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Monyaka

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Biography

This six-piece, Jamaican-born reggae act, based in Brooklyn, New York, USA, was led by guitarist/vocalist Errol Moore. At the time of their hit in 1983 other group members included Beres Barnet (guitar/vocals), Paul Henton (bass/vocals), Richard Bertram (drums, percussion), William Brown and John Allen (keyboards). Formed in 1974 as the Soul Supersonics, they backed visiting reggae stars and released their first single, ‘Rocking Time’, in 1977. They followed this with Classical Roots, both records being released in the USA on their Hevyaka label. Under the new name Monyaka (Swahili for ‘good luck’), they recorded ‘Stand Up Strong’ in 1982. A year later, with just three original members left, they had a UK Top 20 hit with ‘Go Deh Yaka’ (patois for ‘go to the top’), which cleverly fused reggae and contemporary R&B. The follow-up, ‘Reggae-matic Funk’, failed to sustain the interest and this unique band joined the ranks of reggae one-hit-wonders.

Formed:

1974 in New York, NY

Genre
Years Active:

'70s