Steely And Clevie

Decades: 1990s 2000s


This Jamaican studio ‘band’ comprises Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson and Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne (pronounced ‘Brown-ie’). Every five years or so, Jamaica produces a rhythm section that dominates reggae. In the 70s, it was brothers, Carlton and Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett, who drove the Upsetters and Bob Marley’s Wailers. The late 70s/early 80s belonged to Sly And Robbie, but by 1986 reggae required a team fully conversant with computerized music: Steely And Clevie fulfilled that role.

Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson first surfaced with Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion organization, playing keyboards on Minott’s classic Ghetto-ology (1978). After a period with the Generation Gap, he joined the Roots Radics, earning a reputation for hard work and innovation. When the Radics became the band for the new dancehall music of the early 80s, it gave Steely a perfect understanding of a...

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