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Toots & The Maytals Sign to BMG-Backed Trojan Jamaica

Musician-producers? Zak Starkey and Sharna "Sshh" Liguzjust launched their Trojan Jamaica label this summer, but they've already signed one of the pioneers of the reggae movement: Toots and the Maytals.

The signing announced today (Oct. 10) is a full-circle moment for Starkey and Liguz, who grew up enamored by Toots & the Maytals' sound. Frontman Toots Hibbert is largely credited with writing the first song to use the term “reggae” with 1968’s “Do The Reggay,” and he has also penned classics like ''Bam Bam," "Pressure Drop," "Monkey Man," "Funky Kingston," ''Sweet And Dandy" and "54-46 Was My Number."

The act will release an album in 2020, with Starkey and English producer Youth (U2Paul McCartney) serving as co-producers.


“In early 2014, we were so deeply into Toots & The Maytals that we traveled to Jamaica hoping to find Toots," Starkey and Liguz shared in a release. "Luckily, after asking around, we found him playing an acoustic show in Kingston as a warmup for his world tour. It was a great show and we got to meet afterwards. Our friendship and admiration for the creator of ‘reggae’ has continued to this day and it is an honor to be a part of this album of brand new Toots songs.”

Adds Hibbert: “It feels great to be recording my brand new songs for the latest Toots & The Maytals album with the new Trojan Jamaica label. We are very in sync and making a great record. I look forward to a long musical friendship with Zak and Sshh.”

In July, Trojan Jamaica released its first offering: Compilation album Red, Gold, Green & Blue, featuring Toots & The Maytals' cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Man Of The World." The label — which aims to bring new, Jamaican-made music to the world — is distributed and funded by BMG.