Emiliyah and the MightyZ All Stars performed at the Vocool Easter Showcase 2014.
In 2007 Stuart ‘MightyZ’ Inglis released a solo dub album after 18 months of work. Mighty Dub was only ever released as a limited edition on MightyZ’s Bass 2 label, but it was the start of something. On the strength of the album, MightyZwas offered a gig at the Global Village Peace Gathering, a festival in Lincolnshire.
The MightyZ All Stars were formed to play that gig and have now been running since 2007, making them the Portsmouth area’s longest serving Reggae band. At the beginning of 2012, the band was performing dub sets following the sad death of their former singer, local legend Charlie Massiah. It was then that MightyZ’s prayers for a new singer were answered in no uncertain terms. Emiliyah, a Polish singer with an incredible voicewas looking for a new Reggae band and so the union was made.
Emiliyah and MightyZconnected on Facebook (where MightyZ first discovered Emiliyah’s work) on January 20th 2012 and within two monthsEmiliyah was gigging with the All Stars and wowing the audiences in Portsmouth and London.
Since then the band has supported Reggae legend Big Youth as well as headlining at both The Havant Multicultural Festival and the legendary Hobbit Pub’s Annual All Day Beach party event in Southampton. The band operates a semi live format with about 4 to 5 live players for smaller venues, up to a fully live 7 piece outfit for larger venues and festivals.
The band is currently working on an EP for Bass 1 Records as well as producing an album called ‘Belief’ which is to be released on their own label. Belief is a wholly appropriate title for the album, as it encapsulates the belief that the songwriting trio of Emiliyah, Christian and MightyZ have shown in the music and each other to make the album become a reality. It also ties in with the spiritual approach MightyZ and Emiliyah have to the music. We want to spread positive vibrations and spiritual awareness through the music; hence the motto: Spreading Love Through Music – In Reggae We Pray
Emiliyah – she has a voice, a simply unforgettable voice. In fact, it would be fairer to say she has many voices. Everything from soft soul and jazz styles to full blown operatic power, she has it all. You simply cannot fail to be impressed when you hear her sing and she has taken to the Reggae style like a fish to water. Her energy and enthusiasm will also inspire you as it has done for the MightyZ All Stars band. Emiliyah, although relatively new to Reggae singing in the UK, has already appeared with top names such as Frankie Paul, Vivian Jones, Tradition, Peter Hunningdale, Dennis Bovell and worked with producers like Top Cat,
Starkey Banton and Kenny Knots.
Stuart ‘MightyZ’ Inglis – switched from guitar to Bass in the late 70s after discovering Dub Reggae and has never looked back and been a total bass head since! MightyZ co founded Portsmouth’s first Reggae band ‘Sound System’ at the beginning of the 1980s. Sound System supported some of the great acts of the 1980s, including Winston Reedy and Talisman. Recently Stuart has worked on recordings for famous names such as Susan Cadogan, Vivian Jones and Winston Francis.
Christian Cowlin – brings a wealth of professional Reggae experience to the band, having played keyboards for the The Wailers and The Original Wailers. Christian learnt his art under the guidance of none other than Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett! He has also worked with many other Reggae legends, such as Junior Marvin, Dennis Bovell, Aswad and UB40. Christian forms the main songwriting partnership in the band with Stuart and Emiliyah.
Tim Daniels – The band’s live sound man. Tim is the guru of sound with experience ranging from the smallest pub to the largest stadiums. Quite simply, if Tim is there, it will sound great. When not with the All Stars, Tim also does front of house sound for bands such as Aswad, as well as controlling the sound each year for the Panto at the King’s Theatre in Southsea.
Simon Cunningham – Brings a wealth of drumming experience and finally bought real drums to the band after years of reliance on electronic drums. Simon is also something of a wizard with electronics and there just isn’t anything he doesn’t know about microphones.
Benedict Hayden-Davies – Laid back and modest about his many talents, Benedict just keeps surprising us. He plays the guitar, of course, but also the melodica, trumpet and a few other instruments apparently, as well as being something of a painter!
Bri Cotter – Bri quietly gets on with duties on the guitar, bit of a ska punk man and wondering how he came to be playing in a Reggae band, but loving every minute of it at the same time. Don’t be fooled by that quiet exterior though, still waters run deep they say!
Sy Dixon – Cheerful and charismatic, Sy the percussionist adds a smile to the band, as well as expert percussion. Sy is a classically trained percussionist with a bag full of tricks (and percussion instruments); he always knows just what is required for each tune.