They say a picture paints a thousand words, well this “picture” captures some of the finest foundation Reggae artists to come out of Birmingham, responsible for helping to shape the sounds of UK Reggae. It comes in the form of a mural, placed high for all to see on the walls in Handsworth Park.
Over a period of months, the mural was lovingly and beautifully painted by Bunny James who rose to the occasion to create the artwork as part of the park’s Simmer Down festival. In connection with the Black Heritage Walks Network and UCAN Birmingham.
Inspired by the Greensleeves Record Label of its day, Bunny also wove in a timeline of images and symbols, which chronicled the beginnings of the Caribbean musical journey and flight through the Windrush generation. This includes the UK uprisings and desire for justice, the culture of record shops and clubs in Birmingham, as well as the presence of sound systems and their impact on the Reggae music scene.
Sitting high is our very own “Lovers of The Rock” Gospel Reggae artist Annette Bee, who recorded her musical debut, aged 15. Since then, this Lovers Rock style singer has journeyed through the industry until 2001 when God tapped on her heart and called her to be a Lover of The Rock which is Jesus Christ. This multi-gifted woman of God has gone on to utilize all forms of media through her Gospel Xplosion Ministry, delivering God’s word, and sowing seeds into the lives of others.
Well done and congratulations to the artists listed as well as to all involved. Encouraging the next generation of reggae artists to come through, keeping the genre relevant and forever trending worldwide.