Discover Entertainers In The UK Who Originally Are Of Jamaican Ethnicities.
It is not surprising that the United Kingdom has a variety of musical acts with Jamaican descents given the country’s wide population of people from different nationalities, cultures, and ethnic groups. In reality, data indicate that a whopping 14.6% of the population in the United Kingdom is made up of people who identify as multiethnic.
The UK contains many citizens of rather varied ancestries, just like any other multicolored country in the globe; this may be due to the high pace of immigration that has been observed in the UK for more than a century.
A good amount of black people from other parts of the world have at one point or the other had a relative, friend or acquaintance who has either visited the UK, plan on visiting or, already resides in the United Kingdom. As we know, Jamaica has a huge influence in the United Kingdom especially within the people of colour.
Jamaican lingos have been integrated into British Drill and Grime music, as well as the typical method of communication among black people in the UK. People of various origins and nationalities have long constituted a sizable proportion of individuals considered to be among Britain’s movers and shakers.
In today’s Britain, people from Jamaica, Nigeria, the Gambia, Ghana, Cape Verde, and countless more nations have given birth to people who have had a significant impact in a variety of fields, including music, finance, art, technology, and sports.
With that being stated, we’ll be delving into a list of UK music acts with Jamaican ethnicities, who the public probably aren’t aware of.
Born on the 9th of October 1984 in Plaistow Newham, Justin Clarke known professionally as Ghetts kickstarted his music career as a member of a grime collective NASTY Crew. His first solo album titled ‘2000 & Life‘ was released in 2005. Clarke has gone on to bag multiple awards including a nod at the just concluded 2021 MOBO awards for Best Male Act.
Ghetts has more than 100 songs to his credit during his career and has collaborated with notable artists including Ed Sheeran, one of the top-selling singers in the world right now, Skepta, and Stormzy.
Many people are unaware of his Caribbean background, as he is originally from Grenada and Jamaica, despite the levels of success he has gained.
2. Stefflon Don
Unarguably one of the most successful female Dancehall/Hip-hop music acts emerging from the UK in recent years, the 30 year old beauty has gone on to make a remarkable name for herself.
Born Stephanie Victoria Allen on the 14th day of December 1991, Stefflon Don rose to fame after her 2017 single “Hurtin Me” featuring French Montana peaked at number 7 on UK Singles Chart. In 2016, she further released her debut mixtape ‘Real Ting‘ followed by another mixtape, ‘Secure‘, in 2018.
She has seven siblings, and one of her siblings is the rapper Dutchavelli.
Stefflon Don, who reportedly has Trinidadian and Jamaican ancestry, began writing songs at the age of nine. In 2017 and 2018, she won the MOBO Award for Best Female Act and the NME Award for Best New Act, respectively.
The Grime veteran, professionally known as Giggs, is a British rapper and songwriter from Peckham, London, who was born Nathaniel Thompson. “Walk in da Park,” his debut studio album, was released in 2008 and released a follow-up album “Let Em Ave It” the following year. He won the 2008 BET Award for Best U.K Act, beating out popular favorites Dizzee Rascal and Chipmunk.
The highly celebrated rapper has had a number of remarkable collaborations throughout his career, including working with Hip-hop superstar Drake in 2017.
Raised by Jamaican parents, Giggs use to be a DJ in Peckham, predominately playing reggae, ragga and bashment. He also had his own radio station called “Spare No One FM”.
Born Kane Brett Robinson, Kano is a British rapper, songwriter and actor from East Ham, London. A significant contributor to grime music, Kano is widely considered one of the pioneers of grime music and culture.
He joined the East London-based, N.A.S.T.Y. Crew (Natural Artistic Sounds Touching You), whose original line-up consisted of himself, Marcus Nasty, Jammer, D Double E, Ghetts, Demon, Stormin, Mak 10, Monkstar, Sharky Major, Armour, and Hyper.
Kano, whose parents are from Jamaica, attended Langdon Secondary School. By the age of 13, Robinson had already played for Chelsea, West Ham United, and Norwich City as a promising young footballer. However, Robinson ultimately decided against pursuing a career in sports in favor of a musical one.
5. Fka Twigs
Tahliah Debrett Barnett, known professionally as FKA Twigs was born on January 16, 1988 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. She is an edgy-styled entertainer who doubles as an actress and composer.
The half-Jamaican 34-year-old is a Gloucestershire native. Her mother, a Spanish-English salsa dancer, pushed her to pursue ballet and opera studies as she grew up surrounded by farms.
Her latest release “Caprisongs “ mixtape, has been described as her best project yet.
She is a multi-talented dancer, singer, and composer who also serves as an actress. She co-starred in the 2019 Hollywood film “Honey Boy” with her ex-boyfriend, American actor Shia LeBeouf.
Having been in the game for 14 years now, Jahmaal Noel Fyffe known professionally as Chip(Formerly Chipmunk) can be referred to as a young Grime veteran. He started rapping at the very tender age of 13 after getting inspired by grime legends like Wiley and Dizzee Rascal.
Chip’s parents are Jamaican immigrants who relocated to the United Kingdom in the 80’s prior to his birth.
Chip was nominated for best newcomer at the MOBO Awards in 2008, winning two awards at the ceremony that year for Best UK Newcomer and Best Hip-Hop act.
He has collaborated with superstars like Chris Brown, TI, Mavado , Burna Boy ,Wiley and more renown music heavyweights.
7. Wretch 32
Jermaine Sinclaire Scott, better known by his stage name Wretch 32, is a British rapper, singer and songwriter from London’s Tiverton Estate projects in Tottenham, North London.
He was a member of the grime collective Combination Chain Gang, before forming The Movement with Scorcher, Ghetts, and Mercston. He started gaining success as a solo artiste in 2007/2008.
He earned his first Top 10 charting single with the release of “Traktor” in 2011. His second studio album, Black And White, followed in mid-2011 preceded by two singles, the Stone Roses-sampling “Unorthodox” and the U.K. number one single “Don’t Go“. Wretch 32 is considered to be a Grime icon, having enjoyed a career spanning almost two decades.
His mother was from Jamaica, where “wretch” meant slim or skinny. She called him Wretch as a child, and the name stuck. 32 is his lucky number which is what inspired his stage name.
8. Jorja Smith
She’s got the looks, vocals and amazing records to show for it. Jorja Alice Smith known professionally as simply as Jorja Smith, is a British RnB/Pop songstress born in Walsall, West Midlands on 11 June 1997 to a Jamaican father who worked as a Benefits Officer and an English mother.
Jorja Smith‘s career is such an enviable one, at 24 years of age she has worked with global superstars like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Popcaan, Burna Boy and Stormzy. Smith has bagged a countless number of award nominations, while also scoring lots of prestigious award wins, this includes Brit Awards, AIM Independent Music Awards and UK Music Awards.
9. D Double E
Darren Dixon, was born on the 19th day of January 1980 and goes by the stage name D Double E. He is a British grime MC, DJ and record producer from Forest Gate, East London.
He performs both as a solo artist and as a member of the grime duo Newham Generals.
D Double E has been active for over 20 years, beginning his career in jungle and UK garage music, this makes him highly revered as one of Grime music’s original pioneers.
In the mid-1990s, he was a DJ and went by the name DJ Dan. D Double was at the time in a crew called Bass Inject, alongside Terror Danjah and DJ Tempo. He is originally of Jamaican ethnicity and was also a member of the early grime collective N.A.S.T.Y Crew, until leaving after a dispute in 2004.
10. Krept and Konan
Krept & Konan is a British Hip-hop duo from south London, consisting of Casyo Valentine Johnson and Karl Dominic Wilson, who were both born on the 3rd of September 1989 and 4th of February 1990 respectively.
The duo Krept & Konan otherwise known as “Play Dirty” are two very talented artists who are highly sought after by British music lovers, the duo are famed for exhibiting crazy metaphoric punchlines and have enjoyed a good runs in the music scene, thanks to great songs like the monster 2015 hit “Freak Of The Week” which peaked at number 9 on the UK.
Top Ten Music Charts and featured American music sensation Jeremih, and their 2019 hit “G Love“ featuring Nigerian superstar Wizkid. Krept is from Norwood, and Konan is from Thornton Heath.
Both artistes are of Jamaican ethnicities with Konan being the son of Delroy Wilson otherwise known as ‘Jamaica’s first child star’.
The UK music scene has been graced with countless number of amazing musical acts with Jamaican ethnicities who have enjoyed excellent careers over the years. Other notable mentions not discussed in this article include Dutchavelli, M1llions, Nines, Swarmz, RV, Young T and a bunch of other upcoming acts.
The graciousness of Jamaica is continually felt in and beyond the United Kingdom, with descendants of the legendary island nation flourishing within all walks of life.