If you want to list the most important people for reggae since it was born, the Kingston magician must be there. As the top producer throughout the digital era, he has altered the sound of reggae music without ever losing touch with its foundation – the sound system.
Lloyd James (born 1947, Montego Bay, Jamaica), who is better known as Prince Jammy or King Jammy, is a dub mixer and record producer. He began his musical career as a dub master at King Tubby’s recording studio. His dubs were known for their clear sound and use of effects.
After earning money from building amplifiers and repairing electrical equipment from his mother’s house in Waterhouse in the late 1960s, he started his own sound system. He also built equipment for other local systems. After leaving Jamaica to work in Canada for a few years in the early 1970s, he returned to Kingston in 1976 and set up his own studio at his in-laws’ home in Waterhouse, and released a couple of Yabby You productions. When Phillip Smart left King Tubby’s team to work in New York, Jammy replaced him, getting to work with Bunny Lee and Yabby You. In the late 1970s he began to release his own productions, including the debut album from Black Uhuru in 1977. In the 1980s, he became one of the most influential producers of dancehall music. His biggest hit was 1985’s “Under Me Sleng Teng” by Wayne Smith, with an entirely-digital rhythm hook. Many credit this song as being the first “digital rhythm” in reggae, leading to the modern dancehall era. Jammy’s productions and sound system dominated reggae music for the remainder of the 1980s and into the 1990s. He continues to work as a producer, working with some of today’s top Jamaican artists, including Sizzla. He has produced hundreds of riddims for a lot of singers on different labels or on his own, Jammy’s Records. A large part of his riddims are still used and remixed and have become classics in reggae culture.
King Jammy is one of the last Jamaican producers from the Golden Age. Still busy since 30 years old, King Jammy is today a well-known artist and his work is regularly re-edited.
His latest releases include “New Sounds of Freedom” (2016), “Waterhouse Dub” (2017), “Alborosie Meets King Jammy Dub of Thrones” (2017), “King Jammy: Presents Dennis Brown Tracks of Life” (2018).
Besides his live set at the Green Stage, King Jammy will also meet fans at the Reggae University to talk about his productions and life experience.
We are very honoured to welcome such a legend first time in Poland.
Ostróda Reggae Festival, Green Stage, 14.07.2019
Wayne Smith – Under Me Sleng Teng
King Jammy – Roots, Reality & Sleng Teng Story
1Xtra in Jamaica – Beenie Man, Lt Stitchie & Josey Wales at King Jammy’s studio Jamaica
King Jammy – Jailhouse Rock
Studio Chronicles – Jamaica: King Jammy’s Recording Studio
Hussla D & King Jammy – Skanking in the Dancehall
King Jammy live Rototom Festival 2018