SIZZLA

ANT

Sizzla Kalonji is one of the most prolific leaders of the conscious Reggae dancehall movement. Emerging in the latter half of the 90s, he helped lead dancehall back to the musical and spiritual influence of roots reggae and heavily Rastafarian subject matter. He was born Miguel Collins on April 17, 1976 in St Mary and was raised in the community of August Town by devout Rastafarian parents.

The 1980s witnessed a dancehall explosion, and with the music came the lifestyle. Sizzla watched carefully, collecting his lyrical ammunition. He began his career in the music industry in his early teenage years. After honing his vocal skills, he landed a gig with the Caveman Hi-Fi sound system, where he first made a name for himself as a performer. He cut his first single for the small Zagalou label in 1995, and soon moved on to Fattis “Exterminator” Burrell.


Working with Fattis marked an important turning point for Sizzla. From the outset their relationship was one of mutual respect and inspiration. A run of successful singles led to the release of Sizzla's debut album, 'Burning Up' (RAS). The alliance again proved fruitful a year later with the follow-up, 'Praise Ye Jah' (JetStar). Securing his position as a top conscious reggae artist, he set about cultivating his role as a spiritual messenger. Sizzla's combination of Rasta principles and up-to-the-minute dancehall rhythms made his hard line approach more palatable. A brilliant and passionate performer, Sizzla broke boundaries, appealing to those looking for something new, music with depth.

His major breakthrough came with the release in 1997 of the now classic album, 'Black Woman and Child' (Greensleeves). Bearing all the hallmarks of Bobby 'Digital' Dixon's dancehall-influenced production, the impact on both the reggae and mainstream markets was phenomenal. The evocative title track, issued as a single, rapidly achieved anthemic status. Along with universal praise came Sizzla's first nomination for Best International Reggae Artist of the Year at the 1998 MOBO Awards and a place in various magazines' top 100 albums of the year.



 

 

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