Sheffield’s musical heritage is a long and varied one. From rock to Britpop to strange stuff on synthesisers it has left something of an imprint on the national consciousness.
However, reggae is one form of music that doesn’t spring immediately to mind when you think of steel city.
Not that there is no scene, it has just tended to stay underground.
But for one man changing continents has led to a new lease of life, both personally and rhythmically.
Jahfa Culture has long been one of this city’s prime exponents of the style, starting off in his teens as a drummer before moving upfront and working with musicians and soundsystems across the country. Among his sporadic releases in the late 1980s Jahfa teamed up with the city’s Mighty Mosiah Warrior band to release a superb single called I’m Gonna Make Sure, a slice of lovers’ rock of the sort that could have been a hit if it been picked up by national radio.
And when it came to finding true love Jahfa did have to make sure, as it involved uprooting himself to another continent and leaving his Sheffield background behind. Luckily, the place he ended up is rather pleasant – Florida no less, where he and his now wife Karen make sweet music together.
The couple originally met through the internet a couple of years ago but it only took them a few months to realise that they were hooked on each other and following Jahfa’s visit to see her in the US he made the decision to move over there
As well as changes in his personal life this meant moving his business across the Atlantic.
Almost ten years ago in Sheffield he founded Freestyle Vocals, which has offered training in many styles of singing to over 2,000 people.
Although much of his work is still UK-based, the internet isn’t only useful for finding the love of your life, and he can now supply lessons on the web. As well as teaching he is now back on the recording scene and after moving to the US, he was contacted by the UK-based Righteous Works, a new label designed to release ‘the best in roots reggae, dub and lovers rock’ and asked if he fancied joining their ranks. The result is the recently-released and rather fine 12’’ single Revelation Time, produced by label boss Crucial Steve in London after Jahfa had supplied him with the lyrics from his Tampa Bay base. Jahfa is currently working with various producers in Europe and the US. You can order Revelation Time through www.righteousworks.co.uk or find out more from the man himself by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org