Outstanding Contribution to Reggae
Here are the biography's of this years nominees
Sir Allan Brando
Talented, experienced Selector, Sir Allan Brando has been entertaining the masses for over twenty years starting his career from the latter part of secondary school (year 10) playing at local house parties and under 18's events alongside colleagues at the time Joseph and Crispin (RIP) collectively known as Hunters Crew.
Allan then progressed and was given an opportunity by Dennis Rowe to join a popular community Radio Station (Genesis Radio) which bought massive coverage and fan base to strengthen the Allan Brando brand. Broadcasting once a week on Friday evenings at 9pm I gave the younger generation of listeners music and entertainment that they could relate to as there were mostly older DJ.'s on local radio stations respectively.
After dominating the local scene and having a very powerful radio show, a few years later Allan then joined forces with another popular local DJ. King Hyper to form the Dynamic Duo which lead to the duo playing alongside some of best local and international DJ.'s such as
"Stonelove, Saxon Sound, Bass Odyssey, Lord Gellyz, Shaka T, Red Hot, Vinyl Star, Aquarius, Music Master, Sweet 16, Chris Goldfinger, King Addies, Crystal Blue, Gansta Kid, Metro Media, Fire Links, and Tony Matterhorn just to name a few."
The duo came to an end, unfortunately, but as they say "The show must go on." Allan became a solo selector gaining more popularity moving up the ladder to start playing at various stage shows featuring international artists such as Beres Hammond, Freddie McGregor, Capleton, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sanchez, Gappy Ranks, Christopher Ellis, Wayne Wonder, Sean Paul and many more,
Most recently Allan supported Chronixx on his UK tour, which has been one of his biggest highlights in his career so far, DJing in front of fifteen thousand people. Allan's DJ schedule is consistently busy, and he is annually booked for numbers of sold-out events in the UK.
Allan has successfully made his trademark in the music industry. He is exquisitely talented in combining genres, with the sweet sounds of reggae music and vibrant dancehall sounds that can hype-up any dance floor, anywhere and anytime leaving partygoers feeling electric afterwards.
Radio DJ, Presenter, Label Owner, Club DJ, Remixer, Producer – Seani B wears all of these titles.
Born in London, Seani has taken the cosmopolitan surrounding he grew up in and incorporated them into his unique musical blend. from Dancehall to Hip Hop, R&B to House and even Soca to Rock; if it is musical, Seani will be all over it.
Seani B began DJ-ing at very young in the late 80s along with his older brothers and friends in the popular Sound System Limited Edition. During those years Seani B also began trying out his radio skills on the local radio station Star FM, where he primarily played hip-hop.
In the mid 90’s he amalgamated his technical skills and his knowledge of crowd pleasing and released a bootleg dancehall reggae remix of the Case and Foxy Brown classic track “Touch Me, Tease Me”. Demand grew for his unique sound, where he also created customised reggae mixes for DJ David Rodigan.
Before long, some of the world’s biggest artists were feeling the “remix kid” touch. The likes of Lauryn Hill, Pras, Sugababes, Beverley Knight, Shaggy and Rayvon all came knocking for official mixes, and Seani didn’t disappoint.
The “Big League” record label was next to follow, featured collaborations with the Dancehall “A” list – Vybz Kartel, Sizzla, TOK & Beenie Man amongst others.
Seani joined BBC 1Xtra at in inception with the award winning show “Seani B’s Mixtape”, which went against the grain of conventional single genre music programming at the time.
In 2016 his work as a producer received the ultimate accolade – he won a Grammy for producing tracks on the Morgan heritage album “Strictly Roots”.
Lady V (Rocket)
For almost 60 years, V Rocket International has dominated sound system culture in Nottingham. Starting out with a 50-watt sound system, V Rocket’s popularity took them from playing at house (blues) parties, to venues all over the world.
Over time, V Rocket has been hosted by various selectors and MCs; however it was when brothers Ruben and Parliament joined the sound that the transformation truly began; this transformation continued with the introduction of Lady Vee whose arrival made V Rocket unique as it was the first sound system in the UK to be co-run by a woman. She was highly respected for the knowledge she brought to the sound which in turn protected her in what was and remains, a male dominated industry.
During the 70s and 80s, V Rocket competed ('clashed') against UK and international sounds including Sir Coxsone, Saxon, Unity, Java Nuclear, Master Blaster, Asha World Movement, Baron Turbo, Now Generation, Stone Love, Body Guard, Killamanjaro and many more. As a result, the record box got bigger, with dub plates from Channel One, King Tubby's (Jamaica) and King Jammy's. The sound system grew bigger too and in 1987, Valerie orchestrated a trip to Jamaica for the crew and completed a six-week tour of the island. Not only was it an unforgettable experience to play in the home of reggae, the visit helped raise the sound’s profile back home with the dubplates they returned with and deepened their understanding of sound culture.
Over the years many top artists have performed on V Rocket, including Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Ninja Man and Dennis Brown to Nitty Gritty, Brigadier Jerry, Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Horace Andy, Maxi Priest, Mr Vegas and more!
As the sound system industry developed, Valerie was instrumental in keeping her soundsystem fresh and keeping up with the times. So whilst maintaining the roots and foundation V Rocket was known and respected for, Valerie introduced a younger generation of MC and selector; first came Val B and Belly who joined the sound in 1999 and 2002 respectively and then later, Fire Mark, DJ Marlz and KD Ranx joining as the most recent members.
As the sound continued to maintain its presence in the UK scene, Valerie also saw it important to expand V Rocket's international footprint, taking regular bookings in Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Belgium as well as USA, Gambia and of course, Jamaica.
Added to that, with her rich network, knowledge, experience she is a trusted booking agent of DJs and artists on the juggling circuit - working on behalf of high profile players including Tony Matterhorn, Metro Media Sound and Mighty Crown.
In short, in one of the most male dominated areas of the scene, Lady V continues to thrive.
Born in Trelawny Parish in 1957, Jones relocated to England at the age of ten to join his parents who had emigrated there a few years earlier.
They lived in and around London, moving between Willesden, Alperton, and Harrow, with Jones becoming increasingly involved in the local reggae scene, and in the mid-1970s he began performing with sound systems, initially as a deejay.
In the 1970s he was a member of several bands including The Spartans, The Doctor Birds, the Mighty Vibes and the Pieces.
In 1980 he began to record as a solo artist, enjoying a hit that year with "Good Morning" (actually a remixed recording by the Mighty Vibes), which topped the UK reggae charts. The following year, he was voted 'Most Talented Singer' in a poll for Black Echoes magazine. He had a series of hits, with his popularity also spreading to Jamaica. Disillusioned with the music industry, he returned to Jamaica in 1982 to stay with his grandparents, and also recorded some material there.
He returned to London and began work outside of music. He soon began recording again in his spare time, and his debut album, Bank Robbery, was released in 1984, and he went on to work with Jah Shaka, the two collaborating on the Jah Works album, released in 1987 but recorded a few years earlier. He also recorded in Jamaica for producers such as Bobby Digital and Junior Reid and recorded duets with Sylvia Tella, Debbie Gordon, and Deborahe Glasgow.
In the 1990s he set up his own Imperial House label and became known primarily for his lovers rock material, enjoying big hits with "Sugar Love" and "Strong Love", but also recorded more roots-oriented music with albums such as Iyaman (1994).
In 1991 he was named 'Best Male Artist' in the British Reggae Industry Awards. He enjoyed an international hit in the late 1990s with "Jah See Dem a Come".In 2007 he released the album 50th, featuring old rhythms from producers such as Bunny Lee, to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Lovers Rocking was released in 2013, and Jones recorded material in Jamaica with Sly and Robbie and Bobby Digital for an album planned for release in 2014.