Artist of the Week: Sizzla Kalonji

Sizzla Kalonji

Miguel Orlando Collins or Sizzla Kalonji as he is popularly known was born on April 17, 1976 in Kingston, Jamaica and is considered by many to be one of the greatest Reggae icons of all time; not only regarding commercial success but also critical appeal and praise. Sizzla is not only a man who sits in the booth and records a few songs to get a hype or make some money, he strongly believes in every word he writes as a devoted Rasta man. Unlike many in this era who wear the locks as a form of fashion or to get noticed in the ever competitive music industry the I was born into a rasta home and has advocated and strongly defended to teachings of Leonard Howell, Marcus Garvey and His Majesty Haile Selassie.

Sizzla like his parents is a Bobo Ashanti rasta who partakes in the use of herb and study teaching of progressive thought, conservative moral values and promotes  a belief of pride in the African lineage as he has seen where the problem of lack of love of self is ruining Jamaicans poor and impoverished as their self worth they feel is compounded by their appearance with emphasis placed on colour. This is a problem which affects the women more than men as the are convinced that many men prefer women of lighter hue aka “browning”. So they bleach as they feel they will gain the affection of men who might not have noticed them otherwise. Seeing this Sizzla in 1993 at the height o f the music obsession with the “browning”. The amazing and heartfelt album “Black Woman and Child”.

Black Woman and Child

After the release of the album Sizzla continually explored Reggae and the ever more popular Dancehall and would continue to pour out album after album (more than 65 solo albums to date). This ferocious work atitude would make the artist revered and admired by his musical peers. He was also a trend setter laying extensive ground work in the fusing of Dancehall/Reggae/Ragamuffin music which many though were far to opposite because of varying topics and sounds to ever come together. Sizzla work continued way past the 90s into the 2000s and along with many classic came the release of another amazing album “Da Real Thing” released in 2002 which was listed on Complex Magazines “The 100 Best Albums of The Complex Decade” at number 32.

Da Real Thing

The amazing tribute to mothers around the world was featured on the work “Thank You Mama”

However Sizzla as well as several other Jamaican entertainers have been branded homophobic due to the lyrics in their songs. The homophobic logo has not stopped the artist from voicing his views on the issue as he feels he should be able to make his opinions be known without the fear of percussion or seeming hate from Anti-Hate groups. In response he remains defiant that he will not change his views to suite the ruling interest has he said they have historically been the most cruel to  gays any way and regardless of lyrics he has never engaged in any physical assault against homosexuals.

Now Kalonji runs his own record label in August Town, Kingston; Kalonji Records and is the founder of Judgement Yard a place where young inner city youths and musicians go for life and career guidance.

Sizzla Kalonji


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