b. Thomas Williams, Stuyvesant, New York, USA. The cousin of R&B/soul singer Betty Wright, Williams began his music career in 1984 as a child when he performed as Big Belly Youth for the Golden Touch sound system in New York. His stage name, a reference to his stature, was given to him by Nitty Gritty. The local production team of Ras Shaka and Knotty B recorded Williams’ debut, ‘You Say You Love Jah’, over the rhythm of the Bob Marley’s ‘Natural Mystic’. With the revival of roots and culture Ras Shaka advised the singer to change his name to Ras Shiloh. Under the new moniker he released a series of roots tunes, including ‘Time’ and ‘Jah Calling’.
In the mid-90s, having established his career in New York, Ras Shiloh relocated to Jamaica. The singer embarked on a series of recording sessions with top producers including, Donovan Germain (‘Child Of A Slave’) and Tony Rebel (‘Are You Satisfied’). With Buju Banton, Ras Shiloh performed ‘Give I Strength’, that was featured on Banton’s Inna Heights. In November 1997, the singer returned to New York where Ras Shiloh & Idrens Chants was released to critical acclaim. The stand-out tracks include ‘Virtuous Woman’, ‘Cocaine Cowboys’, and a classic combination with Shelene Thomas on ‘Caught Up In The Circle’. He embarked on a tour of the east coast with Rebel and the Flames crew followed by a tour of Europe supporting Yammie Bolo. In addition to his hectic touring schedule Ras Shiloh worked on sessions for his second album with Knotty B and Noel Alphonso (the son of Roland Alphonso). To promote Babylon You Doom he participated in New York’s Culturama festival and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and toured Florida and the west coast. Further hits ensued including, ‘Brass Gates’, ‘Child Of A Slave’ and ‘Are You Satisfied’. In 1999, the singer performed in 48 major cities of the USA, Canada and the Caribbean as well as a making a guest appearance on the Jay Leno television show in America. His third album, Listen Well, featured guest productions from artists such as Rebel, Morgan Heritage, and Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell.
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