Prince Blanco (aka Mark Matthews) has a musical style that has been described as ‘alt-reggae’ and ‘classic reggae with attitude'. Born on the Isle Of Wight and raised in south-west London, England, he grew up heavily influenced by classic reggae music along with late-seventies punk rock and new wave. Eventually finding his way to Toronto, he involved himself in the vibrant Canadian ska scene, touring throughout the '90s as a drummer and vocalist with The Skanksters, who released the acclaimed CD, ‘Dub Cookery’ on the US-based Simmerdown label in 1997. When the group morphed into the dub-conscious Boogiewall Soundsystem collective in 2001, he stayed on and was heavily featured on their ‘Super My Own Band’ album.
Prince Blanco has had the privilege of performing shows with artists such as Michael Rose, Freddie McGregor and Jazz Jamaica. He has also sung with ‘armagideon man’ Willi Williams, ‘punky-reggae’ legend Ari Up (The Slits), legendary trombonist Vin Gordon (live in Jamaica), and has rocked the party alongside selector Jerry Dammers (The Specials). His first solo CD ‘Prince Blanco & The Rocksteady All-Stars’, a collection of reggae classics, was released in 2006. His latest CD ‘Rebel Discotheque’ was released in May 2008. He has just released the hot new single 'Don't Pressurize Me' with producer Dubmatix and continues to collaborate with DJ/producer Aram Scaram, both who perform alongside Blanco as part of Toronto's bass heavy soundsystem ‘Dub Collective'.
His music has been featured on Brinsley Forde's Lively Up Yourself and Dub Bashment as well as Don Letts' Culture Clash Radio, both on BBC 6 Radio. Blanco has also received recent radio play in Canada, Japan, France and South America.
Prince Blanco displays his cool command of classic reggae styles..." Exclaim, Canada
"Prince Blanco explores rocksteady as the missing link to lover's rock reggae..." Exclaim (Canada)
"Addictive, dancy, fun…strong rebel music for the future. I love it and so should you!" Zoe Street Howe - Paranoimia (RTI FM/Sky Channel, London UK)
"Prince Blanco's original rudeboy punk rock style is perfectly captured on his new CD." Version Xcursion(CKLN 88.1 FM, Toronto Canada)
"Prince Blanco is real ole school reggae - no guns, no bombs, no aggro - the kind of stuff we had while sporting afros!" Mad Professor (Ariwa Sounds, UK)