Haji Mike

Haji Mike

BandWorldReggae

Spoken word poet - defiant and original

Biography

Haji Mike started out at a DJ at Essex University spinning reggae and soul in the late 1970's at parties and on the local campus radio URE. He became one of the most in demand DJ’s playing at concerts for the legendary Misty In Roots, Osibisa, Clint Eastwood & General Saint and organized regular events with a group of like minded people who formed RAS – The Reggae Appreciation Society. After completing two degrees he moved back to London and started another, a PhD, in Cultural Studies. His passion for music developed hand in hand with studying. Initially experimenting in a couple of bands and then going solo in 1990. Haji Mike also established himself as a freelance music journalist, working for magazines such as HipHop Connection, Straight No Chaser, Reggae Report USA and various others. He interviewed many dancehall, roots reggae, world music and jazz artists. A lot of these interactions increased his knowledge of the music industry, who to talk to and how to approach them.

In 1990 his first single ‘As’Ta’ was released on an unsuspecting London Reggae loving and Cypriot public. 500 white labels were pressed and within 2 months Haji Mike, much to his bank manager’s surprise had broken even. Being in the right place at the right time, Haji Mike found himself talking to TV Producer Jenny Cathcart, who included him on BBC TV’s ‘Rhythms of The World”. This led to a collaboration with innovative music producer Simon Booth (Working Week, Afro Celt Sound System, Baaba Maal ). Simon took Haji Mike in a new direction with his next single ‘Mousiki’ a Cypriot version of ‘Murder She Wrote’. The song was widely appreciated for its respect to the reggae genre, and even in 2006 some 14 years after its release hit top the top twenty in SoundClick.com’s reggae chart (out of a total of 6,212 songs)

Haji Mike made more singles and grew steadily in popularity through several live radio sessions for Andy Kershaw and John Peel (RiP). Also in 1992/3 back in his home of origin things took off in a massive way. During that year he made 12 trips to Cyprus and topped local charts with two songs that changed his whole musical career - ‘Stavroulla’ and ‘Vragaman’. Following this he returned to Cyprus, produced weekly radio and TV music shows, and toured extensively, including Ireland, South Africa, Germany, Greece and USA. Haji Mike Music Productions was also established, as a continuation of his work on Kebab Kulture Music.

People far and wide acknowledge Haji Mike for his intellect, witt and musical innovation. He still remains a unique recording artist, one of a kind in reggae, Cyprus and the world of music.

His latest release 'The StoryMan' drops May 1st 2006 and is already getting some rave reviews and airplay. Several songs from this CD have entered the charts at www.soundclick.com with 'The Drum' topping the Poetry Chart for two whole weeks in April.

Discography

Various 12” singles 1990 –1993 ‘As’Ta Narkotika’, ‘Mousiki’ ‘Stavroulla’ ‘Vragaman’ & ‘Chakaramak’ (Kebab Kulture Music).

Toured UK 1990-94, including WOMAD, Jazz Café, Ronnie Scott’s and Brixton Academy.

Featured artist on debut LP by Izit ‘The Whole Affair’ on tune ‘Sugar & Spice’ Tongue & Groove Records 1992.

Appeared on BBC TV's ‘Rhythmns of the World’ featured on John Peel & Andy Kershaw with several live sessions.

Released 3 solo CDLP’s to date, ‘Haji Mike on the Mike’ KKM 1994 & ‘Aphrodite’s Dream’ HMP 1997 AND 'The Storyman' 2006.

Also 1 Compilation released with Dirry Harri (aka Harri Kakoulli – ex-Squeeze bass player) called 'Haji Mike meets Dirty Harri Vol 1' (Axion/Greece).

Featured artist LP by Hmiskoubria ‘2030’ (DefJam/Universal/Greece) on tune ‘Hmiz & The Haji’. Will also be on their summer 2006 CD on MINOS/EMI

Founding member of Olive Tree Music, an independent community based music label funded by UN in Cyprus. 2003.

Founding member of Poetz4Peace music and poetry group – released CDLP, 2003.

Executive producer ‘Cyprus Thing Vol 1’ double CD – Olive Tree Music, 2004.

Published poetry in Anthologies by ‘Apples & Snakes’ Poetry Collective (UK) and ‘Vira Vira (UCFA – Cyprus).

Summer 2004, tour as part of Poetz4Peace, west coast USA – including The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.

Negotiated publishing and distribution contracts on behalf of Olive Tree Music with IDC (Independent Distribution Collective), IODA (Independent Online Digital Alliance) and Corsair Media, Los Angeles, USA.

Media Director, Cyprus Splash Concert, featuring Blue, Big Brovaz, & Javeen July 2005.

Executive Producer CD single ‘Music Is Joy’ on behalf of Olive Tree Music with support from UNDP.

Executive Producer CD single ‘Safe Sex – Just Do It’ on behalf of RUBSI with support from UNDP as part of World International AIDS Day.

Completed 3rd solo LP ‘The StoryMan’ due for release in 2006 – produced by Stand Out Selector, Tony Matthew and Haji Mike. Recorded in San Francisco, Athens, London and Nicosia.

Worked on several radio and TV stations in Cyprus 1992 - present – including Radio Broto, Sigma TV, CyBC 2 & Radio Napa. Podcast Consultant and full time Assistant Professor at The University of Nicosia.

Currently working on new material with DOn V Louie of Spill The Milk Productions, London

Set List

Varies according to nature of the event