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The “Godfather of Dancehall” who created the classics “Buddy Bye,” “No Ice Cream Sound” and “Little Sound Boy” is a well-deserved moniker for Errol “Johnny” Osbourne describing his contribution to Reggae music as it has evolved from the local Jamaican community to the international arena.
His song “Sing Jay Stylee” is viewed by many as the precursor to the Dancehall phenomenon evidenced in popular Jamaican music culture today. The evolution of this aspect in the 80’s prompted an increase in sound systems around the globe and necessitated the need for “dubs”. As sound system selectors in every crevice and corner of the world craved to establish dominancy, the demand for “dubs” escalated immensely. Such were the requests for Johnny’s services as no selector wanted to enter into a clash without a “special” from the “Dub Doctor”. Today, it is the same.
A string of hits dating from the late 60’s through the 90’s defines Johnny’s longevity and artistic ability. During this period and subsequently, Johnny’s aptitude to adapt to changes while preserving the quality of his musical output illustrates the depth of talent in his musical arsenal. Johnny’s legendary status was not acquired as a result of the years he’s been in the business, in essence it emanates from his penmanship as a lyricist, creative ingenuity as a “hit-maker” and intrinsic proficiency to do so repetitively.
After having worked as reggae specialists at the notorious Patate records shop in Paris, the early core of Soul Stereo, Jamaican music buffs Fatta and Reecko, decided to take the next step and start their own sound system in 1998.
Following the success of that early gig at le Divan du Monde, they'd go on and fill up all of France's capital best clubs for the years to come as the resident DJs and selectors. They have since gone on the road and have played no less than 1,500 shows all over France and Europe: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Scandinavia, you name it. Earning along the way such a reputation of excellence that many artists have trodded along and grabbed the mic for Soul Stereo -the most famous include Junior
Kelly, Luciano, Mikey General, Morgan Heritage, Lone Ranger, King Kong, John Wayne, Reggie Stepper, U Brown, Max Romeo, Rod Taylor, Earl Sixteen, Dennis Al Capone, Frankie Paul, Tony Roots, Nerius Joseph, Lyricson and many local artists.
Besides reviving the decade-old tradition of sound system-powered live shows, the crew has been relentlessly travelling to Jamaica to record the freshest dubplates, entering the European clash scene shortly after. Since 2005, Soul Stereo has also added one string to its bow by producing releases on its own label, Soul Vybz (soulvybz.com, facebook/soulvybz), featuring Luciano, Capleton, Junior Kelly, Demarco, Busy Signal (dancehall #1!), Barrington Levy, Konshens, Lukie D, Mad Cobra and many more
Interview and live footage from last show -
Promo video -