The 60th Earthstrong Brunch Celebration for Mafia

by Jul 28, 2022News

Leroy Mafia 60th Birthday Brunch
Leroy Mafia, half of the UK’s foremost riddim section and production team Mafia & Fluxy, turns 60 on Wednesday 10th August 2022. The North London Heywood brothers, Leroy ‘Mafia’ & Dave ‘Fluxy’ form the mainstay of reggae music production in the UK and around the world.

“It was 1977”, Mafia says, “It all started when I was 15. I loved reggae music, it was the time of the big sound systems, I just had to be around the music, I must have shown promise then, as my mother bought me a £5 guitar which I got off through a school friend”. Mafia, inspired by producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, was confident, telling a school band that used to play in music lessons, “I’m going to be a big producer one day!”. Needless to say they all laughed. Mafia’s older brother, Dingle, encouraged the band to practice and they did whenever they could.

Meanwhile, younger brother Fluxy loved the playing on the turntables of his uncle Ivan with the Wizard HiFi sound system. When the drummer, Chris, got called away to play for a band, Mafia told Fluxy. “Well, looks like you you have to learn this drumming ‘ting now!” And for a while Fluxy’s home made kit of a stereo speaker box for a snare drum, a bicycle lamp for a hi-hat and a odd shape microphone for a kick drum held the beat for them.

In the mid ’70s, they formed a reggae band named Instigators. The line-up consisted of Mafia & Fluxy on drum and bass, their elder brother Dingle Heywood on rhythm guitar, Tony Cooper – who’s now called Skully – on keyboards, Toyin Adekale on lead vocals, Conway Keeler on lead guitar, and Oliver Robinson on percussion. After sound system owner Fatman had released the Instigators’ 1977 debut single “Let’s Make Love”, which became an instant hit, songstress Toyin Adekale left the band and the lead vocals went over to male singer Courtney Bartley. Leroy Mafia also performed as solo singer and in 1991 released his debut album titled “Finders Keepers” on the Mafia & Fluxy label, later followed by “Back 4 Good” (Cou$ins, 1997) and “Beware” (Gussie P, 2002). Since Mafia, together with his brother Fluxy, entered music business he’s been producing, backing artists on stage, creating riddims, remixing, and doing solo projects, establishing himself as a strong force in reggae music.

The 60th Earthstrong Brunch Celebration for Mafia takes place on Wednesday 10th August 2022 at Ma Petite Jamaica, 4 Inverness St, Camden, NW London.

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