Mikey Spice: The Forgotten Treasure of Reggae

Written by: Taneika Thomas

Known most popularly for his remake of Barry White’s “Practice What You Preach”, Michael Theophilus Johnson, most popularly known as Mikey Spice, is the “one man band” of reggae music. Born in Kingston Jamaica in 1965, this multi-instrumentalist started his musical career while singing in his father’s church from as early as seven (7) years old. By age 13, Mikey Spice was proficient on the guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, piano, saxophone, flute, harp, and clarinet. Today he is competent in 22 instruments.

The 90s was undoubtedly the peak of Mikey Spice’s musical career and could be said to be his most influential time in reggae music. Mikey Spice was rocking the industry with hits such as his debut, “Happiness” in 1995 and “Harder Than Before” in 1997. Before Mikey Spice started recording music, he was gaining attention through his work with various bands and his voice was many times compared to that of the American  Singer, songwriter, and actor Lou Rawls.

In 1993, Mikey Spice brought his remarkable musical flovour to the Reggae Sunsplash stage and delivered a memorable performance at that year’s staging of Sting. He has performed among greats such as Gregory Issacs, Dennis Brown, Toots Hibbert, Freddie McGregor, Frankie Paul, and Tiger. Mikey Spice was most definitely the freshest, hottest Reggae Artiste of the 90s. Mikey Spice was voted best new artist and song of the year in ’95. He was also number one in Miami for three months with number one hits in London.

Mikey Spice was not only a big hit with a big voice, but he is also a seasoned producer and is responsible for producing some of his own tracks such as “More Than Wonderful” “I’m So Lonely, Home to Zion” and the critically acclaimed album “Harder Than Before” that was released by VP Records. In 2014, the Jamaican Lou Rawls released another showstopper album called “I am I said”. The album was a well put together work sof art featuring spectacular vocals in a way only Mikey Spice does it. With a track record as well decorated as Mikey Spice you would have expected that this reggae influencer’s name would be more of a household name than it is today.

Fast forward to 2019, Reggae music has grown phenomenally and has festivals around the world in countries such as Germany, England, and Spain just to name a few. Yet somehow, talented musicians such as Mikey Spice still remains under the radar.  The reggae artiste without a doubt still has many fans today who still enjoys listening to the unique melody of Mikey spice on the track of “Walk a mile” or “Practice What You Preach”. However, the question still remains, is the world missing out on all that Mikey spice still has to offer?

Sample Tracks from “I Am I Said” Album

1. For The Love Of You Mikey Spice 0:44
2. The Power Of Love Mikey Spice 0:45
3. Your Body Is Here Mikey Spice 0:47
4. Close The Door Mikey Spice 0:46
5. Step In The Name Of Love Mikey Spice 0:46

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References and Sources

https://jamaicansmusic.com/artist/Mikey_Spice

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/mikey-spice-mn0000500454/biography

 

Citation for image

Jah Lifted Me – Mikey Spice | Songs, Reviews, Credits. (n.d.). Retrieved January 10, 2019, from         https://www.allmusic.com/album/jah-lifted-me-mw0000593393

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