Mark Steele started performing around Canada in 1992 and his influence on the scene is difficult to quantify. How important is the sky? At once substantial and easygoing, powerful, playful and quick to lend a hand, Steele has been the backbone of the Canadian reggae scene for three decades. “I started for the girls,” says Steele with a laugh, mentioning that in the 80s he recorded at Bob Marley’s famous Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. “When I first came to Canada, the world didn’t look north for reggae. I took that as a challenge.”
Challenge met, Steele continues to record and tour and released the album Just Breathe as a reminder to his bredren during the lockdown. The first video is called Sweet Reggae Music and he says that sweet reggae music can uplift us all.
“I’ve been blessed making reggae music and it still brings me the same joy today that it used to bring me back then,” he says. “I’m fueled by sweet reggae music. After all these years, I still only move full steam ahead.”
Read the long form essay on the legacy of Little Jamaica here.