London-based Reggae Artist Scratchylus has enjoyed chart topping success with “Our Story.” He told our friends at Black History Month about growing up in the capital and his sources of inspiration.
Firstly, can you tell me who is Scratchylus?
Scratchylus is an artist who uses WORDS, SOUNDS and POWER to create awareness of corruption and injustices and to enlighten and uplift.
You started making music in the late 1990s. What inspired you to get into the music industry?
My earliest memories of music were listening to my mum playing reggae classics on a Sunday while making breakfast. Since then I have been hooked on Dennis Brown, John Holt, Bob Marley and Ken Boothe.
You grew up in North London, what was it like?
I was very blessed to grow up in a very vibrant Reggae community with lots of love and care.
Who most inspired you as a teenager?
Who inspires you musically?
All the legendary Artists including Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Ken Boothe, The Legendary Alton Ellis Sugar Minott, Garnet Silk, Sizzla Kalonji, Fredlocks, Also, Inna de Yard Earl Chinna Smith and Kiddus I, Jhamela, Congos, Kush and Caveman and the Crew.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
When the world has a perfect overstanding of each other and each thing that exists in the world. Then we can co exist in harmony.
Where did “Our Story” come from and where did you get the inspiration from?
The inspiration came from not hearing the other side of the story. In other words I was only taught half the story in school, college and university. Despite asking my teachers on numerous occasions I ended up going to the libraries after school and doing my own research with the help of a beautiful overstanding librarian. (Reading is very important).
“Our Story” actually came to my mind while I was performing as a soldier in the Crimean War (Mary Secoe) in ‘The Black Heroes Hall Of Fame’ Theatre (play) tour of the U.K in 2010.
“Our Story” has been chosen as the official Black History Month song this year. Any message to our readers?
It is in my humble opinion, a perfect balance in one’s life is to know His-tory and Our Story. The reason being for educational purposes it will give a child the confidence to develop researching skills make the child inquisitive and ask the question why? And keep asking the question why? It will also help create awareness and confidence and in turn help free children from insecurities because ignorance breeds fear.
Empress Reggae is a perfect example of a child that can flourish when the educational enviroment is right. As an eight year-old she has never attended school. Her mother and father taught her with also the help of some beautiful librarians. Empress Reggae has already graced many radio stations, many stage shows in London and Jamaica, and two theatres with her articulate overstanding of “Our Story”.
Scratchylus gives thanks to his royal and loyal supporters from all around the world.
The original version of this article can be found on Black History Month.