By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir
Introducing Oba Simba, born in December 1971 in Heartease parish, St Thomas. He grew up in Allman Town in central Kingston and attended Trench Town High School where his excellent performances made him a star appearing on several concerts and stage shows.
Oba is the quintessentially quiet warrior, with a subtle confidence which projects the fact that nothing can derail him and he radiates an easy musical authority void of even the slightest hint of arrogance.
There are a few men who could have survived the life experiences which he has encountered with not only resilience and determination, but also incredible grace. He is undaunted by a tragedy which left him physically challenged, which would have broken another man and this shows Oba isn’t just any man. While working on a survey boat IN 2007, he was involved in a terrible accident which slashed his left foot, permanently injuring him.
The injury sheared off his left instep and foot, excluding him from the music business for some years, leaving him with the need for special orthopedic shoes which enable him to walk “It’s life’s experiences which shape who we are; this whole thing taught me an important lesson, it showed me I can overcome anything. I just firm myself up and continue life’s journey,” he shared.
The name Oba Simba is an amalgamated word which means King of the Lions. Oba is a Yoruba word which means “King” and Simba is Swahili for “Lion.” The artiste officially changed his name to Oba Simba a few years ago, effectively eliminating what he referred to as “his Babylon tag.”
The VOICE of the people….
Oba Simba’s crisp, clear vocals, coupled with his well-penned, thought provoking lyrics make him a messenger within an industry which has become absorbed with ‘bling’ and trigger-pulling. He has returned to the music business with a bouncy single called “Shape of the Century,” a feel-good romantic ballad which reminds us of the gentler, more mellow days of reggae music. “My music is music any reggae lover can rock to and makes a woman feel good about herself, without being offensive as I sing about her assets and attributes,“ is his own review of his creation. The video is a favorite among both on television and online.
Oba Simba first tasted the flavour of success with the single “The Herb” on the Sugar Riddim followed by “Whistling Bird” on the Je T’aime riddim, which then led to the Whistling Bird EP put out by Special Delivery Music. He has been featured in several releases including “Cellblock Link Up Vol 1” featuring Oba Simba, Buju Banton and Anthony B. He was asked to cover “Crazy Ballheads” for a tribute to Bob Marley’s album produced by Alain Nkossi Konda called “A Timeless Vibration.”
Another single “She’s Hot” featuring Buppy is a sound track in the movie “Whitney” directed by Angela Bassett. In 2014 he released an album called “This Is The Moment” with El Siervo, a rapper from Spain.
He also appeared on the Irie Ites, Yard Art Music and Goldcup Records label with tunes such as “Man a Warrior,” “Love Anatomy” and “One Slide” respectively, all based in Europe. His two most recent releases, “Into My World ” on the Conselecta Label in Germany and “Blessings On Me” on the Sunvibes Record out of Jamaica and the US are receiving raving reviews on the reggae scene.
Oba Simba thrilled the audience during the MIDEM Music Conference 2007 in France sharing a stage with musical heavyweights such as Shaggy, Etana, Tessanne Chin, Daville and more. Another of his career highlights was In 2009, when he was a finalist in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commissions annual Festival contest and awarded most discipline artiste.
He has performed on several shows such as Fully Loaded, Spice in the Hills, Jamaica Vibes, Wickie Wackie, Jamnesia, Yenkassa and more!
HEALING MANKIND THROUGH MUSIC IS OBA SIMBA’S MISSION.