Skibu New Birmingham Reggae Sensation
Following the likes of Steel Pulse, UB40 and Pato Banton, comes Skibu, another reggae artiste out of the reggae city of Birmingham.
Born Gladston Foster to Jamaican Parents, Skibu honed his craft as and a singer on local sound systems. He recorded his debut single, ‘The One I Adore’ as part of of Birmingham’s Silicon Squad Sound in the late eighties, before joining the ‘Kokuma Dance Theatre Company’.
He spent nine years with the company, performing and teaching African/Caribbean dance and music. After leaving Kokuma in 1996, he relocated to London with ‘Badejo Arts Theatre Company’. Skibu later returned to Birmingham and was one of five members who helped establish the dance company ‘African Cultural Exchange’ (ACE).
Skibu joined Humal Records in 1998, and released a spate of singles including ‘Your Smile’, ‘God Almighty’, ‘It’s Not Enough’, ‘Be Ready’ and ‘Call On Me’, culminating towards the album, ‘Surround Me With Love’.
In 2001, Skibu parted from Humal Records. Skibu went on to release the single, ‘Kiss You Goodnight’ with Neo/Gospel singer Charmaine Bailey. The following year, Skibu was invited by Reggae Revolution to guest on their EP, ‘Pure Promise’, writing and singing the track, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’.
Skibu took a sabbatical from music to study for a BPhil Degree in ‘Development of Community, Play and Youth Studies’ until 2006, a natural progression towards working with young people in the inner city and trying to make a difference in their lives which he still continues. Skibu has worked with the finest reggae bands from Birmingham, ‘Gabbion Band’ comprises of former members from ‘Steel Pulse’, ‘Abelwell Foundation’, and ‘The Friendly Fire Band’. Skibu is enjoying a burgeoning reputation as a live performer and has compiled a new EP ‘It’s Been So Long’ of 4 Beautiful uplifting Songs.
‘Stop The Shooting’, ‘The Way We Were’, ‘It’s Been So Long’ and the remix of his debut single ‘The One That I Adore’.
Skibu’s promo video of the EP track ‘It’s Been So Long’, has also won an award at the 2010 Birmingham Black International Film Festival for the Best Festival Music Video.
Between performing, recording new material and working with the youths within his community, Skibu describes his music as a ‘Blessed Thing’, which he hopes will inspire all kinds of people and different cultures.
Quote: “To be successful you have to work from the heart. If I can tap into anything that can wake up other people’s vibes, then and only then will I be happy”.
“It’s the heart of the man I’m trying to reach”, says Skibu.
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