Growing up in the Twelve Tribes gave him the opportunity to learn from some of the best reggae talents in New Zealand, including vocalist Che Fu, selector Oblex Brown, and his father, the legendary Mighty Asterix. Israel says, ‘music is in my blood and I can’t deny it’.
Israel Starr has stamped his mark on the reggae and dancehall scenes, joining forces up with Art Official (Newtown Sound), to form a killer deejay/MC team that is taking the country by storm. Alongside Newtown Sound he has released, ‘Foundation’, a tribute to the pioneers of the New Zealand reggae scene, and ‘Speak’, a call for people to wake up and stand up for what they believe in’. He also performs a fresh live set with The Newtown Sound band. As well as making waves with his recent work with Iron Will.
He has also spearheaded NICEUP TV, a project promoting the people building bass culture in New Zealand and around the world.
Israel says, ‘With an abundance of talented musicians and producers in NZ it is difficult to make a top ten list of any type. But here are my top ten picks for New Zealand reggae/hip hop producers. Although a lot of these producers are also musicians in some of New Zeland’ss leading reggae groups, they have still managed to make a name for themselves as producers, offering their riddims and beats to artist here and internationally.
Having been responsible for some of the best productions being made in New Zealand, no doubt you will have heard their sounds and maybe not even known it. For being able to be diverse and creative with a variety of genres while producing a quality outcome, these producers have made it onto my list (in no particular order).
1. DJ Art (Newtown Sound)
2. Tiopira McDowell (High Stakes Records)
3. DJ Iron Will (Riddim Central)
4. Te Omeka Judah (House of Shem Productions)
5. Messenjah (Reality Chant)
6. Dub Terminator (Soul Island)
7. DJ Doughboy (Doughboyfunk)
8. Chong Nee (Foundation)
9. Rio (Sounz of Zion)
10. Zane Sorenson Graham (Aio)