When I tuned into Desert Island Discs this morning I was taken aback to hear Kwame Kwei-Armah choose Ijaman’s ‘I’m a Levi’ as one of his discs. This is only the second time I’ve heard Ijaman played on the BBC before, the first being when I chose ‘Hold on Honey’ as one of my selections when I did Cumbria Radio’s version of Desert Island Discs a couple of years ago.
Ijaman is second only to Bob Marley as the greatest talent to come out of Jamaica. When I lived in London, long before I adopted the Slow Life I had a girl friend who used to take me to the ‘Blues’ clubs of Notting Hill- these were the days when Notting Hill was a seedy immigrant area, before Hugh Grant got his hands on it. This was when I was introduced to Ijaman and I’ve collected his records ever since. It has always amused me that although he is known as the original Rastafarian, his real name is Trevor.