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From my earliest days I knew I was a Man of Destiny. I knew that Yah had a deeper calling for I than I playing ' in the fields with my brothering an ' sisteren. An' the call was to lift my people upon the mountain with Yah music an’ to lift our spirits from disharmony in the Valley of Dry Bones towards One Love in the Realm of Yehovah.

Childhood in the Southern Cotton Fields

I was born one of eleven brothering and sisteren on a small plantation in Mississippi. My parents were Afro' American-Native American, my father a sharecropper and my mother was a healer practicing root medicine and she was a Christian. Through her eyes I learned the stories of the Bible and the ways of the Path of Righteousness.

I began working in the fields when I was about six. For a few years my dad let me go to Nigertown School, in the winter months, when there was little work to do on the plantation, I probably got a year of primary school in all. In fact, my school was in the fields. When I was fifteen, me and my cousin, who was also a child farm worker, ran away from the slavery of the plantation (I think few in the North realize that even in the 5O's and 60's "slavery" still really existed in the South.).
Emergence of a Drummer

I came to San Francisco in the -early 70's and found myself in North Beach at that historical time when Afro Cuban music was booming. Inspired, I began to play and joined musicians such as Armando Para, Francisco Aguabella, and Santana. With these teachers I soon became known as a Master in Cuban Drumming.

 

Ras Otis "ObeyYah" White
MyCallin'

 

Turning to Jah and to Reggae

In the mid 70's Reggae came into my life through a Jamaican Brother name Rashon. He showed me this new flavor of music, and revealed its messages and its Rastafarian Culture. Reggae won me over when he told me its guiding message: "People must be Free and Chant down the Walls of Babylon". This music vibrated with my work life, with my coming out of the slavery of the South. When I listened to Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Bunny Waiter singing songs like "Africa Must Be Free, delivering the message that Black African People must wake up and take charge of their destinies, I realized these songs were opening up doors that would never again close!

Evolution of a New Musical Style, "Mississippi Delta Reggae"

During the 8O's and early 90's I began songwriting and I see now that I was developing my own individual style.

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USA - Obeyjah - (503)771-2158

email - obeyjah@yahoo.com

Planeta Roots Produções Artísticas - Tel 41-30774972 - 41-9992-7795

www.planetaroots.com.br

 

 

I call it "skank, skank" for the rhythm is Reggae, and my lyrics, which are really poetry, are inspired by the messages of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and by Yah, and the messages of the Bible.
But my music, and especially my singing, is also influenced by the music of my boyhood: the Blues, Soul, and Gospel and by such renowned gospel singers as Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Jimmy Reed. Some listeners and critics call my music "Mississippi Delta Reggae", "Gospel Reggae" or "Reggae Soul", for they say it
Combines, the rhythm and messages of Reggae with the earthy multi pitched gospel voice of the American South, sliding from deep bass to the highest falsettos.

Birth of Obeyjah Roots Reggae Band

Back in California in 1995-961 formed my own band and this was the birth of Obeyjah ("Obeyjah" is to obey God). I developed a repertoire that was all my music. And for the first time after 25 years as a musician-a percussionist and drummer, I began to sing, and I became the lead singer of my band!

“To Jamaica to Record "Let Yah Rise"

In December "97 I went to Jamaica, and to Trench town in Kingston and at Bob and Rita Marley's Tuff Gong Studio I recorded my first CD " Let Yah Yah Rise" with some of Jamaica's most renown musicians to back me up.
So now I am ready to do Yah work, to heal up the people through the divine messages, rhythm an' joy of music an' dance!

Yah, Rastafari!

 

 


Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey

Peace&Unity

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Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie