It’s important to keep plenty of good music around the rum shack, right? Well, be sure to check out the reggae sounds of Mishka. Friday chillout music at its best.
A few years ago while searching for new reggae records we were turned onto a Bermudian artist named Mishka. We’d heard good things about him and remembered a hit song he had in the UK in the late ’90s called “Give You All The Love.” So we bought his latest cd (back when all music was bought at stores on little pieces of plastic called compact discs) entitled “Above the Bones” and hurried home for a listen. This cd played at Rum Connection headquarters for more than a week and is still one of our favorites. This is the kind of music that makes you realize how lame your collection was before buying it.
Mishka’s path into the world of music is an interesting one. His parents literally raised him at sea on a sailboat that carried them throughout the Caribbean. His daily routine involved studying, wind surfing and discovering the music of the islands. Folk and rock were both early influences, but reggae was the genre that stuck.
Here’s more about Mishka from his website bio:
Mishka had a unique childhood and extraordinary upbringing. Born to a Bermudian father and Nova Scotian mother, he grew up on his family’s boat, sailing from island to island in the Caribbean. A child of the islands, it was almost inevitable that he’d be drawn to reggae, Rastafari, and the natural mystic that inhabits his music and his soul.
“The music I heard growing up from my parents, sisters and the places we visited gave me a lot of musical and cultural flexibility. Everything I’ve ever heard blends together in what I do. I’m a huge reggae fan but there’s folk, soul, rock and other elements in the music.” Mishka’s international outlook is a product of his nautical background. “We sailed all over the Atlantic and Caribbean,” Mishka recalls. “We visited Brazil, all the Caribbean islands, even made a cross-Atlantic trip to Portugal and England.”
Mishka was signed to Alan McGee’s Creation label in the UK in 1997. In 1999, Mishka released his first single, “Give You All the Love” which was an immediate success charting in the Top 40 in the UK and Top 10 in Japan. Mishka released his self-titled debut album later that year which received much critical acclaim in both the UK and Japan. Mishka’s second album One Tree was produced by Swedish producer Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall, James Morrison) in 2005. On his third album, Above the Bones, Mishka worked with long time Sly & Robbie guitarist, Daryl Thompson, who played for many years with Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru.
It was at this time that Mishka met actor Matthew McConaughey. The two shared a deeply rooted appreciation for reggae music and it was a natural fit for McConaughey to sign Mishka to his j.k. livin’ record label. In February of 2009, Above the Bones debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Charts and Mishka was named 2009’s Best New Artist in the singer/songwriter category by iTunes.
Mishka’s latest album, “Talk About” has had the same success and he’s even scored a sweet (and unusual) spot as an accompanying act on Kenny Chesney’s tour. Keep an eye out for him in your area this summer.
Here’s one of our favorite tracks from Above the Bones.
And here’s a live shot of Mishka at The Roxy in Hollywood. His recorded material is amazing, but he’s one of those artists that really shines on stage.
And here’s an interesting hotel room video of Mishka singing Stir It Up with a little help from Kenny Chesney, Matthew McConaughey and the crew from No Shoes Radio.
Get more of Mishka here: