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Chaka Demus

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Chaka Demus

Real Name: John Taylor
November 1st, 1965
Place of Birth: West Kingston, JA

Chaka Demus began his career chatting on a variety of sound systems, the most famous of these being Supreme and Jammy's, as Nicodemus Jnr. In 1985 a name change provoked a shift of fortunes, and Chaka, whose gruff but avuncular tones made him a stand-out in any DJ company, cut his first single, "Increase Your Knowledge", soon afterwards. A string of 45s bearing his name arrived, "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer", an adaptation of the old Amos Milburn R&B chestnut, and "2 Foot Walk", among them. However, chiefly associated with Jammy's studio, Chaka's mild manner perhaps held him back in what was then the biggest recording stable in Jamaica. A move to Penthouse Studio for "Chaka On The Move" (1987) improved matters, and it was here that Chaka first became friendly with Pliers, a singer who, like Chaka, had not yet made the fullest impact on reggae's landscape.

While playing shows together in Miami in 1991, Chaka and Pliers decided to team up. "Gal Wine" for Ossie Hibbert was their first 45 together, which led to a slew of reggae chart successes, "Rough This Year", "Love Up The Gal", "Without Love", "Winning Machine" and "Worl' A Girls", among them. A collaboration with producers Sly And Robbie created a new model of "Murder She Wrote", which hit number 1 in the specialist charts worldwide. Having evidently developed a successful formula, they secured a contract with the Mango label, Island Records' reggae division, and, in 1993, hit the UK Top 10 with "Tease Me", a fine, bright ragga-pop record. "She Don't Let Nobody", the follow-up, also broke into the pop Top 10, and a version of "Twist & Shout", with extra vocal support from Jack Radics, became a UK number 1.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles

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