Lushy Banton has been bringing his electrifying mix of dancehall music and sing/rap style of innovative performance to audiences for over two decades. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Lushy grew up entrenched in musical influence, whether the sounds of Michael Jackson or the dancehalls that his father promoted throughout the Grants Pen area. These early introductions exposed him to not just Reggae and the behind-the-scenes aspects, but also live performance techniques from some of the region’s top acts. With such examples, he spent his youth perfecting his chatting craft and putting in intense workouts on the mic. Having easy access to one of Kingston’s finest sound systems, the renowned Stereo One, based in his native Grants Pen area, his practicing helped him hone a unique stage presence and vocal recording prowess.
Building a name off his riveting style, Lushy’s presence began to grow within the community as a rising star. Such word-of-mouth exposure led to producers courting him, until he landed in a studio with well-respected Reggae producer Striker Lee. From the collabo came Lushy’s early track, ‘Gal Uno Sweet,’ on the compilation album entitled “Bam Bam” (released in England). While recording for other producers, he continued enhancing his own lyric writing and performance, until landing on notable labels such as the legendary Stone Love Records and indie Adex Records. While with Adex, he commuted between his native Jamaica and Los Angeles, eventually settling in New Jersey.
When his music moved toward heavy Reggae rotation, Lushy successfully began charting with hits such as “Brown Eye Girl”, “Oh No” (with Wyclef Jean), “Mate Hear Say,” “Think Me Done,” “So Much Trouble” (sampled with Bob Marley) and “Exercise”. Besides Wyclef, he has also worked with other major talents such as Junior Reed. These landmark singles solidly placed Lushy Banton into the lexicon of dancehall performance masters. Since arriving in the US in his early 20’s, he has grown in both his music as well as a sense of maturity—as seen in his lyricisms on current socio-political subjects. States Lushy about his new direction, “I write now more about what I’m surrounded by. Songs to help wake up the youth and I say to them—you need tenacity and to believe in yourself. If you tell yourself you can do it, chances are you can. I attribute that to my longevity so far. Not letting anybody tell me I can’t make it. I’ve proven wrong anybody that every said that. So go hard or go home.”
After working with other labels he formed his own in 2008, Watsitnot Entertainment, and sits at the helm of fresh projects that are galvanizing the world. In honor of the unprecedented US presidential election campaign, Lushy launched his most acclaimed track, “Obama” with an accompanying video—taking both radio and TV by storm. The timing further cemented Lushy in the worldview and garnered numerous accolades such as a 2009 nomination for Best Obama Song in the very prestigious IRAWMA (International Reggae & World Music Awards) in New York.
Focusing this motivating mindset on the world community, he delivered a compelling look at a controversial subject, immigration, in his single ‘The Undocumented/Message”. Following on the heels of the heavily aired song is another hot button topic-turned-to-music, “Black Lives Matter,” whose thought-provoking lyrics deliver just the message youth need. ITunes (and all other retail sellers of music) keep the release before a growing audience of fans with both the single and a forthcoming video set for YouTube, joining a lineup of other Banton hits. Lushy has, since his first forays into the industry as early as 1990, never missed a beat with live performance opportunities leading to tours and events such as the annual Festival of Life in Chicago. As he finishes touches on what may be a subsequent album release, he is a busy entrepreneur running a successful business, WBJ Taxes with his wife in East Orange, NJ. His compelling messages about contemporary issues resonate with the heart and mind—not to mention give you the rhythm and show he is most acclaimed for. Meanwhile, Lushy Banton’s music continues to bring meaning and message to those trying to get the groove of life today.