b. 5 December 1965, Waterhouse, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Smith began singing while at school and in church, where he cultivated his unique vocal technique. After achieving his educational qualifications he began an apprenticeship as an electrical engineer. His training centred around the Papine region of St. Andrewâ€™s, where many top performers began their musical careers, including Brigadier Jerry, Sister Nancy, Anthony Malvo and Chaka Demus. Smith spent his free time at King Jammyâ€™s (then Prince Jammy) sound system, hoping for an opportunity on the microphone. His persistence came to fruition and, inspired by the audienceâ€™s response, Jammy recorded Smithâ€™s debut, â€˜Aint No Me Without Youâ€™, followed by the dancehall favourites â€˜Change My Mindâ€™, â€˜Life Is A Moment In Spaceâ€™ and â€˜Ism Skismâ€™. Smith was featured in the UKâ€™s Channel 4 television reggae documentary Deep Roots Music, where he is filmed recording in King Tubbyâ€™s studio. Like many artists, Smith began working with other producers, including sessions at Channel One, and a series of hits followed including â€˜Smoker Supaâ€™, versions of â€˜Karma Chameleonâ€™ and Dennis Brownâ€™s â€˜No More Will I Roamâ€™. In the mid-80s Smith returned to working with the newly promoted King Jammy, enjoying success with â€˜Aint No Meaningâ€™ and â€˜Come Alongâ€™. In late 1984 he was directly involved in what is considered by many to be a pivotal phase in the Jamaican recording industry. The occasion of Smithâ€™s and Noel Daleyâ€™s tinkerings with a Casio music box has been well documented, although the unprecedented success of this event proved to be a turning point for both Smith and King Jammy. The resulting song, â€˜Under Me Sleng Tengâ€™, was a massive hit around the world and led to countless versions. From its initial release in 1985 the rhythm continues to provide the basis for a number of reggae hits. Having the distinction of introducing the most covered accentuation in the musicâ€™s history inevitably led to enormous expectations, which Smith endured with calm assurance. He demonstrated his talent for songwriting and singing, and drew on his formative training for programming on Sleng Teng with the tracks â€˜Icky All Overâ€™, â€˜Love Donâ€™t Love Meâ€™ and â€˜Walk Like A Grannyâ€™. He continued to produce hits, notably â€˜Rapid Dem Loveâ€™ and â€˜My Sweet Loveâ€™, before relocating to the USA where he set up his own Sleng Teng label.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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