Jah Shaka

Jah Shaka (also known as the Zulu Warrior, * 1950 in Chapleton, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica ) is a London based sound system operator, Deejay, Dub - mixer, producer and musician. With its Jah Shaka Sound System, he became a legendary figure in the British dub and reggae scene.


Born in Jamaica Jah Shaka came in 1956 with his parents to England, they moved to the south-east London. He started making music in 1962, when he founded a reggae band with school friends. Early on, he was close to the Rastafari movement, felt inspired by people like Haile Selassie, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Angela Davis and Steve Biko. In the late 1960s he joined the local Freddie Cloudburst a sound system. The early 1970s he founded his own sound system. His stage name is made up of years, the conventional in Rastas short form of Yahweh, the name of God, and Shaka, the name of King Shaka, a Zulu warrior and king of the 18th and 19th centuries. In contrast to most other sound system Jah Shaka takes over the main tasks usually mostly alone, he is deejay and selector - sings, puts plates on, dancing ecstatically to mix sounds and effects controls.

Mid-1970, he quickly made a name. A key moment was when a clash against Lloyd Coxsone when he started in 1976, one of the hottest at the time sound system in England. It ended with Coxsone had to admit that he had lost, and the dance broke. Later appeared on Jah Shaka Dances regularly well-known personalities of the London reggae scene, such as Earl Sixteen or Yabby You. Other careers began by Shaka inspired, such as the Disciples. Jah Shaka developed great musical influence, not least on the UK dub.

In the late 1970s Shaka launched their own label on which he released his own productions, such as the series Commandments of Dub since the early 1980s. In addition, recordings of Horace Andy, Max Romeo and the Twinkle Brothers were out there among others. It arose in the course of time, several collaborations with well-known British artists Jah Shaka, Aswad and as Mad Professor, but that appeared on other labels. He also traveled several times to Jamaica and produced there in King Tubby 's legendary studio in Waterhouse or MusicWorks Studio of Gussie Clarke, worked among others with veterans like Willie Williams and Max Romeo, but also with young musicians as Icho Candy. A highlight of his career was his producer in 1990, released at the Iceland - daughter Mungo album Dub Symphony.

Jah Shaka was in the 1980s actually removed from the mainstream, as the trend in dancehall to digital sounds and slackness went, while his sound system with a single disk player took next to the mixer and he held as a Rastafarian to his " Roots and Culture" program. Because in addition to socio-critical concern he always resorted to especially spiritual themes of Rasta culture, accompanied by the thundering bass and monotonous hypnotic sounds with which he puts his audience into trance- like states. His Dances develop a mystical atmosphere, which often seem to the audience more religious or political events on the same as ordinary party events. Jah Shaka spiritual understanding of music is evident in a quote:

In a house fire in 2000 Shaka was seriously injured, and has long been out of action. He sat then away again, regularly performing in the UK and occasionally elsewhere in Europe, the U.S. or Japan. He was represented frequently on major festivals, for example at Summerjam in Cologne, the Uppsala Reggae Festival or at Rototom Sunsplash in Italy.

Jah Shaka supported in Jamaica and Ghana various social projects, such as schools, hospitals and youth football teams.


  • Commandments of Dub, Vol 1 - 10 (1982 to 1991)
  • Message from Africa ( 1985)
  • Disciples (1988 )
  • Dub Symphony (1990)
  • Africa Drum Beats ( Commandments Of Dub 10) (1991 )
  • New Testament of Dub 1 - 2 ( 1992)
  • Dub Salute, Vol 1-5 ( 1994-1996 )
  • New Decade of Dub ( with Mad Professor ) ( 1996)
  • Authentic Dubwise (2002)