In the 1980’s in Britain I was a full time member of 6 sound systems between 1983-1989.
Sound systems are a community of Dj’s & vocalists we play a particular type of music. We sing live over instrumentals & provide vocal interludes in between records. Our sound system called 'Skyliner' played Reggae.
In Black Britain at that time, the sound system was our radio, the recording session was our podcast, the sound system members were our musical preachers & the sound event was our village dance.
I was lucky to work with many London based sound systems & honed my rap craft. I was a permanent member of 'Skyliner' & 'Genesis' collectives from southwest London.
We played at parties & battled against local & national level sound systems across the country.
The UK sound systems at the time emulated the collectives from Jamaica, but all over Britain, young Black people were assembling to play music they loved but loud enough to banish the day to day blues of racism & social exclusion in the barren landscape of the UK.
I moved to UK Hip Hop in 1989 & resigned my position with the sound systems I helped to build from scratch. The guys were not happy but I had come to the end of my time with spitting lyrics in small clubs & halls. I wanted to become a recording artist.
I became a part time member of a small sound system (His Majesty sound system) after my recording career took off as Huntkillbury Finn & for the launch of my first music video for my song: ‘In the stillness’ I used one of our bass speakers for the shoot.
Over the years that followed as the culture dissipated because of changes in culture, new tastes & local government by-laws around noise & public assembly, I dabbled in running club nights, being a dj spinning all kinds of club music but nothing ever compares to those days of deep bass tones & uplifting tunes from the reggae canon.
Making music has taken me to another place but looking at this photo reminds me that things that go around always comes back around…❁
#hkb finn, #soundsystem, #reggaeculture #reggaemusic #ukrap #ellowrites