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Artist of the day: Badda Skat

23

July

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The St. Pete performer also known as Badda Skat (a.k.a. Aaron Ugosmith) may be a 29-year-old white man with no Jamaican bloodlines, but geography and heredity didn’t get in the way of him becoming a Rastafarian and dreadlocked reggae artist.

Born and raised in Tampa, Badda Skat performs socially conscious reggae tunes that pulsate with a hypnotic dub backbeat. He composes his lyrics with a Jamaican patois and performs them with the verbal agility of a Kingston native.

These accomplishments have been recognized by local reggae-world beat musicians and his cred as a Rasta performer hasn’t been called into question. Said Mugabe Tenn of Tribal Style: “Badda Skat’s true to his beliefs and one of the humblest dudes I ever worked with, and I always love to share the stage with him anytime.”

Check out Badda Skat Saturday at the Less Oil, More Beer oil spill benefit, alongside artists like Auto!Automatic!! , Elysium and Grex. It's at 8:30 p.m. at Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. Below, check out the track he recorded about the oil spill, Crudie Rudie.

LISTEN - Badda Skat, 'Crudie Rudie'

After the jump, check out Julie Garisto's full profile of Badda Skat...

 

The baddest cat: The St. Pete performer also known as Aaron Ugosmith may be a 29-year-old white man with no Jamaican bloodlines, but geography and heredity didn’t get in the way of him becoming a Rastafarian and dreadlocked reggae artist. Born and raised in Tampa, Badda Skat performs socially conscious reggae tunes that pulsate with a hypnotic dub backbeat. He composes his lyrics with a Jamaican patois and performs them with the verbal agility of a Kingston native.

These accomplishments have been recognized by local reggae-world beat musicians and his cred as a Rasta performer hasn’t been called into question. Said Mugabe Tenn of Tribal Style: “Badda Skat’s true to his beliefs and one of the humblest dudes I ever worked with, and I always love to share the stage with him anytime.”

What he plays: Guitar, bass, and keyboards. “I compose electronically using drum programming, virtual keyboards and instruments,” he said.

Self-served: Badda Skat has produced two of his albums, Grass Roots and Grass Dubs, in his home studio, DubShot, and is working on a third. “With this album, I’m taking on the full production role myself,” he said. “All writing, recording, arrangement, instrumentation, overdub, mixing, and mastering is being done by me.” The new, not-as-yet-titled release will touch on a wide range of subjects, like “unnecessary war, globalization, weather modification, alien life, society vs. reality.”

The name: “Badda Skat is a patois combination of two terms. Badda means 'badder’... as in bad, badder, baddest. Not common in U.S. English, but common in Jamaica. Skat is a vocal delivery style using fast lyrics, popular in early jazz music. My style of delivery is very fast, and not many people can replicate it ... so the combination of Badda Skat fits perfectly.”

An early start: “I remember hearing reggae walking down the streets of Key West with my parents when I was about 9 years old. I was hooked from then. I tried to get as much as I could, of all different styles; dancehall, reggae, roots, dub, rocksteady, etc. Eventually I found Bob Marley, and it was in his songs that I first heard the word 'Rastafari.’ … I had been teaching myself about Rastafari since I was 9. … Rastafari is much more than just a religion: it’s a way of life, what we call a 'livity’ and takes effect on all aspects of one’s daily life.”

On-stage: “Usually, around the Tampa area, I perform with the band Tribal Style. We’ve been working together for a few years now. I have performed solo with prerecorded tracks. This Saturday at Fubar, I will have a DJ backing me and playing my tracks.”

Not just political: “The desire for happiness is what drives me daily, and I think that’s something that everybody wants in life, right? But, I also talk about things that I go though, such as being a white dreadlocked Rasta in today’s society.”

Two-wheeler: He also races fixed-gear bikes.

Hear him: With Auto!Automatic!! , Elysium, Grex and others at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Less Oil, More Beer benefit for victims of the BP disaster, Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 821-7080. baddaskat.com.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Monday, August 2, 2010 3:28pm]

    

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