Adrian Sherwood has been around for a long time. He’s the man behind
the On-U Sound label, and eponymous sound system. The one that usually
does the rounds at least once a year, and has done so for as long as
you can remember. If you’ve ever been to an On-U gig you’ll know it’s
loud, uncompromising, live dub sound, and you’d remember there’s lots
and lots of noise, as you recall the ringing that’s left in your ears
for hours after.
On-U Sound have released over 100 albums and singles, and the list is endless as to whose careers have been launched, and is even longer if you add the number of people influenced by the label.
Adrian Sherwood has been at it for over 15 years. He’s like the great grandfather of the organisation, wise, sincere, and he actually cares about his family. When you talk to him, although it’s on the stairway of a cold college corridor, you can sense his pride, and feel the warmth of his sincerity, as he talks about the posse, and as he ponders over the things he has achieved and the things he has still yet to achieve. Not just for money, but for a genuine, honest bash at producing music that he believes in, whether or not it’s popular or mainstream, he wants to put his energies into talent and do it for those who can’t particulary articulate themselves as well as other unfairly privileged groups in society.
Adrian’s life with On-U Sound started in 1979 when he collaborated with Mark Stewart, and members of the Slits to form the New Age Steppers debut album, a sleek debut with strong elements of Sherwood’s passion for reggae shining through.