through Greensleeves Records and the Flava Riddim (featuring Macka Diamond, Lady Saw and Sizzla) distributed by VP Records.
Lady G was recognised by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) with an ‘Iconic Artiste in the Music Industry’ award in February 2020. Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks were also honoured at the same event.
Byiome Muir grew up in Sandy Bay, a small community east of May Pen in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. Muir attended Palmers Cross All-Age School and then Garvey Maceo High School, and would often sing and make noises during class. Muir briefly attended Knox Community College with a focus on architecture, but dropped out to pursue his recording career full-time.
Muir began his recording career at the age of 16, when he was introduced to Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records, then manager of such artists as Buju Banton and Assassin. Muir released his first singles, “Oh Jah” and “Stepp a Seed”, in 2000 at Penthouse Records under the moniker Richie Rich. After meeting Junior Arrows of the Arrows Recording Company, Muir signed onto the Kingston label under the new name I-Octane, a play on high-octane fuel and the Rastafarian use of I. I-Octane’s initial acclaim came in 2007 for his social commentary works such as the roots reggae track “Stab Vampire” which climbed to the top of several Jamaican charts. In 2009, I-Octane topped the charts again with his emotional songs “Mama You Alone” and “Lose A Friend”, and the latter of which was later adapted as a tribute to those who died during the police manhunt for Christopher “Dudus” Coke in Tivoli Gardens.
When I-Octane left Arrows over financial disputes, the artist came under the guidance of Robert Livingston, a veteran producer who had been responsible for the success of such artists as Super Cat and Shaggy. I-Octane gained further traction in 2010 with a string of hits produced by Cashflow Records, including “No Love Inna Dem” and the cannabis anthem “Puff It,” which was named as one of NPR‘s Top 5 Dancehall Tracks of 2011. He also topped the charts once again with the contemplative “My Life” produced by DJ Frass, and was featured in the April–May issue of the hip hop magazine Vibe. The same year, he also signed on as Brand Ambassador for the telecommunications firm Digicel, and as of 2013 he remains employed as a representative of the company. I-Octane has also been the Brand Ambassador for the Golden Eagle Brand in Jamaica since 2015.
In 2011, I-Octane announced he would be starting his own record label, Conquer The Globe Productions, which would serve to produce instrumentals for him and promote him as an artist. He also said the label’s first release would be an extended play in December of that year to be followed by an album in early 2012. The six-song EP, “Straight From The Heart,” was released on 7 December as a primarily digital release, with distribution by TuneCore. The EP was marketed towards a global audience and three of its songs were recorded in the U.S., a first for the artist. The EP’s lead single “Burn Dem Bridge,” produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, topped several charts in Jamaica and received significant radio airplay, including on international stations such as New York’s Hot 97.
I-Octane’s debut album, Crying To The Nation, was released on 13 February 2012 through Robert Livingston’s Scikron Entertainment in the Caribbean and VP Records internationally. The album received generally positive reviews from critics. Rick Anderson of AllMusic praised the record as a “solid winner”, but mentioned it relied a little too strongly on Auto-Tune, and David Katz of BBC Music called the album “a surprisingly varied set, comprising mostly new roots reggae in the one drop style, along with a couple of rougher-edged tracks in full-on dancehall mode”. The album’s lead single was the lovers rock ballad “L.O.V.E. Y.O.U.”, which was marketed to international audiences but also did well domestically. I-Octane followed the album with a tour of the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and ended the year strong with a string of hit singles, including “Badmind Dem A Pree”, a collaboration with Bounty Killer produced by Buju Banton‘s son Markus Myrie, the summer hit “Love Di Vibes”, and the Seanizzle-produced “Gal A Gimmi Bun”, a song in which I-Octane laments his partner’s infidelity.
In March 2018, I-Octane’s Love and Life album was released and debuted at #3 on the reggae Billboard where it stayed for 3 weeks. The Album was produced executively by I-Octane under his Conquer The Globe Production label, he worked with a new of producers and artistes.
In 2021 he released the album Moods, followed by I am Great (2022), which was preceded by the single “Sorry”.
- 2012: Crying To The Nation (VP/Scikron)
- 2014: My Journey (Tad’s International)
- 2018: Love and Life (Conquer The Globe Productions)
- 2021: Moods
- 2022: I Am Great
- 2008: “Stab Vampire” (Arrows records) Tears Riddim
- 2009: “Lose A Friend”
- 2010: “Think A Likkle Time” (Alter Ego Riddim) / “My Life” (Dj Frass Records)
- 2011: “Burn Dem Bridge” (Di Genius Productions)
- 2012: “L.O.V.E.” (VP Records)
- 2013: “Buss A Blank” (Produced by Armz House Records), Gal A Gimmi Bun (Produced by Seanizzle Records), Wine And Jiggle (Produced by Seanizzle Records), Happy Time (produced by Good Good Productions), Love You Like I Do (Produced by Dj Frass Records)
- 2014: “Your Eyes” (Produced by Markus Records), Cyaa Do It featuring Vanessa Bling (Produced by Dj Frass Records)
- 2015: “Hurt By Friends” (produced by Troyton Records), Gyal Ting (produce by Chimney Records)
- 2016: “No Shaky Link” (produced by Mineral Boss Records), Know Yuh Girl (Produced by LeeMiller Records)
- 2017: “One Chance” (produce by BigA), Break-thru (produced by Mineral Boss Records)
- 2018: “Unfair Games” (produced by Good Good Productions), Weh Di Fire gone (produced by Young Pow Records)
- 2019: “Plutocrat” (Produced by Aicon Records and Conquer The Globe Productions)
- 2022: “Sorry”
- 2011: My Life (Tad’s Re/cord)
- 2011: Straight From The Heart (Conquer The Globe)
- 2015: New Chapter
- 2017: Vegas Mode Riddim (Conquer The Globe Productions)
Kabaka Pyramid is a conscious revolutionary lyricist with a unique musical style; blending the power, energy and melody of Reggae with the lyricism of Hip hop. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica this Bebble Rock Music artist uses his liquid and hypnotizing delivery to spread positive messages of spiritual evolution that forces you to listen.
The name “Kabaka” is Ugandan for “King” and the long lasting survival of the Pyramids of ancient Africa represent his desire for longevity in the music and deep connection to Kemetic roots; leaving messages for generations to come.
This Award winning artist has developed a solid global fan-base that connects deeply with the messages in his music, touring extensively over the past 5 years to the largest of Reggae stages around the world. Aided by his excellent “Bebble Rockers” band; he has brought his message and power to tens of thousands of people in North America, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. Hitting stages such as “Reggae on the River” (US), Rebel Salute (JA), Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (US), “Rototom Sunsplash” (Spain), Musa (Portugal), SummerJam (Germany), Reggae Sumfest (JA), Reggae Sundance (NE), Reggae Sun Ska Festival (FRA), South by South West (US), BoomTown (UK) as well as headlining multiple 20+ multi-city club tours; Kabaka is well known for delivering an electrifying and entertaining live performance. He has just recently concluded the 30 show, United States “Stony Hill” tour with Damian Jr. Gong Marley to rave reviews.
Following the global success of his impactful hit single “Well Done” in 2015; Kabaka released his “Accurate” mixtape presented by music superpower Major Lazer and Walshy Fire to tremendous reception with the mixtape proving to be an instant classic amongst reggae/hiphop fans. In 2017 he topped the Global Reggae Charts with the anthem “Can’t Breathe” the first single off his soon to be released debut full length album “Contraband”. The project is being executive produced by Damian “Jr Gong” Marley and is a joint release with Bebble Rock Music and Ghetto Youths International.
In fact the Pyramid has released a powerful catalogue over the years including the critically acclaimed “Rebel Music EP” and the Billboard top 10 charting “Lead the Way EP”; singles such as “Never Gonna Be A Slave”, “No Capitalist”, “Mi Alright” with Chronixx, and “Free From Chains” as well as music videos for the popular “Warrior” featuring Protoje, “World Wide Love, “Liberal Opposer” and “High and Windy” with Sara Lugo; he has achieved regular rotation on local and international airwaves. Kabaka Pyramid is touted by many as a leader in the new wave of powerful reggae artists coming out of Jamaica.
Kabaka has achieved recognition both locally and overseas, placing #1 on the BILLBOARD Next Big Sound Charts and also featured by the popular music conglomerates, TheFader, MTV Iggy, Okayplayer, Reggaeville amongst many others in the media landscape. In 2013 he was awarded breakthrough artist of the year by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association. He is also a three (3) time nominee for Song of the year 2013, 2014 and 2015 for the tracks “No Capitalist”, “Mi Alright” and “Well Done” respectively. The lyricist has in addition won the award for best reggae recording by Canada’s highly respected Juno Awards with Exco Levi.
With a mission to steer future generations towards harmony and unity Kabaka Pyramid is primed and focused on bringing a righteous and conscious way of thinking to the masses through Reggae Music.
“Possessing a solid list of skills not only in the booth but on the mixing board, and an array of lyrics that preach a message of love, self-awareness and African pride, Kabaka Pyramid is well on his way to a career that should not only lead to greatness but also lead a lot of fans to righteousness”
— Aesthetics Now Mag
Bling Dawg , aka Ricky Rudie
Bling Dawg , aka Ricky Rudie ( 1982 as Marlon Ricardo Williams in Kingston , Jamaica ), is a Jamaican reggae – and Dancehall – Deejay . Williams was born in 1982 in Kingston, Jamaica, and grew up in Portland Parish , and later in Miami in the United States on.
Horace Andy (born Horace Hinds, 19 February 1951) is a Jamaican roots reggae songwriter and singer, known for his distinctive vocals and hit songs such as “Government Land”, as well as “Angel“, “Spying Glass” and “Five Man Army” with English trip hop duo Massive Attack. He is also famous for a cover version of “Ain’t No Sunshine“. Andy is often described as one of the most respected and influential singers in Jamaica.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Hinds recorded his first single, “This is a Black Man’s Country,” in 1967 for producer Phil Pratt. “This is a Black Man’s Country” failed to make an impact, and it wouldn’t be until 1970 that he achieved a breakthrough. After unsuccessfully auditioning at Coxsone Dodd‘s Studio One as a duo along with Frank Melody, he successfully auditioned on his own a few days later. Dodd decided Hinds should record as Horace Andy, partly to capitalise on the popularity of Bob Andy, and partly to avoid comparisons with his cousin, Justin Hinds, with whom his singing style at the time showed a resemblance. “Got To Be Sure”, the song he had auditioned with, became his first release for Studio One. The following two years saw the release of further singles such as “See a Man’s Face”, “Night Owl”, “Fever”, and “Mr. Bassie”. One of Andy’s most enduring songs, “Skylarking”, first appeared on Dodd’s Jamaica Today compilation album, but after proving a sound system success, it was released as a single, going on to top the Jamaican chart. The next few years saw Andy regularly in the reggae charts with further singles for Dodd such as “Something on My Mind”, “Love of a Woman”, “Just Say Who”, and “Every Tongue Shall Tell”, as well as singles for other producers such as “Lonely Woman” (for Derrick Harriott), “Girl I Love You” (Ernest and Joseph Hoo Kim), “Love You to Want Me” and “Delilah” (Gussie Clarke), and “Get Wise”, “Feel Good”, and “Money Money” for Phil Pratt. Andy had a second Jamaican number one single in 1973 with “Children of Israel”. Andy’s most successful association with a producer, however, was with Bunny Lee in the middle part of the 1970s. This era produced a series of singles now regarded as classics such as a re-recorded “Skylarking”, “Just Say Who”, “Don’t Try To Use Me”, “You Are My Angel”, “Zion Gate”, “I’ve Got to Get Away”, and a new version of “Something on My Mind”.
In 1977, Andy moved to Hartford, Connecticut, with his first wife, Claudette, where he recorded for Everton DaSilva, including the In The Light album and its associated dub album, and singles such as “Do You Love My Music” and “Government Land”. Andy set up his own Rhythm label, which became an outlet for his work with DaSilva. The association with the producer was brought to an abrupt end when DaSilva was murdered in 1979. Andy’s 1978 album Pure Ranking had anticipated the rise of dancehall reggae, and he was a key figure in the early development of the genre, confirmed by 1982’s Dance Hall Style album. Andy continued to record with a variety of producers in the first half of the 1980s. In 1985, with his second wife Caroline, he relocated to Ladbroke Grove, London, and he recorded in the United Kingdom as well as regularly visiting Jamaica for further recording work.
Mainstream success with Massive Attack and after
1990 saw Andy’s profile further raised when he began collaborating with Bristol trip hop pioneers Massive Attack, going on to contribute to all five of their albums (the only artist to do so), most notably on “Angel” (a new version of “You Are My Angel”), released on their third album, Mezzanine, and later on their 2010 release Heligoland with the tracks “Splitting the Atom” and “Girl I Love You”. In the mid-1990s he also worked with Mad Professor, releasing the albums Life Is For Living and Roots and Branches. He then continued to record new music, with the album Living in the Flood, released in 1999 on Massive Attack’s Melankolic record label, and Mek It Bun in 2002. He also featured on the world music project 1 Giant Leap and on the Easy Star All-Stars 2006 album Radiodread.
2022 saw the release of Andy’s album Midnight Rocker, produced by Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound. Andy’s vocals were recorded in Jamaica, with the tracks sent back and forth between vocalist and producer until they were complete. The album received critical acclaim upon its release.
Andy is a Rastafarian.
Some of his lyrics have been criticized for being homophobic. Andy confirmed that Trojan Records only agreed to release his album On Tour after removing a track containing the lyrics “The Father never make Adam and Steve, he make Adam and Eve“.
- Skylarking (1972) Studio One
- You Are My Angel (1973) Trojan
- Earth Must Be Hell (1974) Atra (with Winston Jarrett) aka The Kingston Rock
- Earth Must Be Hell – Dub (1974) Atra (with Winston Jarrett)
- In the Light (1977) Hungry Town
- In the Light Dub (1977) Hungry Town
- Pure Ranking (1978) Clocktower
- Bim Sherman Meets Horace Andy and U Black Inna Rub a Dub Style (1980) Yard International (with Bim Sherman and U Black)
- Natty Dread a Weh She Want (1980) New Star
- Unity Showcase (1981) Pre (with Errol Scorcher)
- Dance Hall Style (1982) Wackies aka Exclusively (1982) Solid Groove
- Showcase (1984) Vista Sounds
- Confusion (1984) Music Hawk
- Sings For You and I (1985) Striker Lee
- Clash of the Andy’s (1985) Thunderbolt (with Patrick Andy)
- Elementary (1985) Rough Trade – Horace Andy & Rhythm Queen
- Reggae Superstars Meet (1986) Striker Lee (with Dennis Brown)
- From One Extreme to Another (1986) Beta (with John Holt)
- Haul & Jack Up (1987) Live & Love
- Fresh (1988) Island in the Sun
- Shame and Scandal (1988)
- Everyday People (1988) Wackies
- Rude Boy (1993) Shanachie
- Jah Shaka Meets Horace Andy (1994) Jah Shaka Music
- Dub Salute 1 Featuring Horace Andy (1994) Jah Shaka Music
- Seek and You Will Find (1995) Blackamix International
- Seek and You Will Find – The Dub Pieces (1995) Blackamix International
- Life Is for Living (1995) Ariwa
- Roots and Branches (1997) Ariwa
- See and Blind (1998) Heartbeat
- Living in the Flood (1999) Melankolic
- Mek It Bun (2002) Wrasse
- From the Roots: Horace Andy Meets Mad Professor RAS
- This World (2005) Attack
- Livin’ It Up (2007) Medium (with Sly & Robbie)
- On Tour (2008) Sanctuary
- Two Phazed People (2009) dontTouch (with Alpha)
- Serious Times (2010)
- Broken Beats (2013), Echo Beach
- Live It Up (2019), Pioneer International
- Midnight Rocker (2022), On-U Sound
Pluto Shervington & Ernie Smith
Shervington began his career in the early 1970s as a member of the showband Tomorrow’s Children. Inspired by the success of Ernie Smith‘s “Duppy or a Gunman” and Tinga Stewart‘s “Play de Music”, both delivered in heavy patois, he recorded in a similar style “Ram Goat Liver”, inspiring Lee “Scratch” Perry to produce a popular version with Jimmy Riley. The follow-up single, “Dat” – about a Rastafarian trying to buy pork (without naming it aloud), contrary to his faith, so that he can afford marijuana – achieved considerable chart success internationally in 1976, reaching the number 6 spot in the UK Singles Chart. Trojan Records capitalized on this success by reissuing his first single, which peaked just outside the top 40 in the UK.
Shervington also scored as a producer, overseeing the creation of the 1975 song “Hooray Festival” performed by Roman Stewart, and “Midnight Rider” by Paul Davidson, which peaked at number 10 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1975.
Shervington moved to Miami, Florida, in the early 1980s. He continued to record, and reached the UK top 20 again when “Your Honour” originally recorded in 1975 but never previously released, was re-issued in early 1982 together with a new recording “No Honour Among Tiefs”. In 1997, as a guest of honour on Ernie Smith’s celebration of 30 years in the business, Shervington performed alongside Ken Lazarus and the surviving members of the Now Generation band at the Pegasus Hotel in Jamaica. Again, in 2001, alongside Ernie Smith, Shervington performed together with the late musical veteran Lloyd Charmers at the Heineken Startime events for an Independence Showcase, which also included performances from The Abyssinians and Eric Donaldson.
Shervington often performs live in Miami, and periodically returns to his homeland for performances. As of 2007 he plays solo at Bahama Breeze in Kendall, Florida, and every other Sunday at Black Point Marina in Cutler Bay with a five piece band. Pluto appeared at the St. Kitts Music Festival on Friday 22 June 2007, sharing the bill with Steel Pulse and Sean Paul, among others.
In addition to his work as a singer, Shervington gained a reputation as a talented bass guitarist, and as a recording engineer, notably engineering Little Roy‘s 1974 album, Tafari Earth Uprising. As of 2018 Shervington was performing solo multiple times a week at the Bahama Breeze restaurant in Miami when not on tour.
- Ramgoat (1974)
- Greatest Reggae Hits (1974)
- Pluto (1975)
- Pluto (1976)
- Play Mas’ (1976)
- Ire Mas Rockers Carnival (1981)
- Again (1982)
- Reggae Fever (1982)
- Rhythm Of The City (1990)
- Second Wind (2008)
- Dat (1976) – UK Number 6
- Ram Goat Liver (1976) – UK Number 43
- Your Honour (1982) – UK Number 19
Smith was born in Kingston in May 1945 and raised in St. Ann and May Pen. His father played guitar and bought him an instrument when he was twelve. He played guitar in the band The Vandals in Claremont, St. Ann, after leaving school, and was nicknamed ‘Ernie’ after Ernest Ranglin. He initially (unsuccessfully) sought a career as a radio announcer, but then approached Federal Studios looking for work as a songwriter, ending up recording his songs himself. His first recordings were not a success and Smith spent time working in life insurance before returning to the studio.
Recording initially in an easy listening style, Smith’s first chart success came in the late 1960s with “Bend Down”, which was followed by Jamaican number one hits in “Ride on Sammy,” “One Dream,” and “Pitta Patta”, all produced by Richard Khouri at Federal, the latter based on Lee “Scratch” Perry‘s “Musical Transplant” rhythm, which was voted the best song of the year in Swing magazine. In 1972, he won the Yamaha Music Festival in Japan with “Life Is Just For Living”, a song originally written for a Red Stripe commercial. In 1973, he was honoured by the Jamaican government with The Badge of Honour For Meritorious Service in the Field of Music. An album, Life Is Just For Living followed in 1974 on Trojan Records. “Pitta Patta” was followed by further Jamaican hits with “Duppy or Gunman” and “Key Card”. Smith also had success with covers of popular songs such as “Help Me Make It Through The Night” and “Everything I Own”, and as a songwriter had success at the Festival Song Contest in 1974 with Tinga Stewart‘s “Play De Music”. Smith’s “I Can’t Take It” topped the UK Singles Chart in 1975 when recorded by Johnny Nash under the title “Tears on My Pillow“. The change of title led to Smith initially missing out on royalties due to confusion with the Little Anthony song of the same name.
In 1976 his “The Power and the Glory” was seen by some as a criticism of Prime Minister Michael Manley‘s policies, and led to threats on his life, prompting him to relocate with his family to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he recorded the albums To Behold Jah and Skareggae. In the late 1970s, Smith largely appealed to older audiences and released Gospel-influenced records such as 1978’s I’ll Sing For Jesus album. In 1981, Smith moved to Miami to be closer to his wife and children, later moving to Fort Lauderdale, but was beset by financial difficulties and cocaine and alcohol problems. Smith found help in the form of Bob Marley‘s mother, Cedella Booker, who he collaborated with as a songwriter, and in 1987, film director Perry Henzell asked Smith to write songs for his Marcus Garvey musical. Smith returned to Jamaica in the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, and began recording and performing again, initially with a new band, The New Agenda. In 1996, he released the Dancehall Ernie Cleans It Up album, featuring new recordings of some of his best known songs.
In 2008, Smith returned with Country Mile, an album that was preceded by the singles “That’s The Kinda People We Are” (a duet with Pluto Shervington) and “Give Her a Lion” (featuring Ron Muschette).
- Greatest Hits (1971) London
- Ernie…Smith, That Is (1972) (aka Pitta Patta) Federal
- For The Good Times (1974) Federal
- Life Is Just For Living (1974) Trojan
- Ernie Smith (Test Pressing, Unreleased Album Produced By Van McCoy) (1974) Warner Bros
- Pure Gold Rock & Roll And Rocksteady (1975) Wildflower
- I’ll Sing For Jesus (1978) Wildflower
- To Behold Jah (1979) Generation/Tuff Gong
- Skareggae (1981) Generation
- Mr. Smith’s Classics (1982) KR
- On The Road (Live 1989) Ernie Smith Music
- Folk Songs of Jamaica (1992) Ernie Smith Music
- Greatest Hits (1995) Musicrama
- Dancehall Ernie Cleans It Up (1996) Ernie Smith Music
- Step Up (1996) (same as Ernie Cleans It Up with extra tracks) Ernie Smith Music
- After 30 Years Life Is Just For Living (1997) Ernie Smith Music/VP
- The Very Best of Ernie Smith (1998) Rhino
- Greatest Hits (1999) K&K
- Country Mile (2008) VP
- The Best of Ernie Smith – Original Masters (2010) VP
The vocal trio was originally formed in 1968 by Bernard Collins and Donald Manning. Their first song was “Satta Massagana“, which was strongly influenced by Carlton Manning’s “Happy Land”. “Satta Massagana” is a Rastafarian hymn sung partly in the Ethiopian Amharic language. They recruited a third vocalist, who was still at school and often unable to attend rehearsals; he was soon replaced by Donald’s brother Lynford Manning, who like Donald had previously been a member of their brother Carlton Manning’s group Carlton and The Shoes.
“Satta Massagana” was first recorded for producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd in March 1969, but he decided against releasing it, seeing no commercial potential for what he saw as a song constituting cultural subversion. In 1971, the group purchased the master tapes from Dodd for £90 and released it on their own Clinch label, the single becoming a massive success, prompting Dodd to release his own instrumental and deejay versions. The group released further takes on the song on Clinch by Tommy McCook, Big Youth, and Dillinger, as well as their own “Mabrak”, featuring the group reciting passages from the Old Testament. It has since been recorded by dozens of artists. The group’s second release, “Declaration of Rights”, featured Leroy Sibbles on backing vocals, and like their first was a huge hit in Jamaica, (and subsequently in the international market) and has been covered several times since. Their 1973 single “Y Mas Gan” was similar to “Satta” in its use of Amharic.
The group continued to record throughout the 1970s for producers including Lloyd Daley, Tommy Cowan, and Geoffrey Chung, and their debut album, Forward on to Zion was produced by Clive Hunt and released in 1976. The follow-up, Arise (1978), was recorded under stressful conditions with internal rivalries threatening to break up the group, and after the album’s release, Collins left the band, to be eventually replaced by Carlton Manning. This line-up performed at the 1979 Reggae Sunsplash festival, but split up the following year.
Donald Manning had a brief solo career in the early 1980s, in which he recorded as Donald Abyssinian.
Bernard Collins launched his own version of the group in the late 1980s, with two versions of the group existing for a time. The original line-up reunited in 1998 and went on to record new material, including the singles “African Princess” and “Swing Low” and the album Reunion, although Collins was not involved in songwriting at this time. Collins left again in 1999 and released material as Bernard Collins & the Abyssinians, releasing an album the same year.
- 1976 : Satta Massagana – Jam Sounds (reissued 1988 on Clinch, 1993, 2007 on Heartbeat, also released as Satta and Forward on to Zion)
- 1978 : Arise – Tuff Gong/Virgin/Clinch
- 1998 : Reunion – Artists Only
- 1982 : Forward – Alligator
- 1994 : Best of the Abyssinians – Musidisc
- 1996 : 19.95 + TAX
- 1998 : Satta Dub – Tabou 1
- 1998 : Declaration of Dub – Heartbeat
- 1999 : Last Days – Clinch (credited to Bernard Collins)
- 2003 : Abyssinians & Friends Tree of Satta vol. 1 – Blood & Fire
- 2002 : Live in San Francisco – 2b1 II
Life and career
Walks first recorded in 1963 for Duke Reid at Treasure Isle. In the late 1960s, he recorded for producer Joe Gibbs (“Having a Party”), but is best known for his recordings with producer Harry Mudie; “The Drifter” and “Heart Don’t Leap” were both big hit singles in Jamaica. In 1974 he had another hit with “Margaret”, backed by the Mudie’s All Stars, which formed the basis of Lennie Hibbert‘s “Margaret’s Dream”. In 1975 he had a hit on the UK reggae charts with “Sad Sweet Dreamer” and a reissue of “Margaret”. Walks’ debut album Meet Dennis Walks, collecting several of his earlier hits, was released on the Moodisc label in 1976. The “Drifter” rhythm has been recorded on by several artists over the years, including versions of “The Drifter” by Dennis Brown and Cornell Campbell, a deejay version by I Roy, and Reggae Bible (Book of Drifters), an entire album based on the track.
Walks also worked with Bunny Lee, and Prince Jazzbo in the late 1960s and 1970s and continued to release singles into the 1990s. He had further hits in the early 1980s with “The Lover”, “Roast Fish and Cornbread” (with Billy Boyo), and “Shut Up Your Face” (with Lee Van Cliff).
- Meet Dennis Walks (1976), Moodisc
- Gwanee Gwanee (2004), Jet Star
- “Having a Party” (1968), Amalgamated
- “Uncle Sam’s Country” (196?), Amalgamated – promo only
- “Belly Lick” (1968), Blue Cat
- “Heart Don’t Leap” (1969), Bullet
- “Love of My Life” (1969), Bullet
- “The Drifter” (1969), Crab – B-side of Grossett’s “Run Girl Run”
- “Combination Drifter” (1970), Afro – with I Roy
- “Heart Don’t Leap” (1971), Moodisc – with I Roy
- “Time Will Tell” (1971), Moodisc
- “Snowbird” (1971), Afro – with instruments by Mudies All Stars, piano by Gladstone Anderson and female backup vocals by The S.P.M.s though uncredited on a 45 RPM single
- “Ooh Wee Baby” (1972), Moodisc
- “Margaret” (1974), Count Shelly
- “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (1974), Moodisc
- “Misty” (1975), HAM
- “Don’t Play That Song” (1975), Magnet
- “Pretty Dress” (197?), Conrack
- “Almighty I” (1978), Joe Gibbs
- “Togetherness” (1978), Velvet Sound
- “Fancy Dress” (1980), Orbit
- “Drifter” (1981), Jah Guidance – 12-inch
- “Roast Fish & Cornbread” (1982), Greensleeves
- “Fisherman” (198?), Midnight Rock
- “Don’t Worry” (19??), Everglaids
- “Only Time Will Tell” (19??), Moodisc
- “Shoulder To Shoulder” (19??), Ujama
- “Business” (1985), Hard Rock
- “Better To Be Early” (1987), Arietha Productions
- “You Could A Deal” (1992), Mandingo
- “True Love Is All I Need” (1992), Mandingo
- “Father And Son” (19??), Icom – Dennis Walks & Zebra
- “Drifter Mix” (2010), Jah Life – Dennis Walks & Carl Meeks
Born in Kingston, Stephenson was the singer in the band To Isis for ten years before recording as a solo artist from 2005. He began to release solo records 2005, starting with the single “24 Hours” in 2005. He signed to VP Records, who released his first album, From August Town, in 2007. The album was included in Billboard‘s “Six Essential Albums Heralding Roots Rock’s Resurgence” in 2008, with Patricia Meschino commenting on the album’s “beautifully nuanced vocals and heartfelt lyrics”. He went on perform at Reggae Sumfest and toured with Dean Fraser, playing throughout the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe.
His second album, Black Gold, was released in 2010. The same year he toured with The Wailers Band on their tour of the United States and South America, after recording the anti-hunger song “A Step For Mankind” with the band for the Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3 album, released to funds for the United Nations World Food Program.
Third album Dangerously Roots: Journey from August Town was recorded over two years and released in September 2014. The album includes a cover version of Bunny Wailer‘s “Cool Runnings”, which was issued as a single. Guest artists on the album include Tarrus Riley, Lutan Fyah, and I-Octane. Dangerously Roots entered the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart at number 6 and rose to number 4.
Stephenson’s fourth album, Exile to Jedi, is set for release by VP Records in February 2019.
- From August Town (2007), VP
- Black Gold (2010), VP
- Dangerously Roots: Journey from August Town (2014), VP
- Soon As We Rise (2014), Kingston Songs
- “24 Hours” (2005), No Doubt
- “Fairy Tale”/”August Town” (2007), Cannon Production
- “More Than Words” (2008), Jamplified
- “You Are Not Alone” (2008), Rhythm of Life
- “Crying Out” (2009), No Doubt
- “You Too Bad” (2011), Penthouse
- “Don’t Let Him” (2013), Penthouse – with Exco Levi
- “Rasta For I” (2014)
- “Cool Runnings” (2014), VP
- “Play That Song” (2018), VP
- Brother To Brother (1996), Studio One
- Get Next To Me (1998), VP Records/Joe Frasier
- Think About It (1999), Digital Eclipse Records
- Can’t You See (1999), Charm Records
- Solitary Red Rose (1999), Ruff Stuff Records
- Wandering Stranger (2000), Studio One
- Number One Girl (2000), VP Records
- Can’t Keep A Good Man Down (2001), Don One Sounds
- Free Up The Vibes (2001), VP Records
- Your Love (2002), VP Records
- Wanna Be Loved (2004), VP Records
- The Right Road, (2004), Jet Star Records
- Heart Of The City (2006), Don One Sounds
- Destiny (2008), VP Records
- Glen Washington Meets Jah Ruby (2009), Jah Ruby Records/VP Records
- Masterpiece (2012), Zion High Productions
- Vibes (2013), Cou$ins Records
- Time of My Live (2017), Love Injection Productions
Drum & Bass Duo
Unga Barunga & Welshbass
‘Love is The Word, Spread it’
The history of AKABU spans over four decades.
Their journey began in 1981.
The road to chart success has not been easy for newcomer Nation Boss. The singer struggled financially early in life and got expelled from high school.
He was unable to complete studies at Knockalva Agriculture School in Hanover due to financial difficulties.
The 22-year-old currently has one of the biggest songs in Jamaica with “Humans”. It is produced by Dominic “Troublemekka” McDonald.
“All the hurtful things that have been done to me give me the reason and the drive to go on. Humans is based off my real-life experiences,” shared Nation Boss in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
The song chronicles a failed relationship and indifferent treatment by relatives.
“At times I doubted whether the song would be a hit. It was kind of a shock at first, and then I realised that so many people accepted the conscious energy,” he explained.
In early January, a freestyle of Humans was uploaded to Instagram and shared by several persons including popular entertainers Popcaan and Bugle.
The viral buzz caught the attention of McDonald, whose productions include Hands Up by Beenie Man and Singer J, as well as the Double Trouble rhythm. He reached out to Nation Boss and offered to produce an official version of his song.
He accepted, having been a fan of McDonald’s work through listening to his beats online. Nation Boss journeyed from his home in St Ann to the producer’s Olympic Gardens recording studio where Humans was recorded.
An official video for Humans was released in March and was directed by RD Studios. It has racked up more than four million views on YouTube.
Since the song’s breakthrough, Nation Boss has enjoyed a change in fortune.
“It’s just a lot of joy and happiness. I’m focusing on doing good music and moving forward,” he said.
Born Kushilo Kelly Lowe in Spanish Town, Nation Boss lived in Barbados for a while. On his return to Jamaica, he resided in Davis Town, St Ann and attended York Castle High School.
Though he excelled at football in the daCosta Cup, he was expelled while in fourth form.
He found solace in music after leaving Knockalva Agricultural School.
“I was introduced to music upon my return to Jamaica, but I pretty much was born with music. I’m based around realness and genuine energy, because that’s what the music industry is lacking. Mostly negative lyrics are being sung and I’m a positive and conscious artiste,” said Nation Boss.
In addition to McDonald, he has worked with producers Cut Stone Studios, Hot Boxx, and Pyramid Records.
Telephone and Emotions are Nation Boss’ follow-up singles. The latter is a collaboration with Yaksta.
Rytikal, whose given name is Ryan McFarlane is a Jamaican Dancehall artiste born in 1995. He grew up in the parish of St. Thomas, where from around age 8 or 9 he developed a love for music because of inspiration from his older brother. McFarlane states that his brother made music and he would deejay the lyrics from his brother’s songs from an early age. Other artists which inspired his music include Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, and Vybz Kartel. Rytikal is famously known for his hit single “Chosen”. He is also known for releases like “Cookie Jar”, “Living”, “Smoke My Troubles Away” and “We Okay”.
Wesrok Aims To Become First Mainstream Country Reggae Artist
The voice of the Jamaican people, reggae music, which derived from its predecessors Ska and Mento, has undoubtedly gone on to have a major impact on the international scene. Singer Wesrok has visions of taking the music to another level, as he works to establish a sparse version called “Country Reggae.” During a recent Gleaner interview, Wesrok said, “Country reggae is not a subgenre but a new brand, not quite country, not quite reggae. A brand new flavour for the masses.”
Jamaicans have long had a certain fascination for cowboys and Westerns, a love that transcended into the island’s music. Island-based entertainers have provided their versions of country and western tracks in the past, much to the delight of their fans. The late Toots Hibbert soared with his rendition of “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver. Freddie McGregor’s rendition “King of the Road” by Roger Miller (1964) also became famous, and the Reggae artiste admitted that he was a fan of Miller’s music. How about Busy Signal’s renditions of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler?”
“Country is one of the biggest art forms. Other artistes have experimented with country reggae and failed because they’ve not sustained the efforts. We at 360 Global want to re-energise those efforts,” the recording artiste said.
The artiste, who has released a number of country reggae songs, is from the rural district of Swamp Lane in Bog Walk, St Catherine. He says he is fully equipped to be the face of this movement and feels that there is a niche market out there for country reggae in Jamaica and overseas, such as in Europe and the rural states of the USA.
Country reggae songs recorded by the artist include “Left Out in the Dark,” “Poor Country Boy,” and his most recent, “Born As a Winner.”
While Wesrok, whose real name is Percival Buddan, aims to globalize this brand, “country reggae” may not be very new after all. He added,
“The proof of Jamaica’s love for country music is all over reggae history. In the US, country music carries a certain racial history and baggage but I love it because country tells stories, tales about breaking up, and getting back together, and overcoming hardship. We love stories as well because this narrative tradition runs deep in folk music across the Caribbean.”
Wesrok has launched his seven-track album, “Look At Me Now,” on April 23, 2021.
ASADENAKI is one of Reggae music’s emerging gems continuing a rich musical legacy he inherited from his father who also gave him his unique name, which means “enigma”. Singer, songwriter, composer, percussionist and guitarist, Asadenaki was also trained in film and video production at Clayton State University in Georgia, USA. Being true to his name, he describes himself as “a creator inspired by The Creator”.
Born and raised in Kingston 20 at the historic house of Solomonic Productions; the home office of his father Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae pioneer, Hon. Bunny Wailer, Asadenaki was always surrounded by music. In his early years however, he was more fascinated with athletics mainly football (soccer) and was a part of the Meadow Brook High School football team for just one year. He migrated to the United States of America to live with his mother; a designer and passionate Pan-Africanist after his caretaker Junior Braithwaite, original member of the wailers, was tragically murdered in Kingston 20. He was reintroduced to the arts with his enrollment in DeKalb School of the Arts, a performing arts high-school which led to his training in music and media. While continuing his schooling, Naki played football to the level of receiving a college scholarship. During university Asadenaki increasingly found himself penning lyrics as he sought a way to express his understanding of life, giving in to his true calling. He was able to hone his skills in the family’s home studio while working with his sister, Cen’C Love on her groundbreaking album, Love Letter.
He returned to Jamaica on a musical mission and joined forces with Yezer Root a ‘yanter’, bassist/guitarist and keyboardist and crooner, Narry Berry to form “The Tuff Gang”. With this newly created unit, Asadenaki developed his singing and performing skills while holding the ever-important rhythm-guitar section in the band. “Asadenaki and The Tuff Gang” released their debut EP entitled ‘Freedom Seeds’ in July 2015 and did the local reggae circuit including performances at Jamnesia, Inner City Dub, Sankofa Sessions, Bob Marley Trenchtown Concert, Peter Tosh Memorial Concert, Wickie Wackie Music Festival, Bourbon Beach and The One Love Concert series in Negril, Jamaica.
Asadenaki, stepping out as a solo artist, is driven by his deep love for music ranging from his native Ska, Rocksteady, and Reggae to the influences of Hip-Hop, R&B, Country and Soul inspired by the wise teachings of his ancestors. Known affectionately as a ‘Music Man’, Asadenaki relishes his role in all aspects of music, from instrumentalist, producer, singer, songwriter to disc jockey. He can be heard spinning tracks, toasting and entertaining a loyal and growing following of Jamaican masses and the diaspora on his weekly ‘Culture Classics’ radio show on RJR94FM, Jamaica’s world re-known radio station.
Asadenaki’s love and passion for music is highlighted in his creatively poetic lyrics reminiscent of Super Cat paired with the soulful sounds of The Wailer’s aimed at uplifting and empowering his audience. With new music ready for release, he intends to share his brand of Reggae with lyrically charged messages of unity, self-awareness and diligence with the souls of music lovers across the world. His label “Tuff Gang Collective” is an ancestral call, a reclaiming of a heritage, for him and the Wailer’s family of “Tuff Gong” that was originally “Tough Gang”.
Through divine guidance from the Most High, ASADENAKI aims to empower the masses and sing for peace, justice and equality through Word, Sound, Power!
Derajah, born Deraja Mamby, April 12, 1981, is a reggae singer, “great Bobo Ashanti”, who grew up in the Wellington ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica.
He is part of the ghetto youths generation, who use reggae in the hope of finding a better life.
Derajah’s first appearance was on the 45 rpm Righteousness just a flow, printed in a few hundred copies on Sugar Minott’s Black Roots label. Noticed by Earl “Chinna” Smith, who gave him the nickname Jah Youth, Derajah joined the collective Inna de Yard de Makasound, and signed the title Well ah oh, which appeared on an album dedicated to Earl “Chinna” Smith, released in 2005.
He also co-produced Who Yeah Yah, a track that would become his international signature.
Its goal is to “sing to bring people together, and leave far from the devil, from horror… to bring them joy when they are hungry”
In 2011, following a tour in Europe, Derajah met the French group Donkey Jaw Bone and he wrote the lyrics for the album “Paris is Burning” released on the Chapter Two label and participated in the composition.
2019 marked a turning point with the release of the documentary Inna de Yard: The Soul of Jamaica and its Soundtrack, followed by an international tour.
Yaksta pleased with ‘Ambition’ inclusion in Rolling Stone’s Jamaica 60 feature
Dancehall fusion artiste Yaksta is pleased that his breakout hit song ‘Ambition’ was included in a Rolling Stone feature celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence.
“It was just yesterday I was sitting and looking at some of the greats wondering: ‘when will I be featured on a major platform for my work?’. And today I woke up to see myself in the Rolling Stone magazine. Though this may feel surreal, I know it’s because of my hard work and a dedicated team,” Yaksta said in a release on Tuesday.
The singer said the inclusion of his song as the standout song for the year in 2021 had inspired him to continue to pursue his craft. The article selected one song from every year to show the evolution of the island’s incredible musical history since 1962.
“Sometimes I get weary and discouraged but then I remember that great things aren’t easy to accomplish. This accomplishment will continue to inspire me,” he said.
Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. Yaksta’s ‘Ambition’ is mentioned in the year 2021, while Ishawna’s ‘Brace It’ featuring Ed Sheeran is listed as the standout song for 2022.
Other notable mentions include Koffee with ‘Toast’ (2018), Popcaan with two entries, ‘We Pray’ with Dre Island (2017) and ‘Twist & Turn’ featuring Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR (2020). The Mighty Diamonds’ One Brother Short’ (1979) and Bob Marley‘s ‘Redemption Song’ (1980) and Gregory Isaacs’ ‘Night Nurse’ (1982) are also included.
Dancehall’s top guns Beenie Man and Bounty Killer also made the list, with ‘Who Am I’ (1998) and ‘Look’ (1999).
According to Rolling Stone, “some tracks were chosen because they heralded a new direction in sound, others sparked a movement, some engendered controversy, marked a turning point in an artist’s career, or had a significant impact at the time of their release.”
“Because there are too many records to choose from for any given year, some important releases may not appear on the list. But that’s just a reminder of how amazingly rich this history is.”
Yaksta, whose real name is Kemaul Martin, rocketed into the spotlight in 2021 with his breakout single, ‘Ambition’, which racked up 11 million views. The single espouses positive messages regarding investments, farming, hard work and good family values.
He has followed up that single with songs such as ‘Assets’ (Fowl Coob), ‘Emotions’ featuring Nation Boss, Father Figure, and Hype and Bruk.
YEZA, derived from the word Yezambique which means Strength and Resilience in Swahili. Yeza is your modern-day Reggae Roots Empress (born & raised in Bull Bay, St. Andrew Jamaica). Dubbed by many as the “Lyrical Lioness” and “Rebel Empress”, due to her lyricism, effortless melodies, strong stage presence and versatility as an artiste.
As a conscious minded millennial, Yeza’s musical journey started in 2017 with her first recording at the iconic Bobby Digital studio being “Everyting is Irie”, born out of this collaboration.
Since then, Yeza has continued to release reggae music showcasing her artistic flair as a singer and song writer, with potent songs such as ‘Is It Because I’m Black’, produced by Rory Stonelove & recent feature with the Legendary Sizzla Kalonji on “Glory Remix”. Yeza has gone onto collaborate with several noteworthy artists/producers: Monkey Marc, Blvk Hero, Turbulence, Tuff Like Iron, Sarangetti Music, UK based Producer Kholtan Entertainment (who has worked with Stylo G and many more).
Following her latest release “Tek Chat” produced by Yeza Music & Barcelona based Sinky Beatz, the Rebel Empress reinforces her passion and purpose to entertain the masses with powerful, thoughtprovoking musical content whilst bringing forth her message and cultural identity.
2022 – Single ” Glory Remix ft. Sizzla” added to Spotify UK Playlist “One Love” (with over 2 million followers) as part of the Notting Hill Carnival takeover
2022 – Performed at “Big Yard” in Jamaica with Seani B on BBC 1xtra
2022 – Sizzla Kalonji featured on Glory Remix, produced by “Yeza Music”
2021 – Dennis Brown Tribute performance on-Stage for “Reggae Month JA” Concerts.
2021 – Nominated for “Top 10 Reggae Artists to Watch in 2021” by CARIB VOXX
2020 – Special Guest Performance alongside Rory Stonelove at the Official Verzuz After Party for Beenie Man vs Bounty Killer
2020 – “REBEL CODE” featured on rotation BET Jams
2020 – Live performance with live band “Xolani Nation” for the Global Launch of ‘ClubHouse’ Series
2018 – UK PROMO TOUR (Performances at Boisdale, The Beat London & Crystal Palace Soundsystem Clash)
International Blog & Magazine Features: Earmilk, Girltalk HQ Irie Mag, Riddim Magazine, Reggaeville, Dancehall Mag, CARIB VOXX
TV, Radio & Podcasts: CVM Jamaica, BET USA, BBC1Xtra, Capital Xtra, Vybz Radio Kenya, Zip103Fm, Fiyah 103.5, Edge FM, along with many other international Radio Stations across Europe, Africa, USA, UK and Australia
Listen to Yeza’s music on all digital streaming platforms.
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RAPHI & THE ROCKTOP CREW