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Simpleton

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Biography

b. Christopher Harrison, c.1975, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. He was raised on the outskirts of Kingston in the Papine region of Lower St. Andrews. Harrison was influenced by locally based artists including Brigadier Jerry, Sister Nancy, Chaka Demus, Major Mackerel, Roundhead, Colin Roach and Anthony Malvo. By his own admission, he initially mumbled on the mic at the dance, chatting nervously while he intently studied his feet. Whereas others may have stumbled at this stage, he turned this imperfection into a contrived DJ routine. It has also been wrongly suggested that he did not face the crowd because of his forked teeth, in spite of his performance under the guise of Dracula when appearing on the sound systems. In 1990 Ninjaman enjoyed a hit with ‘Heartical Don’, and performing as Dracula, Harrison changed the lyrics and the title to ‘Simpleton’. Encouraged by the audience response and by the success of Capleton, Harrison adopted Simpleton as his stage name. The change of moniker led to a debut recording session with Colin Fat for the bogle-inspired ‘Coca Cola Bottle Shape’, which proved an instant hit in the dance and reggae charts worldwide. As is often the case in Jamaica, his success resulted in him being recruited by a number of producers to voice rhythms, including Junior Reid, Steely And Clevie, Bobby Digital, Stone Love and Black Scorpio. In 1993 Simpleton returned to international acclaim with the release of the risqué ‘Sperm Rod’, produced by Chris Goldfinga, and the popular hits ‘Action Speaks Louder Than Words’, ‘Stay Pon Guard’ and ‘Need A Little Magic In Your Life’. An encounter with his neighbourhood friend Anthony Malvo resulted in Simpleton’s biggest hit to date, ‘Quarter To Twelve’, which proved to be the top-selling independent reggae single of 1995. As an avid fan of cowboy movies, he illustrated the parallels between Kingston’s street violence and film westerns. The success of the tune led to responses from a number of other DJs, including Ninjaman, to which Simpleton replied with ‘Nah Watch Nah Clock’. The tune was another smash hit, resulting in the strident ‘Sick Under Rastaman Treatment’ for Bulby York, ‘Pants Buckle’ and ‘Sweat A Bust’ for Must Bust, ‘Spot It’ for Stingray, ‘The Gal Dem’ for Robert Livingstone, ‘Miss Hottie Hottie’ for Jack Scorpio and a combination with Spanner Banner, ‘Rock On’.
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