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Central figure in NYC reggae scene, Father German, dead at 47

Published:Monday | April 13, 2020 | 12:12 AM
Father German.
Father German.

THE GLOBAL reggae community was shocked on the morning of April 2 to learn that beloved New York City (NYC)-based music impresario German Vera, or ‘Father German’, as he was better known throughout the entertainment world, passed away from a cardiac arrest due to complications from the new coronavirus. The bear-sized Brooklyn native was known for his selfless dedication to the advancement and recognition of reggae culture, and the warm spirit with which he did it. Born on September 9, 1972, at Kings County Hospital, German remained a Brooklyn resident his entire life. Also called ‘Fatha G’ by his reggae cohorts, German was a real father to his daughter, Tahiri Jahnai (Titi), and son Christopher.

An outpouring of love immediately followed the devastating news. As leading international reggae media outlets like World A Reggae and Boomshots paid their respects via moving social media posts, some key voices in the reggae industry offered their sentiments.

“A kind, compassionate soul, as well as a fierce, uncompromising defender of righteousness, Father German’s uplifting spirit brought joy and inspiration to all who were blessed to have known him. Father German worked tirelessly to uplift the reggae industry in New York City and beyond, the extent of his efforts never fully recognised. Now his works will continue on in another realm, shining a guiding light and motivating us to do our best, no matter how difficult the circumstances, because that’s what he always did. Rest well Fatha G,” Pat Meschino, Billboard journalist.

“A great man. Will truly be missed. Heartfelt condolences from Bobby Konders and Massive B family. #powerofreggae,” -– Bobby Konder, HOT 97 radio DJ/personality.

“Father German was the reason we all smiled – the reason we felt loved and believed in goodness in people. He exemplified what it meant to truly support others and love your brothers and sisters. If you had the pleasure of knowing him, it was an instant connection. He was a humble lion,” - Keisha Martin, NYC-based reggae artiste.

Power Of Reggae

Father German’s Power Of Reggae (POR) and King Lion Sound family issued an official statement detailing his vision and his legacy. The statement noted that Fatha G had vision to create a space that would provide a balance between reggae legends and artistes on the rise. “A place where the vibe of this rebel music was preserved. Out of that vision came the Den, the headquarters for the Brooklyn reggae community and a place where many creatives congregated, lending their talents to push the energy German envisioned.”

In recounting the genesis of the Power of Reggae (POR), the family explained that Knxtti Chris, an artiste German worked with while managing the reggae/rap collective Thunderlions, agreed to partner with German to form a media company that would serve as a hub for reggae artistes spanning all cultures, races, and languages. “Out of this union, German’s passion for reggae music and promotions, and Knxtti’s knowledge of technology and design, Power of Reggae was born! A motley crew of reggae lovers came on board to make this mission a movement.”

POR grew its reputation through a series of memorable live events and a Brooklyn basement radio station that regularly welcomes international superstars like Akon, Freddie McGregor, Skip Marley, Stonebwoy, Horace Andy, Carlton Livingston, Sammy Dreadlocks, Shinehead, Bugle, Bushman, Lutan Fyah, Warrior King, Lila Ike, Naomi Cowan, Kelissa, Aza Lineage, and Yaadcore, as well as countless local NYC-based artistes, to whom Fatha G’s doors were always open.

“Father German’s tireless works made POR a mainstay on the NYC reggae scene through sheer will and countless collaborations with artistes, labels, promoters and venues which included Rototom’s NYC launch, Locs Festival, BB King’s, SOBs, Sony Music Hall, VP Records, VPAL Records, and Roots Collective NYC, among others. German’s vision for POR was a unified community with a common love - reggae music! POR will preserve his legacy. The works must continue,” the statement concluded.