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Martin Jondo

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Born in Berlin to a Korean mother and a German father, singer Martin Jondo came to reggae music thanks to a teenage interest in Rastafari culture. In 2002 he joined future German reggae star Gentleman on tour, not as a musician but as a merchandiser selling T-shirts to the fans. Eventually, Gentleman took a chance on Jondo and brought him on-stage. When Jondo delivered his original composition "Rainbow Warrior," the crowd responded so positively that Gentleman gave his merchandiser his own spot in the show for the rest of the tour. This led to Jondo appearing on the DVD Gentleman and the Far East Band Live, released in 2002. He received an offer to join Gentleman's outfit but Jondo didn't want to sing over the Jamaica-sourced riddims he was offered, preferring instead to write his own music. Producer Kraans de Lutin recognized what a skilled songwriter Jondo was, and signed him to his Homeground label. The 2005 EP Rainbow Warrior became his first release, with the single "The One" following. In 2006 the album Echo & Smoke landed, with the singles "Jah Gringo," "Are You Really Waiting," and "Clearly" (featuring Gentleman) all becoming hits in Germany, while also making an impression with the reggae faithful worldwide. By the end of the year he appeared alongside Neneh Cherry on the single "Is What It Is" by the trip-hop crew cirKus. ~ David Jeffries

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