Few living Jamaican have had a more profound influence on popular music than Manley Augustus Buchanan, a man more familiarly known to the world as Big Youth. In the early seventies he led the way for a number of raw, talented young djs to challenge such established performers as U Roy and Dennis Alcapone, and in doing so proved instrumental in forever changing the face of Jamaican music.
By the mid-seventies, Big Youth was widely regarded as one Jamaica’s biggest stars and it was a position he maintained until the arrival of the digital age in the mid-eightes. The changes in style and attitudes this brought resulted in his disillusionment with music and over the years since, his unique talent has infrequently been expressed in the recording studio.
Big Youth’s outstanding contribution to the development of reggae is today widely acknowledged by music historians, while his influence can still be clearly heard on countless recordings by a whole new generation of djs, with elements of his style echoed in the music of modern day rap and dancehall.