Rainford Hugh "Lee Scratch" Perry began making music in the late 50s for Clement Coxsone Dodd's label. Following a stint at Joe Gibbs's Amalgamated Records, Perry formed his own imprint, Upsetter, in 1968.
In the early 1960s, Lee’s mixing board experiments resulted in the creation of dub. He is synonymous with his innovative production techniques and renowned for his studio band The Upsetters.
He was instrumental in launching the career of Bob Marley, producing many of the pre-Island Records Wailers sides, and working with him sporadically throughout his entire career, including 1977’s “Punky Reggae Party”, the same year that Perry worked on a session with the Clash for their “Compete Control” single.
In 1973, Perry built Black Ark studios, where he produced records for iconic musicians like Junior Byles, Junior Murvin, The Heptones, Susan Cadogan, The Congos and Max Romeo.
Perry has recorded with Keith Richards, The Beastie Boys, George Clinton, David Lynch, Andrew WK, Moby, Ari Up of The Slits, Bill Laswell, Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio), Sly Dunbar, Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt, Mad Professor and porn star Sasha Grey.
In 2003 he won the best reggae album Grammy for Jamaican E.T.
Lee’s song Enter the Dragon was sampled by Panda Bear from Animal Collective. He was then selected by A.C. to perform at All Tomorrow's Parties, which the band curated in 2011.
Rolling Stone Magazine featured Perry in their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Although 82 years old, Lee is fit, sprightly and plays live on a regular basis to rapt audiences around the world. He divides his time between Jamaica and Switzerland.
Photo Credit: Daniel Oduntan