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DREAD RADIO is an online radio station exclusively dedicated to Reggae selections. While the station is based in Trinidad, the cast comprises an array of first-class, international selectors whose contributions feature a wide spectrum of artistes from around the world. The radio station was founded in response to a longstanding appeal for Reggae radio—a station dedicated to soulful, Roots/Reggae music, endorsing positivity, equality, love and harmony, rooted in the philosophies of Rastafari.
For the last two years, Dread Radio has captured audiences around the world by way of their exclusive Reggae selections. As the radio continues to expand, so too do the Dreadite (fan) numbers.
The team is proud to offer a distinctive blend of old school and contemporary Reggae that transcends generational and geographical barriers. Tune in, as they present their unapologetically edifying, uplifting and enlivening dread compilation.
IRIE Magazine invites you to tune in to Dread Radio by visiting the official website at dreadmovement.com or by downloading the Dread Radio App (Search ‘Dread Radio’ on the TuneIn App).
Born in December 1991, to the legendary reggae DJ, Kenneth ‘Lion King’ Charles, and wife Camille, Asfa and Yacob Charles, are products of a reggae-filled household, grounded in the traditions of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the teachings of Rastafari.
The twin recalls playing around their father’s studio and interacting with a number of notable, local and international reggae artistes. As Asfa explains, at the time, much of their interaction with the music, the devices and the musical personalities, was simply them ‘being boys’ more so, than showing any serious interest in the family business. He also notes that they were also often reprimanded by their father, the Lion King, for whom this was not merely a lifestyle, but his livelihood.
In 2003, at the age of twelve, Asfa and Yacob Charles made their debut as Reggae DJ’s (selectors) – the Lion Twin – at the Twelve Tribes of Israel Youth Concert. They attribute their debut to the endorsement and encouragement of Reggae veteran and family friend, Fred Locks, as well as the guidance and support of their father, who at that time, had been well established in the business for over two decades.
The twin recalls their debut as an overwhelming experience, brimming with nerves and an extraordinary outpouring of love and support from the Twelve Tribe Audience. They made their start on their father’s sound system – Lion King Muzik- with Asfa playing the role of selector, while Yacob held the crowd as the ‘mic man’.
Subsequently, the Lion Twin played at countless events, including stage productions, reggae concerts, and sound clashes. The brothers recall some of their past gigs, which included events with musical legends like Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs, Berres Hammond and Culture and others such as Jah Cure, Vybz Kartel, Junior Gong, Nas and so on.
As members of the Lion King musical camp, the duo established themselves as a superior reggae sound. As they progressed, the brothers became more comfortable in reverse roles; the unmistakable voice of the Lion Twin is now Asfa, while Yacob holds the fort as the Selector. Regionally, the Lion Twin made a name for themselves as the youngest selectors in the reggae genre and frontrunners in the business.
In 2010, the brothers made their debut on mainstream radio. They became part of the regular line-up at one of Trinidad and Tobago’s oldest and leading urban radio stations, where they branched out further into more urban music, including Soca, Dancehall and Hip Hop. In spite of this, their most notable contribution was their Sunday evening reggae shift, which they claimed as their favourite session. They remained there for 6 years.
The year 2013 marked a change in the direction and scope of the Lion Twin. It was at this juncture in their careers that Asfa and Yacob made the decision to shift their efforts back to their roots, and concentrate on Roots and Reggae music. From that point on, (excluding their radio schedule), the twin’s line-up was exclusively Roots/Reggae.
During this period, the brother’s energies shifted towards more musical productions and collaborations, which lead to the foundation of the Lion Twin Studio. This Studio, where selector Yacob holds the position of producer, has hosted numerous local and international reggae artistes and DJs who have collaborated with the duo, to produce a number of records/tracks and mixtapes.
In 2016, the Lion Twin’s career took an evolutionary turn. The brothers left mainstream radio and took time to focus on their personal aspirations. As members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the Lion Twin always seeks to advocate/endorse the music and teachings of Rastafari. By way of their musical productions, collaborations and selections, they principal goal is to elevate and motivate and to promote positivity and consciousness.
Their first move was a group initiative, dedicated to the promotion of Reggae with an aim to transform the underground culture in which this particular genre of music thrives. The Lion Twin, along with a handful of other like-minded friends formed the DREAD Movement. The team’s plans included the production of atypical Reggae events as well as social activism and the promotion of positive lifestyle through social media. The Dread Movement initiative then led to the launch of Dread TV, where the team highlights several regional and international talents, who impart their own unique brands of knowledge, vibes and who endorse the roots and reggae culture.
The most noteworthy development out of the Lion Twin camp came when the brothers were able to realise a lifelong dream. For several years, Asfa and Yacob recognised that there was a shortage of reggae music on mainstream radio. This scarcity motivated the duo to create a forum dedicated to filling this void. The Lion Twin founded DREAD Radio in April 2016, as an online radio station, dedicated solely to the broadcasting of roots and reggae music. Since its launch, the line-up has expanded to include daily live broadcasts featuring several notable local and international selectors. The station also features countless ‘old school’ favourites as well as new artistes’ contributions, including some of the Lion Twin’s very own productions.
Asfa and Yacob Charles have already enjoyed a dynamic and fruitful career that spans over a decade. The brothers are renowned for their distinct sound and style. They are also well respected by their countless fans – both local and international – as well their peers and counterparts in the field. They continue to work hard and push forward, spreading their message and ideals through their labour. For the Lion Twin, their efforts are a ‘Labour of Love’and promotion of a lifestyle, to which they are passionately and whole-heartedly committed.