Rasites consists of a new breed of cultural Rasta youths ready to make their mark on contemporary reggae music. The group is formed by drummer Otis (16 yrs), bass player and vocalist Jahmel (18 yrs), keyboard player Cyrus (18 yrs) and guitarist and vocalist Kashta (19 yrs). They are the new messengers intent upon reclaiming not only the roots of their music but also their own history. Their brand of sound, attitude and talent are making them the UK's most wanted.
Photo & text courtesy of Jet Star Records.
Until the arrival of Rasites UK reggae hadn't witnessed the emergence of a young band of musicians intent upon writing and playing their own material since Aswad and Steel Pulse first blazed their inernational roots trail a generation ago. Likened to Musical Youth by some and Morgan Heritage by others, Rasites are already being hailed as future stars, and not without good reason.
The story begun during the heats of a talent competition held at the Hackney Empire (East London), when Jahmel was fifteen and Otis only thirteen. They were the only live band taking part and after performing "Africa" in the final, won the first prize of a trip to Jamaica to perform at Reggae Sunsplash. Hugh Francis of Jet Star recognised the band's potential from the moment they took the stage, and promptly arranged for an audition on their return, which they passed with flying colours.
Born and raised in North and East London, where as small youths, they would play and chant alongside the elders, all the while absorbing the knowledge of their spiritual and ancestral heritage. They eventually formed Rasites. After signing to Jet Star in 1999, they begun writing songs for their debut album with experienced producer Danny Ray at the control, whose personal track record encompasses several major hits recorded as a singer in his own right, as well as production credits with many other leading Jamaican artists.
The band has since performed at major concerts at home and in Europe, including Brighton's Essential Festival in July 2000. They are currently in the recording studio putting the finishing touch to their debut album entitled "Urban Regeneration". Rasites career has only just begun and it seems just a matter of time before the wider public will catch sight of their compelling stage presence, contemporary breadth of expression and youth-tip enthusiasm that blazes from every track that sets them apart from any you may have expierenced before.