Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Emotional reunion for Stitchie, Ricky Stereo in Atlanta - DJs last saw each other 32 years ago at dance in Linstead

Published:Thursday | October 10, 2019 | 12:10 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Ricky Stereo (left) and Stitchie meet up in Atlanta, Georgia, after 32 years.
Ricky Stereo (left) and Stitchie meet up in Atlanta, Georgia, after 32 years.


Lt Stitchie, who made the transition from dancehall music to gospel, after a near tragic motor vehicle accident on his way to Reggae Sumfest in 1997, was overcome with emotion when he reunited with his long-time sparring partner, DJ Ricky Stereo, at the ‘Legends In Concert’ show in Atlanta, Georgia, recently. The two DJs last saw each other 32 years ago at a dance in Linstead, Jamaica.

“The reunion with my friend Ricky Stereo was beyond what words can describe,” an elated Stitchie said.

Ricky Stereo said he was almost moved to tears when he hugged Stitchie, his mentor on Stereo One Sound System in the ’80s.

“It was very, very emotional when we saw each other. It brought back a lot of great memories. We talked about Stereo One days and about what’s to come in the future. We picked up where we left off. It was like old times,” Ricky said.

I-Land Vybzz TV host and artiste manger, Kaefier ‘Special Kay’ Frith, who was in earshot when the two DJs reunited, was beaming with excitement when she spoke with The Gleaner.

“It was an emotional reunion. I shed a tear when I saw them embrace each other,” she confessed.

In the 1980s, Stitchie and Ricky Stereo were stablemates at the popular Stereo One sound system on Grants Pen Road in Kingston. In 1987, Stitchie made history when he became the first Jamaican dancehall star to be signed to a major US record label, Atlantic records, which released his debut album, The Governor. He stormed the charts with dancehall hit singles Wear Yuh Size, Natty Dread, Body Body, Nite & Day and Hot Like the Sun, among others. Since his conversion to gospel, Stitchie has released numerous songs, including his current album, Masterclass, which was submitted to the Grammy award in the reggae category.

Ricky Stereo, also known by the moniker ‘Bad Artiste,’ launched his career at age 15 at Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, where he would lyrically destroy any artiste who would trespass on the school grounds. His dominance on the mic drove fear in the hearts of other aspiring young artistes. After a two-year stint on Sound Dimension, at age 19 he was employed by Stereo One sound system, joining Jonathan Wolfman ‘The Animal Man,’ Courtney Melody and Lt Stitchie. It was here that his lyrical and DJ skills took flight, as many artistes fell prey to the venomous ink of his pen. His very first recording, TV Know All, was released in 1987 with Lt Stitchie on the Stereo One Label. Original Lover Boy, Out Of Nothing At All, Jealous Love and DJ College were the other singles which followed. Stereo has toured the UK, USA, Canada and parts of the Caribbean. After a long sojourn from recording and performing, he recently returned to the studio to record the single and video titled Heaven, along with Grudge and Clean from his upcoming, debut album, Ignite.

Speaking about his fondest memory working with Ricky on Stereo One, Stitchie said, “It was the beating that Ricky and I, along with the rest of the Stereo One Crew, gave to General Trees and Sassafras on Black Scorpio sound system and Super Cat and Ninjaman on Killamanjaro at Skateland in Half-Way Tree,” Stitchie said.