Nigerian Musician Ras Kimono is one of the pioneers of Reggae music in Nigeria. Raskimono was once a member of the Benin-based reggae group Jastix. His bandmates included Majek Fashek and Amos McRoy Gregg. A vegetarian, Kimono is a Rastafarian in the purest form. He is a farmer, fisherman and God-fearing. His message is embraced by lovers of good, positive vibrations and his ardent followers can be found amongst lovers of all kinds of music.
Ras Kimono served a long apprenticeship on the Nigerian music circuit, experimenting with a number of styles, before making his late 80s breakthrough as a reggae singer. Together with his Massive Dread Reggae Band, Kimono released his debut album, Under Pressure, in 1989. Accompanied by the popular single, “Rum-Bar Stylee”, this revealed both a Jamaican and native African influence (the latter particularly evident in his “patois” delivery, as frequently employed by Fela Kuti to communicate with the urban underclass). His strongly polemical lyrics produced album sales of over 100,000 copies, and a fervent following for his advocacy of social change.
Raskimono was born Born in Shanty town in Nigeria, Ras Kimono was bred in the Ghetto. As a youth, he experienced oppression, brutality, hardship and inequality, factors that became a major influence on his philosophy as a man; detesting injustice, corruption, favoritism and discrimination. Ras Kimono now goes around the world, propagating unity among humankind, irrespective of color, creed, religion, race or geographical boundaries.
Released by Polygram International in 1988, Kimono’s debut album, UNDER PRESSURE, won the Gold Disc Award. The follow-up, WHAT’S GWAN clearly surpassed the first with Platinum Disk. That album swept all major music awards in Nigeria including:
-Reggae Artist of the Year Award
-Song of the Year Award
-Album of the Year Award
-Artist of the Year Award
Very solidly, Kimono has moved from height to height, balancing high record sales with outstanding impressive stage performances. He has taken his message out of Nigeria onto the world by playing major concerts in the United States, England, Italy, Kenya, Ghana and Papua New Guinea where his Benson and Hedges stadium concerts attracted a record average of 45,000 people per concert. He is an all round performer who handles the guiter and saxophone. He has also emerged as a powerful composer, arranger and vocalist. He has developed his own style of root reggae music that skillfully blends his African roots with classical Jamaican rhythm. Ras Kimono has performed with Top Reggae artist such as Shaggy, Shaba Ranks, Lee Perry, Lucky Dube, Culture, Inna Circle, Steve Wonder, Eve and K.C. and JoJo and a host of other international artists.
In the United States, where he is presently based, Kimono has performed in reputable clubs such as New York’s Tramps, SOBs and MONDO Festival at the Central Park. He has also played at the Equator (Chicago) , Carabana (Houston), Masquerade (Atlanta) and in various clubs in St. Louis.
Elsewhere, he performed at the PANAFEST in Ghana, URTNA in Kenya, ROTOTOM Reggae Sunsplash in Italy and Golden Tones and Raggae Sunsplash (Lagos and Kano, Nigeria)
Kimono has six albums to his credit.