The dancehall music trend has been a staple of the world’s music for some time now, influencing many artist’s riddims, deejay’s mashups, and dancer’s choreography across the globe. The hypnotizing beats and in your face lyrics pretty much forces the listener to dance and wine their bodies. However, there is one unique dancehall singer that has the capability to trigger another type of feeling, fear – or fearlessness depending on how you look at his music.
Reggae fusion dancehall artist, Tommy Lee Sparta, was born Leroy Russell on November 4th, 1987 in the Flankers community of Montego Bay, Jamaica. His controversial and almost “horror-core” music can easily send chills down your spine, with his gothic take on the dancehall sound. This, paired with twisted visuals, can make your skin crawl with fright. Sparta’s spooky style makes him the perfect dancehall artist to highlight on this eve of Halloween.
Sparta’s bad boy edge brought in his early fans, as well as Jamaica’s very own bad man, Vybz Kartel; who invited Sparta to be a part of the Gaza crew in 2010. While under Kartel’s label, Sparta established a steady fan base and quickly gained notoriety with his first hit “Warn Dem.” Sparta then followed with “Some Bwoy,” which received international success despite the recent fall of Kartel’s empire. This earned Sparta a number one spot on the Jamaican music charts in 2012.
With Kartel in prison, Sparta severed ties with the Portmore gang and started his own record label, Guzu Musiq in 2013. This continued his path of perfecting the dark persona, continuing to perfect the goth-dancehall mash up. He’s produced numerous tracks and music videos, crafting an alter ego, Uncle Demon. Sparta’s music gained more attention when the popular video game “Grand Theft Auto 5” featured his song “Psycho” on the Blue Ark FM radio hosted by the great Lee Scratch Perry. Among other accomplishments, earlier this year Sparta released a Michael Jackson “Thriller” influenced song and video titled “Lucifer,” and just this month he premiered a video for his latest track “Dolla Bill.”
Have a look back at two of Tommy Lee Sparta’s creepy music videos “Shook” and “Lucifer” here on KingstontoLA to help you get in the Halloween mood.
Photos courtesy of Tommy Lee Sparta’s Facebook and Instagram