Thursday, June 09, 2005

Maxi and Mistri

'Why you are WRONG about Maxi Priest' is an interesting post over at Uncarved, where Jon Eden attempts to reclaim the only reggae star named after Max Bygraves from the charge of being just a diluted crossover sell-out. Maxi Priest was born in Lewisham and started out with south-east Lewisham's Saxon Studio International sound system. He went to the now closed Roger Manwood Secondary School in Brockley Rise, as did the late Arsenal and Leeds player David Rocastle (and presumably Ian Wright too as Jon says he went to same school as Maxi).

Over the years Saxon has functioned as a finishing school for emerging reggae talent - as well as Maxi, Smiley Culture, Papa Levi, Tippa Irie and DJ Mistri all performed with them. The latter, famed for a thousand car stickers, 'was born in St Giles Hospital and raised in Camberwell & Deptford, South London... His first public experience as a disc-jockey started with Saxon Sound System at the age of 17... Mistri studied drama & dance at Goldsmiths University, and ballet, jazz and contemporary dance at Laban' (in New Cross).

Maxi Priest played on Jamaica Unlimited's 'Rise Up', recorded to support the Reggae Boyz Jamaica team in the 1998 World Cup. There's an interesting article discussing this whole phenomenon, 'Lions, Black Skins and Reggae Gyals' on the Goldsmiths site.

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