Courtesy MPR & Consulting
Musical artisan would be more befitting title to describe Ras Haile Malekot. An humble rhapsodist armed with profound music and prolific lyrics, Ras Haile Malekot possesses a distinctively voice at the forefront of the reggae, roots and culture movement. His socially-conscious messages and poetic story telling abilities embody the true testament of musical enlightenment.
Produced by Conquering Lion Records, Ras Haile Malekot’s latest musical offering was inspirited by H.I.M Hailse Selassie, hence the title “HAIL H.I.M” and is available now on iTunes.
“The single Hail H.I.M came about as an inspiration from H.I.M Haile Selassie I, the music itself and how it speaks with it’s different melody which brings about a certain fullness. Being a son of His Majesty meditating upon the King naturally through the musical inclination, the musical overtones, we get the message as it comes and we present it to the I as the I is so High, higher than I an I as King of Kings and Lord of Lords His Majesty Rules over All.” – Ras Malekot
RAS HAILE MALEKOT
Poet, cultural activist, craftsman; fractions of a truly wholesome talent and human being, Ras Haile Malekot epitomizes true artistry in various forms, using his experiences and abilities to tell stories that educate as well as entertain.
Born Dave Anthony Marsh on September 13, 1964 in the Kingston based Victoria Jubilee Hospital, he grew up in St. Ann with his parent, focusing highly on excelling in school while attending York Castle High School in Brown’s Town. He wasn’t only making waves in the classroom, but on the football field and tennis court, where he was often found during after-school hours.
While attending Excelsior High School, he was intrigued by the dub poetry scene, particularly by legendary wordsmith, Mutabaruka, whose classic effort, Naw Give Up made him pay attention to the art form. However, tragedy was the source that motivated Marsh to become a poet in his own right following the fatal stoning of dub poet, Michael Smith in August 1981 in Stony Hill, St. Andrew.
He knew that in order to connect with audiences physically, Smith knew he had to connect spiritually to H.I.M to truly live and breathe the messages he would deliver. In April 1982, Smith was blessed with the spiritual name, Ras Haile Malekot when he officially became a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
From there, his journey has truly evolved into one filled with enlightenment; words, sounds and power emanating from his veins with relative ease. Dub poetry fforts such as Reparation, Coronation and Drums of Africa are perfect indications of these qualities coming to life in its truest form, while his appearance in the critically-acclaimed movie, Rise Up helps us to truly understand this mystical figure inside and out. In addition to that, he works as a part-time craftsman, operating out of Black Lion Cultural Centre on 84 Gordon Town Rd., where he creates the most unique items from woolen yarn, showing that his hands create just as much magic as his words.