April 2, 1966, Manchester, Jamaica – December 9, 1994, Mandeville, Jamaica
Garnet Damion Smith was a Jamaican reggae musician and Rastafarian, known for his emotive, powerful and smooth voice. During the early 1990s he was hailed as a rising talent, but his career was ended by his early death in 1994, while attempting to save his mother while his house was on fire.
His musical career began at the age of twelve, when he performed under the name Little Bimbo. During the 1980s he worked as a deejay on sound systems such as Conquering Lion, Soul Remembrance, Pepper’s Disco, Stereophonic, and Destiny Outernational (where he first met Tony Rebel). He recorded his first track in 1985, but it would be two years later before his first single, Problem Everywhere was released.
Smith turned from deejaying to singing, with a recording session at Bunny Lee’s studio with Rebel, including tracks recorded separately, as a duo, and with Anthony Selassie, and he began working under his real name.
By 1992, Silk was in Kingston in the studio with producer Bobby Digital, recording his debut album It’s Growing. Split between deeply cultural themes, spiritual songs, and romantic numbers, the album went on to become one of the best selling in Jamaica that year, and he had his first major hit single with Hey Mama Africa for the Star Trail label, which was Silk’s first international hit, and topped the reggae chart in Britain.
Garnett Silk – Everything I Got