10 years wise, Empress Reggae was born in the UK and home schooled by her Mum and Dad, Scratchylus. Her first introduction into music occurred when visiting recording studios with her dad. In 2011, she travelled to Jamaica with her dad and performed on stage at Redbones’ Women’s International Day with Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Jhamiela Smith and Inna De Yard Family. It was a great success. In the coming weeks she visited Inna De Yard and Caveman Studios to record ‘Our Story ‘with her Dad, Scratchylus and Sizzla Kalonji.
Since then she has performed on many stages in Jamaica including Woman’s International Day, Sizzla Kalonji Birthday Party, Marcus Garvey Day, Rastaman Vibration, Eastern Consciousness, Tribute to H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie, Jamaica Marathon Run, Ninjaman Birthday Bash and many more.
Empress Reggae has also appeared on many TV and Radio shows in Jamaica and around the world including, Irie Fm Jamaica with Ron Muschette and Mutabaruka, Bess Fm Jamaica, HOT 102 Fm Jamaica with Ken Williams, Talk Radio Jamaica, Suzie Q Reggae top 10 video alley Jamaica, Hype TV Jamaica, MDTV Jamaica, TVJ Jamaica , CVM TV Jamaica, SABC TV in South Africa, Multi Channel TV in Gambia with King Lagazee, Soweto TV South Africa, MTV International, GRS Gambia, London Live TV, London ITN News Entertainment, Capetown TV, WBS TV Uganda, Sub TV University Channel UK, Tempo TV and many more.
Empress Reggae has returned from her tour at the Gambia Roots International Festival with her Dad, Mutabaruka, Sizzla Kalonji, Julius Garvey where she met the President, his Excellency Yaya Jammeh, who gave her the name ‘Awa Jammeh’ meaning ‘Confidence’. She also recorded a song with her Dad Scratchylus and a Gambian artist named Kang Killing Plant the Food with Ultimate Pro and Dj Senator.
At the moment she is in the Uk on tour of the Universities which started at the Notting Hill Carnival, Kingston University, Birkbeck University, Greenwich University, Bradford University, Liverpool University and Westminister University. The tour has proven to be an overwhelming success.
Empress Reggae plans to return to Jamaica in a few weeks to complete the videos for the hit singles ‘Who Built The Pyramids’ which she did with her Dad on the big Channel One Riddim (Big up uncle Ben-up) and ‘Kushites Do Their Thing A Big Way Different ‘with her dad and legendary Errol Dunkley.
Empress Reggae loves to read and do puzzles. She wants to be a teacher in the future. When asked “how she would do music and teaching at the same time,” she simply replies, “she is teaching in her music so she can do both.”
Empress Reggae message to children around the world is to listen to elders, pay attention to your studies and do your best work. She would like to Big up Irie Magazine and all the readers in Jamaica and around the world, her mum, dad, aunties, uncles, Kiddus I, Earl Chinna Smith and the Inna de yard Family, Bobby Digital Studios, Stephen Stewart, Harry J Recording Studios, Caveman Studios, Suzie Q Video Alley, Sub TV University Channel UK and her Family in Jamaica, Gambia and the UK. Highly Bless… Jah Rastafari!
IRIE. What is it like growing up as the daughter of Scratchylus?
Empress Reggae: Growing up I have always been with my daddy, having a lot of fun together, reading, playing games and dealing with our music. We have done lots of things together and it is part of my growing up and education being around my daddy.
IRIE. Besides your father, are there other musicians that you are inspired by?
Empress Reggae: Yes, I am inspired by Dennis Brown, Uncle Sizzla Kalonji, Earl Chinna Smith, Kiddus I, Uncle Errol Dunkley and Marcia Griffiths.
IRIE. You are homeschooled which I find very IRIE! Much respect to your parents. Do you miss the opportunity to attend school with other kids?
Empress Reggae: No, I definitely don’t miss the opportunity to go to school. When I’m at home, I can focus on my work. I have been to schools and libraries with children to speak to them and some of the children don’t seem to be able to focus on what the teacher is saying. When I’m doing my work and I don’t overstand something, we go to the library and read all about it and that makes me very glad to be homeschooled by my Mum And Dad. I think i can learn things better anyway. I get to learn and see things that I don’t think other children get to do.
IRIE. When you are not being Empress Reggae, what do you like to do?
Empress Reggae: I’m always Empress Reggae even when I read, paint, play, sleep and do my music. My parents and my family taught me that it is very important to be yourself at all times.
IRIE. You’ve recorded two songs with your Dad and Errol Dunkley; Can you share with us your experience in the making of these tracks?
Empress Reggae: The song with Errol Dunkley is ‘Kushites Do Their Thing A Big Way Different’. It is a song about aspiring for excellence and how the original people put things in practice to create a cohesive society with maths and science, incorporating defense, prosperity and love for one another, to eliminate insecurities and promote self confidence. Big up Legendary Errol Dunkley, Legendary Sticky, Uncle Earl Chinna Smith and co-producer Steven Stewart & Tree House Production 2013.
The song, ‘Who Built The Pyramids’, with my dad, Scratchylus and Channel one Production (Big up Benup) reminds people that if we can build the Pyramids, we can achieve anything once we put our mind to it. This song features the Roots Radics Band’s Lincoln ‘Style’ Scotts (R.I.P.) and Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt, Earl Chinna Smith, Ras Michael (Sons of Negus), Dalton Browne , Jhamiela Smith and the son of Augustus Pablo, Addis Pablo; mixed excellently by Bobby Digital. This is one of my most satisfying productions.
IRIE. What’s on the horizon for Empress Reggae?
Empress Reggae: I will be returning to Jamaica early next year to complete my video ‘Kushites Do Their Thing A Big Way Different’ with uncle Errol Dunkley and ‘Who Built The Pyramids’ with my Daddy, Scratchylus. I will also perform on some shows and look forward to promotional tours in the U.S and the Caribbean to promote ‘Plant The Food’ as Reggae Ambassador for African Music TV.
IRIE. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to reason with you. Is there anything you would like to add or say to the IRIE Magazine audience?
Empress Reggae: I would like to Big up the Irie Mag family and fans, Uncle Nicholas (Yes I), Inna De Yard, Earl Chinna Smith, Kiddus I, Sticky, Bobby Digital, Anchor Family, Sturgav, Sizzla Kalonji, Judgement Yard, Errol Dunkley and Steven Stewart. Give thanks!