Kareem Shabazz and the Ryddim Kings recently played at the Rythms Of The World festival. The Band including Leroy Green on the Drums, Terrie Bassie on Bass, Marley on the Roots Rock Guitar, Carl Greenidge on the Rhythm Guitar, Amaziah Rose and Temi Morrigan Cicero-Grant on backing vocals and Zeb on Keyboards put on a first class performance.
Kareem has what it takes - looks, charisma, song writing abilities and a voice that slips with stylistic ease from Al Green like textures to echoes of Curtis Mayfield/Marvin Gaye. His music is forward looking, socially conscious, street smart soul, reggae, and dance.
When it comes to music the Ryddim Kings are serious. They write their own lyrics and melodies without the benefit of formal musical training, but they know that song craft is the name of the game.
Kareem’s pedigree speaks for itself working with Nu Vizion, Mike Patto, and world renowned DJ/Producer Mauro Ferrucci, of Airplane Records, Kareem and Mauro linked up and got into the dance groove. Kareem had underground dance successes with Mauro ‘Free at Last’ and with Andrea T. Mendoza v S. Tibet ‘Seven Seconds’. Kareem then went on to feature on Italian celebrity TV presenter and DJ Tommy Vee’s and DJ/Producer Andrea T Mendoza’s 2007 smash hit ‘Lovely’.
Kareem Shabazz and Danny Losito of Double Dee fame then went on to create a writing partnership with Gianluca Mosole the jazz impresario (‘Train to Nowhere’) which lead to the fusion that became D’Other. With DJ/Producer Mauro Ferrucci they have produced some spectacular tracks as the band D’Other, such as ‘Reaching for the Stars’, ‘In My Life’ and ‘Men Cry Too’ which, according to Tommy Vee is a timeless soul classic. Kareem and Danny Losito went on to form ‘Bad Connection’ with their first single ‘Just Be Thankful’ being picked up by the musical entrepreneur Jamie Lewis of the prestigious Purple Music label.
Kareem has worked with Alfred Azzetto at Rule Five and written and sung on some spectacular dance collaborations ‘I Love Mukiz’ with Walterino, ‘Watching You’ with DJ Bee and Mastercris, ‘Where's the Party?’ with DJ Fopp, and released ‘It's All About You, with the Fever Brothers and The Soul Creative.
As the story goes; Kareem was recharging his batteries back home in Jamaica at Mommy's and by chance a good friend, Lego Douglas, was in Kingston at his world renowned Lego Studios so they linked up and there began an incredible journey. The planets must have been aligned that day because musicians such as Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Flabba Holt and Chinna Smith, to name but a few, were all available. They made an old school recording with all the musicians in the studio playing in real time and an album was made there and then!
Kareem has collaborated with Derek Demondo of Twinkle Brothers fame and they were set to impose their new project on the British reggae scene with the first tune ‘Live It Again’ released May 2013 followed by ‘Wasting Time’ which both will appear on the Nu Lovers 2 Damsels and Crooners Volume 2 album.
2014 has been a very busy year for Kareem. Not only working on ‘Smile’ and the Ryddim Kings’ album he has also been working on new collaborations. Kareem has been writing and collaborating with the Producer Neville Noyan and will soon be releasing ‘Dirty Dancing’ an old school ‘rub off the wallpaper’ style song. . ‘No Pain, No Gain’, riding on a Marley rhythm, with Philip Gadd at Gadd59 Studios is receiving widespread acclaim. The RJR Radio DJ Mikey Notch has reviewed it…
“No Pain No Gain.... this track - the minute that drum licks you recognise exactly what the tune is and if you are a music connoisseur you will be shocked out of your skin to hear that sweet, sweet flavour of Kareem Shabazz’s voice filtering through. (" I thought it was Bob Marley!") Now you have got the audience captured. .The sheer pleasure of an old school riddim balances nicely with the new blood artists. The topic of this song is exactly what people want to hear about in music and believe me; if its not love they wanna hear about, its certainly a song with a message, more so something they can relate to and you have given them a bonus - there is also a catchy melody!!!!
WOW is all I can say, and personally we are half way through 2014 already, and its gonna take one serious song to topple this off my verdict…. this is my song of 2014....full marks...5 out of 5, 10 out of 10...whichever suits you best....”
Following on from No Pain No Gain comes another collaboration with Philip Gadd at Gadd59 Studios - a catchy classic 'Its Kind Of Groovy (Love Is Love)'. It really is groovy!!!
He also manages to fit in weekly house music writing sessions with Danny Losito for Airplane Records a US/Italian dance label. They have just released a new track ‘Life Goes On’ with Tommy Vee featuring Danny Losito and Kareem Shabazz. To date it has 50,000 hits on YouTube and reached number 5 in the MTV European Chart.
The Boom Boom Rooms, which is an exclusive, industry event where those connected with the UK reggae scene can get together and have listening sessions to promote UK reggae music. This includes musicians, producers, DJs, management and PR.
Kareem’s musical appreciation has flourished in all directions, in style, maturity and commercial viability. Kareem is doing what he does best; just getting in the groove.