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Conversation with Reggae artiste Bushman

Updated: Apr 28




A few Sundays ago, Sunday Scoops hosted a conversation with Jamaican Reggae Artiste Bushman, born Dwight Duncan in the district of Prospect Beach, in the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica in 1973. Bushman is the quintessential Rastafarian and a model of commitment to Jamaica’s Reggae music. His effervescence quickly overflowed onto the program as he took control of the conversation, outlining the humble beginnings from which he hailed. Church and School Influence According to the artiste, his father was a Rastafarian and his grandmother who raised him, a devout church woman. He attended the Lyssons All Age School, where his music teacher noticed his potential for music and nurtured him in his developing stages. Dwight then went on to Yallahs Secondary School where he continued to shine musically as a member of the school choir, a member of the Yallahs drum corps, playing the bass organ. He also participated in numerous school concerts. He was also a member of the New Testament Church of God Choir, where he earned the name Ark Angel. The Sound System influence

It is clear that Bushman's earliest influence in the music business came about through his work with the sound system which has a strong roots in his home parish St. Thomas. As a teenager he worked as a selector under the name Junior Melody (sometimes Junior Buckley) for the Black Star Line sound system. He took part in several local area singing competitions and talent searches in and around St. Thomas where he soon developed a strong local fan base under the stage name Junior Melody and began to produce dub plates for local sound-systems such as Lee's Unlimited, Mello Construction, King Majesty and others. Arrows International The rave reviews from the sound selectors and the people of his community encouraged him to take his talent to the next level, the recording studios of Arrows International in Kingston, 36 miles from his St. Thomas home. He would often hitchhike his way to and from Kingston as funds were generally low or non-existent.

It was during an impromptu game of football at the Kingston based Arrows Dub plate studio that he met Steelie & Clevie. The innocuous meeting revealed his singing talents, eventually leading to an invitation to Studio 2000, where he recorded his first tracks. The result was his first recording "Grow Your Natty", which was followed by the hit "Call The Hearse". Name Change to Bushman With talks of an album, it was then that Steely insisted on his name change to “Bushman.”  He pointed out that initially he was unhappy with this name, as he thought it somehow derogatory to him coming from the country, until he researched the name only to discover that 'Bushman' was an African name for 'Medicine Man'.  The song "Call The Hearse" became a big hit in Jamaica, and was followed by "Rude Boy Life" and his debut album, Niyah Man Chant (1997). The album was described in “The Rough Guide to Reggae " as good an example of modern cultural singing as you could hope to find. Bushman would later move on to work with producer King Jammy who produced his next two albums “Total Commitment”, which collected most of the early singles he recorded for the producer, and “Higher Ground.”Bushman is quite affable and certainly was a joy to have on the show. Check out the full program and enjoy.

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