If there is one thing that has remained constant in the life of Owen Knibbs, it is his passionate love affair with music.
One could say it was inevitable that he would fall in love as his mother initiated him through the many parties she hosted in her backyard. Growing up in Mount Salem, Montego Bay with his three sisters and nine brothers there was no time for boredom, not with Mama Granty's music to entertain!
His love and appreciation for music was finally put to the test in 1974 when he got his first taste of the stage. He gave a powerful rendition of Tinga Stewart's winning festival song 'Play Di Music' and at that moment he found his calling after hearing the mad applause.
From then on Knibbs never missed an opportunity to showcase his talent whether at church concerts, community shows or at school events.
It is said that birds of a feather flock together and that proved true when Knibbs met Martin Reid while attending St James High. With both sharing the same passion for music, they started performing as the duo Ista and Billy Dread.
Knibbs got a chance to showcase his talent on a bigger level when his classmate brother promoted a dance with several top named artistes, including Sister Nancy and Early B.
Knowing every performance count, Knibbs put his all in it. It resulted in him earning Early B's respect. Early B was so impressed with his Knibbs talent he tried to get permission to take him to Kingston.
His mother would have none of it, but that didn't stop Knibbs from performing in and around St James until in 1982 when fortune again smiled on him.
A school friend, Leon, heard the cassette playing with himself, Early B and Bruck Back and thought it sounded good. He made a copy and took it back to Kingston with a promise to send back for him.
A few months later Knibbs was finally in Kingston - in Havanna, Arnett Gardens. It was there he met artistes such as Eek-A-Mouse and Squidley Ranks, along with influential promoters and producers whose networking saw him linking with Barrington Levy among others.
Things never worked out the way Knibbs had hope so he return to St James. That experience set the foundation for some of the other breaks that would come later.
After completing school, the more mature and even more determined, Knibbs returned to Kingston in 1985.
Two years later Knibbs hit the jackpot through his first and only single produced by his friend Virgo at Aquarius Studio in Half-Way Tree, entitled "Juggler". He penned the song while in school with the inspiration coming from the struggles of poor people around him.
Juggler proved more prophetic than he knew as others tried to 'Juggle' from his and Virgo's creative work. This resulted in him and Virgo throwing in the towel and walking away from the recording scene.
Knibbs migrated in the early 90s and although he discontinued recording, he kept in touch with the music through shows promotions and sound systems, until one night he played his own recording 'Juggler' and Jah Mikey asked him who sang it. When he realized it was Knibbs' own recording, he encouraged him to go back in the studio.
Knibbs, however, ignored the request, but Jah Mikey persisted. Intending to go in the studio and prove to him that he didn't â€œhave it" anymore, he recorded a song, but as fate would have it, the song turned out great and people liked it.
The result, he is now working with several production labels such as Dygon, Hi Dawg, Hazematic, Interrupt and Lambsbread, who he has rerecorded Juggler for.
After recording and putting out songs and videos on YouTube and Soundcloud, he caught the attention of Jamwax Records out of France, a vinyl distributor that specialize in rare and hard to find music.
After 29 years, they wanted to re-press the Juggler and make it available to buyers as it was still enjoying purchasing powers from music lovers, a fact which had Knibbs in shock.
Since it released in late 2015, he is finally starting to see his journey on the move again. He recorded 'Juggler' in dup-plate style for sounds in Japan and Europe. He has also released his seven-track EP titled 'Last Call' and it is now available on digital outlets including iTunes.
In august, he released his 14 tracks album titled "Keep The Faith", it is available on all major digital platform.
Enjoy the album now on Dream Sound Media ! https://dream-sound.com/owen_knibbs_keep_the_faith
Full PressKit: https://dream-sound.com/presskit/OwenKnibbs.pdf