Amidst all this turmoil these areas have been a hot bed of talent, with music being the only vehicle for some, to elevate themselves. A way to find some kind of improvement in their social and economic position.
Doniki ‘s Interest in music Steadily grew throughout his early schooldays , first attending St Albans Primary ,and had increased by the time he reached Denham Town High School. Whilst at secondary school he took every opportunity to sing, and even then it was obvious to many he had a genuine talent.
After leaving school, at the age of sixteen, he undertook his first paid work within the music world. First he cut his teeth on romantic sound system and moved on to the legendary Killamanjaro set and to this day he is remembered as one of most exciting Dancehall performers of the period.
In 1982 he recorded his first song, she give me Icky for Mikey Tomlinson. Over the next few years he developed his style mentored first by Johnny Osborne, and then Bunny Wailer. By now he had been joined by Steady Ranks and they soon built a reputation as one of the most dynamic stage show acts.
The Duo then started writing and recording for Star Trail Productions .They enjoyed success with songs such as Trod On and Jump Nyahbinghi and it was here that a wider audience became aware of the singers.
They then moved onto, the Ocho Rios based, Kariang label. It was in fact Ex-Star Trail stable mate, Garnett Silk who recommended Doniki to Kariang boss Jah Mikes. This association continued for many years with the pair releasing an Album called Come To Give Praises, in 1997. They toured many parts of the world including France, Italy, Israel, Canada and the Ivory Coast. In this time Doniki wrote for Platinum selling French Artist PierPoljack which further enhanced his reputation in Europe.
As a thirst for Authentic Roots music began to grow in places like France and Germany, he had continued success with many songs including Break Free, a combination with Anthony B.
2006 saw the long awaited debut Album from Doniki entitled Radikal Expressions, produced by Kariang and licensed to French label Makkasound .It has been very well received and once again shows the singers skill at social commentary.
Doniki by now had been a Waterhouse resident for a number of years and his songs became ever more Radikal . Living up to today through many Turbulent times he has witnessed Waterhouse become a No go area for many and this has provided the subject matter for his current Jamaican single.
Gully Bank looks to have provided Doniki with his biggest Jamaican release to date. Released in July ’07 it has been receiving heavy rotation on all Jamaican Radio stations and the accompanying video has already reached number one on the RE.TV video chart. Life Of The People and Gully Bank Pt2 are also receiving major airplay, and they are all taken from the forth coming Album Gully Bank.
Gully Bank is the first of two albums the singer has now completed for Gully Bank Musik Ltd. Produced by David Scorpion, it has been getting serious attention from the few industry insiders who have been fortunate enough to hear the finished Album. Recorded entirely at Tuff Gong Studio, by Chief Engineer Roland McDermott it features many of Jamaica’s topflight musicians (see Pictures).It received the attention of just one Mixing Engineer Shane C Brown , working out of Shaggy’s Big Yard Studio and this shows with consistent quality throughout.
It is an Album which still caters for Doniki’s existing fan base that has always been on the rootsier side of the Dancehall but now places the singer right in the heart of the Dancehall. There are many songs which you quickly find yourself singing along to, where the infectious melody instantly hooks you. But this is Doniki’s real skill because underpinning all that this singer is writing lyric’s of such magnitude he is providing us with Anthems to enjoy now, but also a blueprint for the next generation of Songwriters.
Doniki is also currently producing songs for the Bay rock Label in conjunction with C E O Norman “Bobbo “Lamont. They have already released the Bay rock Riddim with Doniki joined on the riddim by Lutan Fyah , Ginjah and Ras Brando to name just a few.
What more therefore can be said of Doniki , the Singer who nurtured his talent amongst the tenement yards of Trenchtown and then refined it by the Gully Bank In Waterhouse.Well this is the artist who has been rated by the biggest set of musicians over the years as Reggae’s most underrated Artist. This is the singer that the most High profile Artists, greet with “yes mi singer “with a sincerity not always displayed nowadays. The Artist’s , Artist!
Doniki is not out to claim any title, ask him and he will simply tell you he is one of Selassie I Warrior’s fighting on the battlefield. Dennis Brown never asked to be called the Crown Prince of Reggae, nor Bob Marley to be called The Reggae King. So we will just leave it to history to decide on a Title, but there can be no doubt on this Singer’s Talent, Just take a listen to the MySpace player. No hype here.
Keep It Gully !