Artists

Mad Professor

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Mad Professor

A disciple of Lee “Scratch” Perry, Mad Professor was one of the leading producers in dub reggae’s second generation. His Dub Me Crazy albums helped dub make the transition into the digital age, when electronic productions started to take over mainstream reggae in the ’80s. His space-age tracks not only made use of new digital technology, but often expanded dub’s sonic blueprint, adding more elements and layers of sound than his forebears typically did. In the mid-’90s, he returned to the basics, debuting a more retro-sounding style on the Black Liberation Dub series. Additionally, he ran his own studio and label, Ariwa, which was home to a stable of vocalists (with an emphasis on lovers rock and conscious roots reggae) and some of the finest British reggae productions of the era. As his reputation grew, he became a remixer of choice for adventurous rock and techno acts, most notably revamping Massive Attack’s entire second album under the new title No Protection.

Mad Professor was born Neal Fraser (or Neil Fraser) circa 1955 in Guyana, a small country in the northern part of South America. He earned his nickname as a preteen, thanks to his intense interest in electronics; he even built his own radio. At age 13, his family moved to London, and around age 20, he started collecting recording equipment: reel-to-reel tape decks, echo and reverb effects, and the like. In 1979, he built his own mixing board and opened a four-track studio in his living room in the south London area of Thornton Heath. Calling it Ariwa, after a Nigerian word for sound or communication, he began recording bands and vocalists for his own label of the same name, mostly in the lovers rock vein: Deborahe Glasgow, Aquizim, Sergeant Pepper, Tony Benjamin, Davina Stone, and Ranking Ann, among others. Amid complaints from his neighbors, he moved the studio to a proper facility in Peckham, South London. In 1982 he recorded his first album, Dub Me Crazy, Pt. 1, and quickly followed it with a second volume, the successful Beyond the Realms of Dub. 1983 brought two more volumes, The African Connection (often acclaimed as one of his best) and the fairly popular Escape to the Asylum of Dub.

The Ariwa studio was moved to a better neighborhood in West Norwood during the mid-’80s, and upgraded for 24-track capability, making it the largest black-owned studio in the U.K. From there, Mad Professor really started to make an impact on the British reggae scene. He produced major hit singles for Ariwa mainstay Pato Banton and Sandra Cross, and also helmed the breakthrough album for conscious reggae toaster Macka B, 1986’s Sign of the Times. At the same time, the ragga era was dawning, and all-digital productions began to take over reggae. As the ragga sound grew more and more dominant, Mad Professor’s brand of dub got spacier and weirder; while ragga detractors complained that Mad Professor’s work sounded sterile compared to the dub of old, many praised his otherworldly effects and inventive arrangements. The Dub Me Crazy albums reached the height of their experimentalism during the latter part of the ’80s, although by the early ’90s they were showing signs of creative burnout. The 12th and final volume in the series, Dub Maniacs on the Rampage, was released in 1993.

Meanwhile, Ariwa continued to prosper as a label, with further hits by the likes of Macka B, Pato Banton, Sandra Cross, female singer Kofi, Intense, Jah Shaka, John McLean, the Robotics, Sister Audrey, Peter Culture, Johnny Clark, and others. Additionally, he began to collaborate with some of reggae’s better-known figures; most crucially, he teamed up with main influence Lee “Scratch” Perry for the first time on the 1989 set Mystic Warrior. In 1991, he produced the first of several albums for the groundbreaking veteran DJ U-Roy, the acclaimed True Born African; he also went on to work with the likes of Yabby You and Bob Andy. He switched his focus to touring in 1992 and released the 100th album on Ariwa not long after.

With his high-profile collaborators, Mad Professor started to make a name for himself outside of the reggae community, and soon found himself in demand as a remixer for rock, R&B, and electronica acts. Over the course of the ’90s and into the new millennium, he would remix tracks by Sade, the Orb, the KLF, the Beastie Boys, Jamiroquai, Rancid, Depeche Mode, and Perry Farrell, among others. His best-known project, however — and the one that truly established his credentials — was 1995’s No Protection, a completely reimagined version of trip-hop collective Massive Attack’s second album, Protection. Perhaps creatively refreshed, Mad Professor’s own albums started to regain their consistency in the mid-’90s. Mixing electronics with rootsier, more organic sounds indebted to the earliest days of dub, he left behind the Dub Me Crazy moniker to launch a new series, the subtly Afrocentric Black Liberation Dub. The first volume was released in 1994, and others followed steadily into the new millennium, albeit at a less prolific pace than the Dub Me Crazy installments. More collaborations with Perry and U-Roy followed as well. In 2005, Mad Professor celebrated Ariwa’s 25th anniversary with a tour of the U.K. alongside Perry and the double-CD retrospective Method to the Madness. In 2009 he released two albums, Times Hard under the moniker Mad Professor vs. Joint Chiefs and the back to basics Audio Illusion of Dub.

Check out an interview with Mad Professor on AnalogueFoundation.com by Hélène Peruzzaro.

Joe Ariwa

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Joe Ariwa

An apprentice of Mad Professor in Ariwa Studios, hence the name Joe Ariwa!!! His first touch with music was as a two year old when he plugged in a guitar amp into his father mixing desk. Being privileged to be the son of a renowned artist/ technician Joe has learned most of his skills at the knee of an excellent teacher.

Growing up in and around the Ariwa studio was very influential to Joe as he was given the opportunity to engineer & learn the music business whenever the chance had arisen whether after school, on the weekends or in school holidays. At the end of his secondary education as eager as Joe was to jump straight in to work with his father he studied & passed various music technology courses to get the academic side of the business.

When Joe had completed his education, he continued at Ariwa Studios full time working under various job titles whether in the studio or on the admin side of things.

Having unlimited access to the Ariwa archives, Joe had played & researched vintage multi-track tapes that Mad Professor would have recorded when Joe was a mere toddler. Discovering some real good quality material Joe was amazed that a lot of the music never got the exposure it deserved. He then began transferring these exclusive 24 multi-track tapes to a portable Alesis 8track for the Mad Professor live Dubshow. This new but old material helped to develop Mad Professors Dubshow nicely leading to fans recording the shows to upload on You-tube, receiving so much good feedback some songs were eventually released or re-released on 7 inch vinyl selling well considering the current musical climate. Examples are Rebel on the roots corner-Tippa Irie & Ackle & bother-Papa Levi.

By 2006 Joe had became Mad Professor’s right hand man on & off the stage assisting, selecting songs, being the opening act & developing into a skilful Mic man, toasting & entertaining the crown.

At this time Joe was also experimenting with his own production & had released a few albums of his own as well as a joint dub series with Mad Professor.

  • Dub Tech Dub
  • Dubstep Dub ...& The Trixsters
  • Joe Ariwa meets Young Warrior
  • Dennis Bovell vs. Joe Ariwa: Dub Duo
  • Cessman vs. Joe Ariwa: Shanker
  • Rewired For Dub MAD PROF & JOE ARIWA feat Horace Andy
  • Rewired For Dub pt 2: DUB OF JIHAD MAD PROF & JOE ARIWA feat. King Pin
  • Rewired For Dub pt 3: BABYLON KINGDOM OF DUB MAD PROF & JOE ARIWA feat. Uroy

Joe’s fresh youthful ear to dubbing led to well established Sound Systems such as Iration Steppas, Channel One, Jah Youth, Jah Sufferer Sound etc requesting exclusive dub mixes from Joe for their sound. This led to Joe doing dub mixes for Blacker Dread, Leonard “Santic” Chin, Denis Bovell & various other producers as a ghost mixer.

By 2008 the physical side of sales were falling dramatically. With Joe’s experience & knowledge of the vast Ariwa catalogue & reggae in general , Joe would think of ways how to generate a greater income for the label & had began to create & compile compilation albums to sell digitally.

  • Stylistics In Reggae Various Artist
  • Valentines Reggae part 1 Various Artist
  • Valentines Reggae part 2 Various Artist
  • Nelson Mandela: African Dub Excursion Various Artist
  • Haunted Halloween Dub The Robotiks
  • Black History Awareness Various Artist

Joe Ariwa is currently working on various new albums & material soon to be released on Ariwa Sounds!!!

Macka B

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Macka B

MACKA B…….REGGAE’S WITTIEST DJ, LISTEN CAREFULLY…
THERE’S A MESSAGE IN THE MUSIC. DON’T MISS THE LIVE SHOW !!

On leaving school, Macka B became a technical apprentice for Ever Ready GB Ltd, made redundant three years later due to the factory closure. In 1980 completed an engineering inspection course. Macka B has always been interested in music. At school, he played the violin, and also joined the school choir. Whilst at school, he became more interested in Reggae music, especially DJ’s, I-Roy, U-Roy, Prince Jazzbo. He started to practice at home, but never had the courage to perform to an audience. He and some friends started a sound system call “Exodus”, they had good reaction wherever they played, and this encouraged him to write his own lyrics.

In 1982, a trip to Jamaica inspired him greatly, improving his talent. He entered a talent competition in 1983 at the Rising Star night club, Bilston, (including Pato Banton, Ranking Ann) Macka B won, and from this, was invited on radio several times, his name became more known. Also at this time, he was in a band called Pre-wax, they did many live shows, and appeared on Channel 4’s Rockers Roadshow. A record entitled Maggie’s Letter was recorded with a producer called Papa P, which became a local success. Derek Nelson, producer of Ebony BBC2 heard Macka B perform on radio, and as they had a show planned for Birmingham, asked him to perform on that show, He went down well, and so obtained a regular spot on the next series.

Macka B never stopped working with sound systems, Wassifa, and Skippy & Lippy being the main ones. A tape of a show Wassifa v Saxon sound in Leicester, was heard by Chris Lane of Fashion Records, who invited Macka B to do some recording. “Bible Reader” on disco mix was released, and reached No 15 in the Reggae Charts. Also released, a track called “Gentleman with Manners” on an LP entitled Great British M,C’s. Met the Mad Professor, joined the Ariwa label and recorded an LP called “Sign of The Times”. This reached No 1 in the Reggae LP charts. Appeared on Channel 4 Club Mix, and on the 1986 Sunsplash at the Wembley Arena. Released “Don’t Judge Me” in late 1986.

Macka B has had a successful tour of Germany in January 1987, along with the Ariwa Possee. His 2nd album for Ariwa “We’ve Had Enough” was released in June 1987 to coincide with his 2nd European tour for 1987. Later that year, Macka B visited Bern in Switzerland. 1968 Macka B visited Jamaica and “Love It In Jamaica” was recorded.

Later in ’88 he recorded his 3rd Ariwa album “Looks Are Deceiving”. This album proved to be quite successful, and included current single “Unemployment Blues” which was recently featured on BBC2 in the programme DEF II – Behind The Beat. On the flip side is the self explanatory “Don’t Sell Your Body”. Macka B has since recorded his fourth album “Buppie Culture” which was on general release in mid 1989, with encouragingly good response. The album contained tracks including “Dread a Who She Love” a duet with Kofi. It was also released as,a single in September of 1989, and went to No 1 in the.Reggae charts in the November of that year and stayed at that spot for 6 weeks. It was also featured on a video which was shown in places as far afield as Jamaica, Germany, Sweden and Zimbabwe. Macka B did the Buppie tour which took him to Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

1990 saw the recording and release of “Proud of Mandela” which celebrated the release of Nelson Mandela, it went straight to No 1 and was also featured on his 5th album “Natural Suntan” – ‘Black Man’ the flip side was also very popular. Staying with the social comments, Macka B recorded “Pam Pam Cameroon” as his commentary of the Cameroon’s performance in at the 1990 World Cup. This record was heard and appreciated in places far as Cameroon, later that year Macka B played Australia, thus becoming the first British Reggae artist to tour this continent.

Aisha

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Aisha

Born Pamela Ross on October 1962 in Wolverhampton, England, child of Jamaican parents, she debuted at the tender age of eight on her father’s Soundsystem. Aisha is a Soundmans Daughter… and, a True Roots Dawta. She’s trod the world singing her Ilahfull songs and doing Jah Works. But no matter where she goes — be it Africa, Brazil, Israel, Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, Mexico, or Japan –she’s Uplifted and Inspired the ones who hear her sing.

Her American debut came in March 2004 with Mad Professor when she blessed NYC with a special appearance. Her first albums, “High Priestess” and “True Roots” were produced by Professor on his Ariwa label, her last two, “Zions Daughter” and “Raise Your Voice” were produced by Twinkle Brother Norman Grant. All are roots classics. When ORB sampled “Creator” on the hit “Blue Room”, and Ministry of Sound sampled it again on “Roll To The Floor”, Aisha reached an even wider audience. After her performance at “Meltdown ’03” at dads sound, her father, whom she calls my greatest inspiration, also exposed her to his precious collection of vintage American and Jamaican music.

As a teenager, she developed her skills jamming on Lippys Locks City sound. “I was writing conscious stuff then because I think I just came into finding myself.” Her first break came in 79 when she joined the group Capitol Letters singing backup vocals. She’d just gone solo in 1984 when she met Dr. Alimantado, who was working locally with Neil Fraser, aka Mad Professor. Working with her partner Macka Dub for Professor she cut several tracks, including “Creator”, which was released in 1986. Jah Shaka, the respected UK Soundman, continually played a dub mixes of “Creator” in session, thus introducing ones to Aisha’s magical & angelic voice, singing one of the deepest and most heartikal of roots tunes. “Creator” not only became her signature tune, it became a bonafide Roots Anthem.

By 1988, Aisha realized that things were not really on a rootical level, which is why some would receive the music and some probably wouldn’t. “Either I was gonna change and follow the trend, or stick to how I felt about my songs. I never write a song without spiritually experiencing something that inspires me to write on a subject or feeling. As long as I can express myself and people can relate to what I’m expressing, I’ve done my work. I think with most of my songs that’s exactly how people relate to them. Lots of women mention “Now Or Never” from “True Roots”; you can feel what I’m feelin, though at the time, I never went back to that track, just left it, because it hurt so much. “I’m Not In This World” was another tune women, especially young women relate to; I was addressing women’s issues the things we naturally are going through while at the same time trying to balance it within Rasta and remain on a conscious level. I wrote “One God, One Aim”, when I was totally on a vibe where I was questioning my faith; I was determined to finish it and put it to song.”

To Aisha, each performance is special — not just “another gig”. Her tours and performances have inspired her spiritually. In 1998 she performed in Nairobi, at the Kenya Sunbeat Festival. “It was a turning point in my life because I actually reached Africa,” she says. “I was playing for 70,000 people and the way they received me… I literally had to receive people and acknowledge that I’m home. I was overwhelmed. Africa was like feeding the hearts of many. We probably take music for granted every day, but you go to places like Africa, and they’re so hungry for the food for the strength and encouragement.” Aisha is said to mean life, but in Israel in 95, she was told it’s an ancient word for grandmother. “I never experienced anything like that show; singing, looking at the sea and seeing endless people.” Her third album, “There’s More To Life” was issued in 2005.

Alika

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Alika

Alika has become one of the most important representatives of Hip Hop, Reggae and Dancehall music in the Spanish language. Notably influenced by the Hip Hop music, the style that she has heard since she was a child and with which she took her first steps in music.

Alika was born in Uruguay in a working class family in the the 70´s. Her mother with very strong “Guaraní” roots was born in Paraguay and her father was born in Uruguay, so they lived in Montevideo during Alika’s childhood. At the age of 6 they moved to Argentina, where she made her scholarship career. Her interest on another cultures force her to study History also.

In 1994 she founded “ACTITUD MARIA MARTA”, one of the first rap band of Argentina with Dálessio. They gave a lot of shows and were known by the press as a “revelation”. Finishing with this they recorded only one album “ACORRALAR A LA BESTIA” (1996 Polygram).

Alika decided in 1999 to start with her own proyect based on Rastafarian roots culture, standing out by her clear and direct lyrics that talk about respect, dignity, and the system oppression, the confidence in oneself and the everyday problems in the ghetto. With well known MC’s from Chile, the country where she gave form to “NO DEJES QUE TE PAREN” (2001 Mabrak discos) her first independent production, which was recorded with very low economical resources.

This has been notably influenced to young people that could listen to it.So in that way she started to show in public her new work. In 2003 she recorded her second album well received by in South America with tracks like: “PACENCIA”, “DEMANDA”, and “ENCENDEDORES”. In 2005 it comes her third work ” RAZÓN, MEDITACIÓN Y ACCIÓN ” where her music sounds as ROOTS as never before and has tracks like ” COSTUMBRE DE MATAR” and “NO LE DES FUERZA A BABILONIA”.

Her charisma and show presence has taken her to share soundsystems and concerts in many different towns and countries like USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. In the beginnings of 2006 came from Germany ” EL RUGIDO DEL LEÓN”, a LP vinyl with tracks of her last productions. At the end of 2006 Alika recorded with Mad Professor one of the most anticapated albums for 2008 which the genius of DUB produced in Ariwa his studio in London UK.

At the end of 2007 Alika is finishing “EDUCATE YOURSELF”, the name of the new album that promises a good piece of dancehall keeping the fire on her lyrics with very important collaborations.

Press critics:
“In Alika y la nueva alianza are well mixed in a RIGHT WAY THE Hip Hop and the Reggae music where the communitarian attitude of Hip Hop is putting on the right service of the Rastafarian speech, her albums are considered jewelry in South America Reggae music. The messages in her lyrics are about unity, respect and dignity.”

“I SING FOR ALL PEOPLE WHO WANT JUSTICE IN THE WORLD THE OTHERS ARE OUT”, she said.

Discography:

  • 2001 no dejes que te paren?
  • 2003 Sin Intermediarios
  • 2005 Razon, Meditacion, Accion?
  • 2006 Rugido delleon vinilo

Chukki Starr

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Chukki Starr

Born in Harlesden, London, Anthony Williams aka Chukki Starr, started out as a deejay – then under the name Chukki Brown – for his own formed Echo Tone Hi Fi soundsystem in the Stone Bridge Community.

His debut recording “Goodas Gal” was produced by Stonehead of the Uk-based ‘Volcano’ Sound. After joining his family in Jamaica he voiced some specials in Jamaica. In 1993/1994 Chukki Starr returned to the UK, teamed up with Gussie P. of “Fashion Records”.

He released a series of hits including “Career Time”, “Evilous System”, Who Dem Fi Rate” and Almighty Father’. Back in Jamaica Chukki Starr performed in Western Kingston on the sound system circuit. These activities were followed by sessions for several top producers. He recorded a couple of tunes for Bobby ‘Digital’ Dixon and African Star and voiced lots of specials for several Jamaican sounds. From that time on he built up a special relationship with Bobby Digital as well as African Star.

By 1997 Chukki Starr was considered to be one of UK’s top deejays, also due to the considerable success of his own Makiel label release, “Forever I Shall Praise”, and the combination hit with Aisha, “Hard Times”. It was his association with Ariwa’s Mad Professor that led to the release of his highly acclaimed debut album, “Ghetto Youths Livity”.

Lyrically Chukki Starr always concentrates on conscious themes.

John Mclean

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John Mclean

John McLean was born in Hammersmith in the early sixties into a large family. John began his singing career from the very early age of 7 years in the choir of the school he attended. His voice was considered so good that he often was the soloist in choir performances.

Also at this time with his interest aroused, he joined a few local bands which gave him an incentive to continue within the music business. At the age of 16 years, he started singing with the sound called ‘Black Starliner’ which he was not only a active member but also owned, and still has an interest in today.During his days with the sound system, a signature tune for the sound was put together by the same name of the sound, which a little later became his debut single.

‘Starliner’ did very well, and a follow up single was released called ‘Open my heart to you’ which also got a very good response. Although John’s main interest was in music he considered it in his interest to have an occupation. To this end he studied and is now a qualified train driver, a very responsible job and a great achievement for one of such young years.

During 1987, John visited Ariwa Studios with his manager Sinbad, the result of which was his debut single for the label called ‘If I gave my heart to you’ which when at first heard by Mad Professor, had the makings of a hit. These thoughts proved correct for the record rose to No 1 in the Reggae charts and has entered the national charts. John has since has the release of his first album “Bowled Over” which again shows his versatility and writing ability.

John continues to write music and lyrics for many more songs, he plays the piano and bass guitar which helps in his music writing. When John bas a few spare moments, he enjoys playing football and rugby, but always music plays a major part in his routine and he hopes to have more success in the future.

Queen Omega

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Queen Omega

Jeneile Osborne a.k.a. Queen Omega is a name to be reckoned with in the field of Reggae Music. Hailing from San Fernando, Queen Omega was born to a family of five. Born between four boys, she was given the name Queenie. From a very young age she displayed a passion for singing, and her mother Deborah, on recognizing her talent, encouraged her to pursue a career in music.

She began singing in earnest at kindergarten and continued primary school, where she won Calypso talent competitions over a period of three consecutive years. Her talent was recognized again but this time by one of Trinidad’s leading Soca producers, Kenny Phillips. She worked in his studio as a background vocalist on the tracks of some of the biggest names in Soca music and entered local TV talent shows, never failing to captivate the hearts of audiences with her powerful voice.

Queen Omega also appeared on various stage shows with some of Reggae’s most prominent artists, such as Luciano, Glen Washington, Junior Kelly and Bushman to name but a few. She accomplished all this while she was attending secondary school. Astonished by her versatility, Kenny Phillips invited her on a trip to Jamaica alongside Solomon Band for the Caribbean Music Expo 2000.

During this stage of her life, Queen Omega was undergoing a spiritual transformation. She had chosen to embrace the way of Rastafari, which inspired her to write and sing meaningful, socio-conscious and spiritual music. Later that year, Queen Omega met with the Greenhouse Family, visited London and recorded her self-titled debut album, “Queen Omega”. The album contained favorites such as “Hypocrites and Parasites”, “Warning” featuring Capleton and Sizzla and “All For You”.

Queen Omega’s debut album also featured artists like Archie Wonder and Anthony B. Her second album; “Pure Love” was completed and released in 2002. She returned to Jamaica to perform on “Sum Fest” together with radical Jamaican artist Ninja Man. She later toured England in 2003. Her debut Ariwa album is ” Servant of Jah Army” Recorded between 2003 and 2006 this is a powerful 12 track album featuring Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Leroy Mafia, Black Steel, Dean Fraser, and a host of other reggae luminaries. The first single form this session was the smooth “Works to do”

This album made way for her first European tour, which took in Switzerland, Belgium, Italy (Geel Festival & Rototom Festival), Siberia and France (Jamaican Sunrise Festival). Additionally, Queen Omega has performed at the African Festival in Germany, Sierra Nevada Festival in California, Soca Reggae RiverSplash in Slovenia, Reggae Fest in Serbia and Reggae Festival in Sweden. Queen Omega performed on Tony Rebel’s “Rebel Salute” staged in 2004, which earned a lot of respect for her among the Jamaican audience. She has done opening acts alongside International Reggae Superstars such as Glen Washington, Bushman, Junior Kelly, Luciano, Buju Banton, Jah Mason, Anthony B, Chuck Fender, Richie Spice & Determine just to name a few.

Locally, Queen Omega has performed at; Chaguaramas Mobs 2 (1998 & 2003), Queens Park Savannah for 96.1 & 98.9 FM from 1998 to 2000, Icons of Music 2002 (QPS), Hands Across the Sea 2004 (QPS). Queen Omega’s fourth album entitled “Destiny” is truly amazing and features a dancehall feel with soulful R&B overtones. “Destiny” reveals the depth and evolution of Queen Omega’s cultural music.

Queen Omega is Trinidad’s “Queen Of Reggae” and she is without a doubt, a strong contender for the title “Queen Of Reggae” period. She has a depth of talent whose consistency in the world of Reggae is hard to beat. She has more than demonstrated her talent with four world beating albums. “Destiny” her latest album is one of the best Roots Reggae albums ever recorded. Queen Omega’s destiny as a Rasta Woman is assured in the Reggae World.

Sandra Cross

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Sandra Cross

A native of South London, Sandra Cross is the only girl among seven brothers. She started singing in the Pentecostal Church and led the choir when she was nine. At 14, she recorded with a friend as Love & Unity. The recording was the first prize for winning a talent show with a song Sandra wrote entitled “I Adore You.” Released on Studio 16 Records, it was #1 on Britain’s reggae chart for four straight weeks in 1979. They followed with three top five-hits: “I Just Don’t Care,” “I Can’t Let You Go,” and “Put It On,” before splitting up the team.

After the breakup she wanted to go solo but met The Mad Professor, a producer, who had just started Ariwa Sounds. He chose Sandra for an all girls’ band called The Wild Bunch. They recorded three singles, “President Man”, “Creation”, and “Runaround”, and issued the self titled album, which entered the reggae top 20 chart in 1984. They toured Europe for a year before drifting apart. Sandra’s first solo release was a remake of the Stylistics’ “Country Living,” aced British Chart for 10 straight weeks in 1985.

This was the first recording of the newly modified Ariwa Sounds Studios in Gautrey Road, Peckham, as Mad Professor tweeked up the equipment to handle a more sophisticated sound. Her second solo attempt “You’re Lying” nested at the top spot four weeks, Ariwa released her debut solo album “Country Life” in 1986. This too, went to number one. Her third number one, was the sugary “It’s You”, penned by Cross, Mullings and Fraser.

She won the British Reggae Awards for the Best Female Singer six consecutive years from 1985 to 1991. Other awards include, the Radio London Entertainment Celebrity Award in 1986. In 1989 she snagged ‘The Voice’ Newspaper Music Awards as Best Reggae Female Artist, and won the Chicago Radio Awards for the Highest Selling Record in 1990. Ariwa released six albums on Sandra including The Wild Bunch LP;

  • Ari 15 The Wild Bunch
  • Ari 26 Country life
  • Ari 32 Comet in the Sky
  • Ari 47 Foundation of Love
  • Ari 66 This is Sandra Cross
  • Ari 96 100% Lovers Rock

Sandra dropped off the radar in the nineties, retreating to Barbados. She returned to the Uk in 2007 recording once again for Ariwa and a few other labels.

Shaloma

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Shaloma

Jackie White a.k.a. Shaloma started singing in the Pentecostal church when she was a little girl in her East London neighbourhood.

In the mid eighties Shaloma managed to attract the attention of a wider audience when she became the lead singer and songwriter of the UK vocal group Natural Beauty.

Natural Beauty did well and even had a hit called “Nice up dancee”, which was produced by ex Matumbi drummer Jah Bunny.

This song actually was part of the soundtrack of a Hollywood film called “Wild thing”.

Shaloma joined Mad Professor’s Ariwa label in 1993 when she started recording songs for the album “Slavery”, which was retitled “Good Vibrations” when it was released on compact disc in 1999.

Susan Cadogan

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Susan Cadogan

With a delicate voice that shimmers between childlike innocence and smoldering sexuality, Susan Cadogan’s vocals were the perfect expression of lovers rock. Surprisingly, she never intended to sing professionally, and thus her music career has been sporadic, but such was her talent, that Cadogan was crowned the Queen of Lovers Rock. Born Alison Anne Cadogan on November 2, 1951, in Kingston, Jamaica, she came from a musical family, and her mother had in fact released a number of gospel records during her childhood.

The family emigrated to Belize in the mid-’50s, but returned to Jamaica at the end of decade, where Cadogan continued her schooling. Upon graduation, she took a job working in the library at the University of the West Indies in Mona. And there she might have remained, if not for DJ Jerry Lewis, the boyfriend of one of Cadogan’s friends. Impressed by her voice, the DJ took her into the JBC studio in 1974 to record his own composition, “Love My Life,” which he produced himself. Coincidentally enough, producer Lee “Scratch” Perry was at JBC that same day and was as impressed as the DJ with Cadogan’s talent. Perry swiftly swooped in and took the singer under his wing, he renamed her Susan, and set to work in the studio, where he had her record an album’s worth of cover songs.

Although a brilliant producer, Perry had some faults; at times his highly experimental production style could totally overwhelm his vocalists, while the sheer quantity of his output meant that on occasion his more generic reggae arrangements could play havoc with more delicate or soulful singers. But Perry did Cadogan proud, restraining his more extreme impulses, while gracing the songs with arrangements that played to her and the song’s strengths. The first fruits of these sessions was the rousing “Hurts So Good,” a cover of Millie Jackson’s soul classic. Even though the single, released on Perry’s own Perries label, included such musicians as the Zap Pow horn section and bassist Boris Gardiner, it received virtually no attention from the Jamaican public. It was a different story in Britain, where Perry had licensed the single. After dominating at 1974’s Notting Hill Carnival, an astute remix quickly flew to the top of the reggae chart. That success prompted the bigger Magnet label to license the single and by March, “Hurts” was sitting in the Top Five of the U.K. national chart.

Cadogan was soon on her way to London, where she made several national TV appearances. While there, the singer inked a deal with Magnet, prompting Perry to license his own recordings with her to a variety of small U.K. labels. Amazingly enough, none of these singles charted; however in 1976, Perry handed all his tapes of Cadogan to Trojan, who released them as the sublime Hurts So Good album. At the same time, the singer herself was in the studio recording with producer Pete Waterman of Stock, Aitken & Waterman pop fame. The first fruit of this new union, “Love Me Baby,” barely scraped into the Top 25 in the spring of 1975; its follow-up, “How Do You Feel the Morning After,” didn’t even chart. The response to Cadogan’s album Doing It Her Way, released the same year, was equally disappointing, but not perhaps surprising. Roots ruled the roost in Britain and Waterman’s crisp production and lightweight choice of songs (“Swinging on a Star” for example) offended reggae fans and didn’t connect with pop fans, either. Cadogan hopefully hung on in Britain until 1977, when after a series of failed singles, she called it a day. She returned home to Jamaica and her old job at the university library. Then, out of the blue in 1982, Cadogan was back on the Jamaican chart with a cover of Smokey Robinson’s classic “Tracks of My Tears.” In the intervening years, much of the island’s public had grown weary of roots and its constant carping on cultural themes. Social fatigue had set in and many listeners now wanted a change, as a result, a new style had sprung up: lovers rock. Richly romantic, gentle, and soothing, it was perfect for Cadogan’s own stylings.

Over the next couple of years, the singer stamped her imprint across the island’s chart. “Tears” was followed by two more hits in 1982 — “Piece of My Heart” and “Love Me.” She topped the chart the next year with an exquisite duet with Ruddy Thomas, “(You Know How to Make Me) Feel So Good,” and the pair followed that up with a second smash, “Only Heaven Can Wait.” In 1984, Cadogan on her own delivered up two further chart winners, “Cause You Love Me Baby” and “Don’t Know Why.” Then, just as swiftly as she had appeared, the singer vanished, leaving the music industry entirely. It was almost a decade before she resurfaced, this time accompanied by English producer Mad Professor (aka Neil Fraser).

In 1992, her magnificent version of “Together We Are Beautiful” was included on the producer’s 12th anniversary compilation, celebrating his own Ariwa label. Like Perry before him, Mad Professor left his own production eccentricities behind and brought out the best in Cadogan for her 1992 album, Soulful Reggae, another cover-heavy set that showcases the singer’s strong, exquisite vocals. The following year, she recorded another track for Ariwa’s This Is Lovers Reggae, Vol. Three compilation, guest -starred on Mad Professor’s Dub Maniacs on the Rampage, and even joined legendary DJ U-Roy for his new version of her old hit “Hurts So Good.” In 1995, British singer Jimmy Somerville took this song back to the U.K. charts with his own take on the song she’d made her own. Cadogan herself returned that same year with an excellent new album, Chemistry of Love. And since that time, the singer has again retreated from the limelight. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide.

The Trixsters

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The Trixsters

Consisting of Joe Ariwa, Karmelody and a selection of special guest vocalists from the Ariwa label, The Trixsters are known for their unique reggae-infused dubstep beats.

Often incorporating samples and loops from the vast and instantly recognisable archives of Mad Professor’s original Ariwa multi-track recordings, Joe and Karmelody infuse the sounds with a fresh new dubstep flavour.

Blurring the imaginary line between dub and dubstep with their finely-tuned production skills and distinctive use of sounds from the legendary Ariwa studios and exclusive vocalists, nobody else sounds quite like The Trixsters and we doubt anybody else ever will!

Their recent releases “Jah is my light feat Michael Prophet” & “War in the city feat Michael Prophet” are both best sellers on Ernie B’s Reggae & also Dubvendor Clapham.

The Trixsters are responsible for The Grace Jones remix “Williams Blood” – Wall Of Sound. “Satisfied” remix with Ben Esser & West Coast Americas Michael Franti – East / West dub mix.

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