b. Owen Rowe, 1 June 1966, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Although the singer was born and raised in a tenement yard in downtown Kingston he was considered an ‘uptown performer’ as he had moved to Spanish Town by the age of nine. It was in the Spanish Town district where he first formed a valuable allegiance with Junior Kelly. At the age of 16 Rowen joined the Eagles, a group that included the King Sturgav DJ Charlie Chaplin and several siblings of reggae diva Diana King. The Eagles were unable to establish a niche in the reggae industry and Rowen decided to pursue a career in architecture. His love of music soon led to his return in the dancehall where he performed as Rolex, and in 1997 he released ‘Tell Me Teacher’, ‘Ungratefulness’ and ‘Africa Is Calling’. Disillusioned with the reggae industry Rowen decided to opt for an independent stance, and he and his younger brother Durrant set up the Ancient Mystic label. While the brothers demonstrated a commitment to the business they experienced the downfalls of going it alone and the project subsequently failed.
By the new millennium Rowen had been introduced to the UK-based Jet Star crew by Mikey D. It was while in the UK that he met Danny Ray who suggested a name change more fitting to the roots and culture market as Rolex suggested the flashy style of a ragamuffin. Through Kelly’s introduction he released, ‘Shot A Bark’ on Lloyd Charmers remake of the ‘Legalise It’ rhythm. The association also resulted in the release of ‘Bad Boys’ and his anthem ‘New Teacher’. The Jet Star connection resulted in a series of hits and Rowen’s official debut, New Teacher. The sessions for the project resulted in a series of conscientious classics including, ‘Virtuous Woman’, ‘Sleep Last Night’ and ‘Ready To Fight’. While in the UK the singer also recorded with Front Page (‘Babylon Bridge’) and the Ruff Cut Band (‘I Can See Them’). Although unusual for a reggae performer, Rowan stated that having committed himself with one label he would not record on a freelance basis. He demonstrated a conscientious attitude and having found his niche was able to maintain a high profile in the roots and culture charts.