Midwest reggae music is reaching a new frontier and SkillinJah is blazing the trail.
Skillinjah aka Baddaflexx was born Kyle Bell December 5, 1979 in Houston Texas. He was introduced to reggae music at age eleven. While attending his brothers soccer game he heard the teams theme music: which was a selection from Peter Tosh's Equal Rights album. He fell in love in the smooth vibes and pleaded with his mother to buy him the album. Within a week he had learned every song & began to learn and embrace the Jamaican culture by studying such artists as Super Cat, Beenie Man and of course, Bob Marley.
In the spring of 2000 he began performing in the underground dancehall circuit in Jamaica. He quickly became an underground sensation releasing a single on VP Records and even charting on the Jamaican charts.
A few years later he met Josh Heinrichs and soon after joined his reggae band called Jah Roots from Springfield Missouri. As a member of Jah Roots he toured the country performing for mostly Midwest audiences while also gaining a fan base stretching internationally, having released singles in France, Germany and Japan.
In February 2006, he left Jah Roots to work with New Jersey Sony Records based producer: Donahue Baker. "I flew out to Missouri to see him perform and it was an incredible experience. I realized then that he was going to be a big talent in dancehall music. It was unbelievable to see white girls in the Midwest sing along with his songs being that he's a dancehall artist" says Donahue.
In 2008 SkillinJah started the band, 45 Shootout while residing in NYC. Playing the New York club circuit the band is currently touring the east coast in between visits back and forth to Missouri to write and record again with his former Jah Roots bandmate, Josh Heinrichs.
In summer 2011 SkillinJah will release "Original SkillinJah" which was produced and arranged by John Cave, who is the guitarist for Talib Kweli and many other well known acts.
"Emergency Spliff" with former Jah Roots bandmate, Josh Heinrichs is his newest effort.