What does the world know of my idren Ras Digital? The Rastaman who has been walking with a camera in his hand as far back as the 1980s recording hundreds of shows and events in Toronto, preserving the culture of an era. He has spoken of footage of the band that I managed, IBADAN, as well as any or most acts that performed at the Bamboo over those years. I don’t know the exact or the entire catalog of bands, artists or shows yet the names that come to mind are, The Sattalites and Messenjah for sure, Kidd Rasta and the Peacemakers, Jason Wilson and Tabruuk, Tatix, Tony Anthony, Chester Miller, Raffa Dean, Michael Garrick, Nana McLean, Hardcore Band, Steele, High Energy, Sensation Band, Ibo, Tanya Mullings, Donna Makeda, King Ujah are some of my guesses. Digi has an intricate look at reggae history in Canada and selfish me wished I could sit and watch it all then submit for the world to see them. To my mind, he is sitting on a relative reggae goldmine of Canadian footage dating back possibly twenty plus years!
Digi shoots for major events like the Irie Festival as well as Jambana as well as major artists from Jamaica like Sizzla, Coco Tea, and the final concert of Sugar Minott (which by the way I have seen personally) backed by a Toronto band with Mikey Lee on drums and Andy Lee on bass. Seen footage of Exco Levi in a video that went viral!
My greatest question is, "when will we get to see this footage?" and I have now learned, whenever you wish a thing to happen, put it out to the universe. I am doing that now. For those who never made it to the legendary Bamboo, I can't recreate the feel that I felt, yet one can have a look at performances from within that time.
Digi has captured invaluable footage of this history!
There is no technology that he does not keep up with as it pertains to cameras, film editing, production or presentation. Constantly learning new techniques, viewing tutorials the way some watch sitcoms on TV in their spare time.
What I have always discussed with anyone wishing to listen, is that Africans and Caribbean people must write and create their own events and histories. It is the reason that I wrote my first novella, "Three Finger Jack ~ The Spirit of Jamaica" because when I sought information about an individual back in the 1780's, the information for African / Jamaican culture was limited, as compared to European history where information on Columbus, Drake, Morgan are easily accessable even to the point where several movies and documentaries were made about these individuals. Not so much about Jack whom I personally have an affiliation with. So I wrote about him! Mostly fiction infused with stories and real events I heard about then pieced together to create my vision of Jack.
Digi figured it out from time. He has been recording since the 1980s, many events in the Canadian reggae scene. He sometimes stands in an inconspicuous corner and points the camera on the stage and records a performance, a song, an entire set or the whole show. One camera back in the day and today it can be as many as eight cameras at any given show, capturing pieces of Canadian reggae history that can only be discussed through conversation yet he has many of those memories on film which I would love the world to one day be able to watch.
A devout Ras Tafari, he exudes that energy in person as well as behind the camera.
Germawi Qedamawi, Haile Selassie 1st is his guide and this is His charge, Ras Digital / Glenford Samuels.
A couple of samples of Digi's work