Winta James

I grew up between Saint Thomas in Eastern Jamaica, and Clarendon, where my dad is from. I started learning to play piano, and when I graduated high school I started playing in hotels on the North Coast. I got my first tour when I was 18 years old in a band called Ruption Kru, with friends from high school: Jubba White, who is the drummer for Dubtonic Kru; Veron Dinnall, who plays bass with Alpha Blondy; and Rohan Gordon on guitar. We were backing artists such as Mighty Diamonds, Leonard Dillon from the Ethiopians, and Winston Jarrett. Then I was in bands for Junior Kelly, Bushman, Pierpoljak and Anthony B.

I got a call from Damian in 2007, on the recommendation of Lamar “Riff Raff” Brown. I went into the studio and jammed with Gong for about a week, just making music, and I got offered the job to join his band. I started Overstand Entertainment in 2004, but I didn’t think anything was ready to be released until the Rootsman Riddim.

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