Wadadah II [Selector-DJ/Producer/Songwriter/Engineer/Radio-Host] was born in the United States of two Jamaican parents in the city of Evanston right outside of Chicago, Illinois. Wadadah from his infancy was exposed to the culture and way of life called RasTafari being already heavily rooted in Jamaican culture and customs due to his two Jamaican parents. His mother and father were heavily involved in the Chicago Rastafari community in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Growing up Wadadah had the chance to listen to a wide variety of reggae music, when he was a youth his father had a band called “Exodus” & “True Democracy” in which Wadadah’s father would bring him around to band rehearsals and various shows in which he was permitted to go. This allowed Wadadah to meet many musicians and singers at studios, venues and festivals from his youth. His mother as well was heavily involved in the Chicago Reggae music community. Wadadah’s mother and father were apart of a select group of individuals that were pioneers of Reggae music in Chicago. So from early Wadadah was able to hear ones like Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Bob Marley, Culture, Steel Pulse, Gregory Isaacs and more. He was heavily influenced by this music as a youth causing him to be different than a lot of youths he went to school with.
Wadadah is a Sound System Selector/DJ now for Black Sabbath Sound System. From the age of 7 or 8 he was exposed to sound systems such as Bodyguard, Stone Love, Kilamanjaro via cassette tapes and various Chicago sound systems. It was at this moment in life that Wadadah found a great interest in sound systems or deejaying. He also speaks of an experience he had as a youngster in Jamaica when he was in Little London, Westmorland where he heard some loud music coming from within the community. He then began to investigate and saw his first actual sound system in action and as he puts it, “It was amazing how loud it was and how the bass was so heavy!” After experiencing that Wadadah began to make cassette tapes of his own at home, using his parents record player and CD player to play his parent’s music as well as using an old headphone as a microphone while recording it in a boom box on a blank tape cassette. He used to give these tapes to his family and they encouraged him to do more. It was from then that Wadadah began to mess around with selecting/deejaying.
In High school Wadadah began to DJ/Select for his peers at school. He and his friends consciously became apart of Black Sabbath Sound, a sound his father & uncle initially started in the early 80’s late 70’s before his band Exodus. Wadadah along with Nik-Nak, Ali Kat, Napsta & Chubz were all apart of Black Sabbath Sound in High School.
It was the sound system culture that got Wadadah involved with recording and mixing initially. Wadadah desired exclusive riddims and dubplates causing him to explore various recording techniques. At this point Wadadah was introduced to Pro Tools LE and music expanded instantly for him. D.O.V.E. Muzik was then resurrected.
D.O.V.E. Muzik is a independent reggae record label which Wadadah’s father started as well and employed to publish music for his band circa 1986. The record label then went dormant in the 90’s and after the 20th century in the year 2010 Wadadah then began to use “D.O.V.E Muzik” as a label for him and his musical family. D.O.V.E. is an acronym meaning, “Development of Vital Energies.”
Ever since Wadadah has been learning the craft of audio engineering. Wadadah even attended one of Chicago’s finest Columbia College Chicago for their Audio Arts & Acoustics program. He went to school and built his own studio space to begin working out of while simultaneously resurrecting the record label his father started, D.O.V.E. Muzik. Now heading D.O.V.E. Muzik as producer and head engineer he has been exploring new realms of music production and business.
The label’s first release was by Wadadah’s father and his band called “Sentimental Girl.” The first release Wadadah did with the label was entitled “Judgement Morning” an album by performing artist/songwriter Nego Hights. D.O.V.E Muzik now has artists in which Wadadah works with in Chicago currently such as, Princess Kazayah, Ras I-Dre, Nego Hights & Ras Arcane & more.
Wadadah also is a radio host hosting his own Roots-Dub-Reggae show on Chicago’s 88.5FM WHPK called “Roots Revival Fridays” which airs every Friday from 1PM to 3PM. He has been playing music on the radio in Chicago since 2013 having the chance to interview and reason with ones like Clinton Fearon (Gladiators), Wiston ‘Electric Dread’ McAnuff, Lutan Fyah, Chronixx, Kelissa, Cali P, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Niney The Observer, The Uprising Roots, The Lambsbread, Fred Locks, Hempress Sativa, Warrior King, Turbulence the Future, Christopher Martin, Leroy Smart and more.
Wadadah over the years till now has performed in many places all over Chicago from Chicago’s staple reggae venues to various local house parties throughout the years. Chicago venues include the Wild Hare, Exedus II, Reggies Rock Club, Portage Theatre, Northshore Banquet Hall, Fiesta Cantina, Pure Bar, International Festival of Life, Haile Selassie I’s Earthstrong Celebration Festival 2012 & 2017, North Chicago Jamaican Independence Celebration Festival, JamDock [Formerly “Tropical Addiction Series on Montrose Beach], The Tree of Joliet [Mojos] and more. He has also has performed in places outside of Chicago such as the Kingston Dub Club, Inner City Dub, Dubwise Jamaica, Dubwise DC, Vinyl Thursdays, Rastafari Indigenous Village, Belmopan-Belize, Belize City-Belize, Mexico City-Mexico, Dallas-Texas, and more. All releases, mixtapes and content can be found on Wadadah’s website as well as D.O.V.E. Muzik’s website.