Sizzla Kalonji -What You Wish You Knew || MUSIC MONDAYS
He has released more than 70 solo albums since 1990; 45 of which were solo albums. He has established the ‘Judgement Yard’ community center in August Town in Kingston, Jamaica and continues to spread his message of love, unity and Rastafari through his music. These accomplishments barely touch the surface of the musical journey of this giant in the roots and culture reggae movement. Sizzla Kalonji continues to leave his mark on the Caribbean music landscape.
Here are some fun facts about this distinguished artiste:
- Sizzla Kalonji was born Miguel Collins in August Town in Kingston Jamaica. There he studied mechanical engineering at the Dunoon High School.
- His first music release happened through the Zagalou label in 1995, followed by a few single releases with Bobby ‘Digital’ Dixon before finally touring with fellow roots and culture artist Luciano.
- Sizzla started his own record company aptly called, Kalonji Records, which was a joint venture with the Damon Dash Music Group called Koch Records.
- In 1995, Homer Harris introduced Sizzla to renowned Jamaican saxaphonist Dean Fraser. This alliance was the turning point in Sizzla’s career and led to many successful singles releases, as well as, the release of his debut album ‘Burning Up.’ It is important to note that Homer Harris was also responsible for mentoring and naming fellow reggae star, Buju Banton.
- In February 2010, Sizzla travelled to Zimbabwe to perform at the 86th birthday celebration of President Robert Mugabe. There was a near-riot during his performance, including beatings of crowd members by police, causing Sizzla to temporarily halt his performance and ask the police to cease the beatings. *
- On 24 August 2011, Sizzla was hit by a bus while riding his motorcycle along the Salem main road, near Runaway Bay in St. Ann, Jamaica, leading to many false reports of the singer’s death. He resumed recording by the beginning of the following year.*
- Sizzla took a seven-year hiatus from the United States due to work visa issues. In 2008, Kalonji was one of a number of Jamaican dancehall and reggae musicians whose visa applications were declined, reportedly due to their shared propensity for speech acts inciting violence against gay men.
SOUND OFF: What is your favorite Sizzla Kalonji song?
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