Jamaican reggae soul Lee "Scratch" Perry, reggae pioneer soars at 85
Legendary Jamaican singer and music producer Lee "Scratch" Perry has passed away at the age of 85. Bob Marley producer Lee "Scratch" Perry died in hospital in Lucea, northwest Jamaica, have reported local media.
Perry is known for his pioneering dub experiences, which revolutionized not only reggae, but also hip hop, dance and other genres. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid tribute to an “unforgettable” Perry on Twitter, hailing his “exceptional contribution” to music.
Perry was born in rural Jamaica in 1936 and moved to the capital Kingston in the early 1960s. He made a name for himself in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s as a cutting edge music producer by revolutionary artists.
In a 1984 interview with NME magazine, he said: “My father worked on the road, my mother in the fields. We were very poor. I went to school… I didn't learn anything at all. Everything I have learned has been transmitted to me by nature. "
He started his musical career in the 1950s as an assistant in a reggae music label, before evolving to become a recording artist with the same label.
Over the next seven decades, Perry worked with a number of music legends, including Bob Marley and the Beastie Boys.
He also won a Grammy in 2002, was nominated four more times - in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2014 - and received a Jamaican national honor, the Order of Distinction.
In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Keith Richards described Perry as “the Salvador Dali of music”.
“It's a mystery. The world is his instrument. Just listen, ”Richards said. “More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the soul of the artist”.
Mike D of the Beastie Boys paid tribute to Perry on Instagram with photos of their time working together.
“We send as much love and respect as we can to Lee Perry who passed away today, his family and loved ones, and the many people he influenced through his pioneering spirit and work. Wrote Mike D.
“We are truly grateful that they inspired us, to have worked and collaborated with this true legend. Let's listen to all his powerful albums as a tribute ”.
If Bob Marley was the face and voice of reggae, Lee “Scratch” Perry was its soul.
He was an imposing figure despite his small stature and eccentric appearance, but his influence was far deeper than most reggae fans realize. Much like Nile Rodgers, he was the producer and the mastermind behind many songs that are better known and sung by other people.
And it was his spirit that took Marley's band - The Wailers - from a rocksteady trio et ska to a much more bass-fueled political and spiritual group, a process later accelerated by Chris Blackwell.
Shamanist and still stoned, “Scratch” nonetheless had a remarkable work ethic. He fell out with many of his collaborators, including Studio One big boss Coxsone Dodd, and even with the Wailers, although he and Marley later reconciled.
But coming to the pinnacle of his art in the late 1960s and 1970s in Jamaica, he was a charismatic engineer and catalyst for the group of artists who produced much of the best music of the 20th century. .