Tribute to Smiley Culture

Play Song - My Friend

Stunned, shocked and sad! These are some of the words to describe how I
felt when I heard of Smiley Culture's death and how they said he died.

Smiley, a close friend of mine, who like me grew up around sound systems
died a few days ago. I shook my head in total disbelief, and for hours I
refused to believe it. He was more than just a reggae icon, more than a
phenomenal deejay, he was a musical pioneer, but more importantly, Smiley
was a great friend to all of us. Those who knew him could tell how articulate
and intelligent he was, someone who would think outside the box, had a
keen eye for business, and made a significant contribution to this world
through his music. Smiley is a legend and respected worldwide.

In thinking of Smiley, I couldn't help but go back in time to when we wrote
songs together like Caution with Asher Senator and Paul Robinson. Paul and
I also recorded the song "Festival Time", which paid tribute to the good old
times and the good old days of which Smiley was a huge part of….

Things we used to do
Things we used to say

Sunday morning I rise bright and early
Getting ready for a festival time
Smiley Culture, Tippa Irie they are coming
Philip Levi, phone and say him soon come

We are gonna meet, meet the sound
We hold the mike,, crowd gather 'round
Put on the show fi please the crowd
Everybody them baul out loud

Festival Time is here....

Smiley and I had similar cultural backgrounds, similar goals and visions for
innovating reggae music, and much of this played out in our early days with
Saxon Sound system, which was the foundation for our musical career as
young teenagers.....times I will never forget.

Smiley was popular across the country and the people loved him,I remember
in the early days of our career when we made many appearances together,
they loved his spirit, his captivating charm, his musical talent and the way he
worked his Caribbean heritage into his music. He was a breath of fresh air, and
always motivating others to do their best. I can't count the amount of times he
would start and end our conversations with an inspirational quote or reciting a
scripture from the Bible.

The music industry has lost a genius and I like all of you have lost a great friend.
To his family and friends, I extend heartfelt condolences. May God comfort you
through this difficult and challenging time. To his fans and music family….
stay strong and look out for each other.

Rest in peace my friend! We miss you.

Jah Bless,
Maxi Priest