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Jah Shaka was born and grew up in Clarendon, Jamaica. His musical career however started in London in the mid 70’s when he joined the soul & R’n’B sound system Freddie Cloudburst as a soundman apprentice. Soon after he started his own Sound System simply known as Jah Shaka, he  took his name from the Zulu leader Shaka, styling himself the African Zulu Warrior.  he favored Steppers productions and often strictly dub. He had a Friday night residency at Phebes Club in Hackney circa late 1978, by the following summer he was playing every Friday at the Noreik, on Seven Sisters road in Tottenham.
By the late 1970s Shaka’s system rapidly had gained a large and loyal following due to the combination of spiritual content, high energy rhythms, massive sonority, and his dynamic personal style.

In 1980 Shaka played himself in the film Babylon (directed by Franco Rosso, although he directed the scene he appeared in), operating his Sound System in a soundclash at the climax of the story.

In 1980 and 1981 he won the best Sound System section of the Black Echoes Reggae Awards.

In 1989 Shaka visited Jamaica and worked with many musicians there, including King Tubby.

Jah Shaka’s sound system was one of the few sounds that stuck to its vision during the 80’s when dancehall started getting more oriented on subjects that wasn’t concerned about Rastafari, such as slackness, gunman lyrics. As Shaka refused to compromise he went through a lean period but ultimately this gained him a strong following that has continued to grow ever since.
In 2000 he suffered several injuries from a house fire and in 2006 Jah Shaka had much of his equipment stolen. He returned with a new built sound system later the same year.

On his own record label he has released music from Jamaican artists such as Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke, Bim Sherman and Prince Alla as well as UK groups such as Aswad and Dread & Fred.[5] He has released a number of dub albums, often under the Commandments of Dub banner.

Artists featured on more recent releases include both established singers like Tony Tuff, and new emerging artists like Rockaway and Principle – who have sung over riddims produced by his son Malachi, known as Young Warrior.

Today as always Shaka is running his sound at dances not only in London and the UK, but also around the world. A new sound which matches any heavy weight soundsystem out there, but till single deck, still strictly vinyl, the use of a siren box (he even has his own siren noise!), and as most UK Roots and Culture sounds, relying on the use of a hand made Pri-Amp to break the sound down and cutting off tops, mids and bass. Oh… and he chats…. and even sings beautifully over the killer tunes he plays. Heavy, heavy, heavy!

SHAKA RULE…. No other soundsystem would disagree!

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  • Bredda Murf

    The No.1 Dub Sound in the whole wide world

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