Sometimes music is like your high school chemistry set. You take this element, this sound, this feel, and put them in a beaker, watching the elements combine to work their magic. So, if you took Lee Scratch Perry and Boyz 2 Men, then made a music group, it would be No-Maddz. Sheldon “Sheppie” Shepherd, Everaldo “Evie” Creary, Christopher “Birdheye” Gordon, O’Neil “Honey P” Peart and Christoph er “Uppie” Downer are five multi-talented Jamaican men with a penchant for dub poetry. The group creates music that reads like a Miss Lou poem, laced with onomatopoeia’s and unforgettable swag. The Kingston College alumni banded together to form a sound that stays true to their rich, Jamaican roots. They’re known for their signature, animated live performances which resonate with the crowd, as if they’re performing a dramatic monologue (both Shepherd and Creary are also actors); taking you on a lyrical journey with vivid images of romance, political and social activism, then mixing this with intoxicating melodies as your spirit-guide.
No-Maddz formed their groundbreaking group 16 years ago and has continued to build on their strengths. Throughout their career, the group acknowledges, their greatest accomplishment is the opportunity to work with Puma on a 2011 campaign with Usain Bolt; making the iTunes Reggae charts is another highlight of their journey.
They recently joined forces with legendary Reggae production duo, Sly and Robbie. Sly and Robbie have been well known for their work with Beenie Man, Peter Tosh, The Mighty Diamonds and more. This collaboration has built fresh sounding singles such as “Romance” and “Shotta”. The collaboration has brought Sly and Robbie’s eclectic mix of roots reggae, and joined it with the No–Maddz’ undeniable and unique dub poetry stylings.
There’s something about the No-Maddz that is incomparable to any music group that has ever come out of Jamaica. Reminiscent of, and highly influenced by Black Uhuru, Curtis Mayfield, and Marvin Gaye, along with their distinct R&B style, the group’s songs are like a melodic caress of emotions. Not to be taken lightly, the group also addresses real life issues faced in Jamaica, and the world.
If you’re on the West Coast, you might have caught them live at The Dub Club, Echoplex, or the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. You can expect a second album from these prolific fellas, and look out for another tour announcement soon.
Despite the confines of the music industry, these dudes are adamantly sticking to their own style and making sure their message is heard.
Check out the video for their recent single “Romance” :
Photos courtesy of @nomaddzja