Jah Shaka  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Jah Shaka has been operating a London-based, roots reggae Sound System since the early 1970s. His name is an amalgamation of the Rasta term for God and that of a zulu warrior.

He started out on the Freddie Cloudburst Sound System, before setting up his own Sound System. Jah Shaka events are renowned for attracting a wide audience from all backgrounds and races. Shaka believes it to be a testament to the quality of the message that he expounds in his choice of music and his Rastafarian beliefs.

Shaka stayed true to his Rastafarian beliefs during the 1980s when many other Sound Systems had started to follow the Jamaican trend towards playing "slack" dancehall music. His refusal to compromise inspired a host of new UK reggae artists and Sound Systems such as Eastern Sher, The Disciples, Iration Steppas, Jah Warrior, Channel One Sound System, Conscious Sounds, The Rootsman and Abashanti-I. Non-reggae artists such as Basement Jaxx have also cited Jah Shaka as an influence during interviews.

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. He has released a number of dub albums, often under the Commandments of Dub banner.

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

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

In 2000 he suffered numerous injuries during a house fire.

The Jah Shaka Sound System continues to appear regularly in London, with occasional tours of the United States, Europe and Japan.

Non-musical work

Shaka has also established the Jah Shaka Foundation to carry out assistance with projects in Ghana, where the foundation has bought Template:Convert of land in Agri, thirty miles outside of Accra. It has also managed to distribute medical supplies, wheelchairs, library books, carpentry tools, drawing materials and records to clinics, schools and radio stations in the Accra area establishing important links with the local communities.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jah Shaka" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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