RIP Leroy America aka Skeleton Da Scientist
One of South Africa’s foremost producer, song writer and performer passed away yesterday [04 March 18] in his native city, Cape Town. The circumstances surrounding his death were unclear and we waiting to hear from the family spokesperson. News of his passing broke in the early hours on social media, with friends and colleagues expressing shock at the sudden death of a very young talented producer. Others were in disbelief as they were sending out condolences to the family and close friends; but the ones affected deeply were his siblings Spyda Strings and Scorpion Da Student.
Leroy America, known as Skeleton Da Scientist was a Dancehall Reggae Artists and Producer. He founded the production label Rebels’tone Muzik Lab which would later sign a deal with distribution giants 21st Hapilos and produce all his works along with his brothers’ [Spyda Strings and Scorpion Da Student] albums.
He was still a young boy, barely 10 years old when he landed a leading role in the music video of Cape Town’s foundation Reggae Band, Sons of Selassie, and has never looked back . When he turned 14 he took to learning acoustic guitar from his uncle, then later joined the Youth Musical Project run by Bro Manchi, where he learned to play the bass and keyboards.
His first professional recording was in the early 2000 where he had the opportunity to work with Sound Engineer and Song writer, Redda Fella who had his own recording studio; which would have a great influence on Skeleton Da Scientist to start his own recording studio and label. He started voicing on riddims and attending gigs and pushing his demo, working closely with Bro Manchi, band leader of the Sons of Selassie, as his mentor and guide until his perseverance paid off.
2011 saw him and his brothers releasing the first project from their newly formed label – Rebelst’onia Muzik Lab. It was a riddim that was voiced by three Jamaican artists and local artists from his area. Rebels’tonia Muzik Lab grew in leaps and bounds, creating the most sought after riddims that would be voiced by South Africa’s finest including Crosby and Black Dillinger, emerging artists Empress Naphtali and helped to jump start the career of a young artist Thurston Di Prefect. Before long, everyone wanted to jump on riddims coming out of his label, earning them the tag line: Rebels’tonia Muzik Lab – Everyones Favourite.
In 2014 he travelled to Thailand to promote his album – Scripture of Fire, on a Rebel on a Mission Tour, promoting his works and upcoming projects. On his return in the album was officially released and had a massive launch party at his ‘Kasi’, Mitchell’s Plein. He continued to work on his solo projects and produce his brother’s albums and has many riddims under his belt. A strong believer of community building and support, he jumped at the first opportunity to giving back to his community by working together with the Youth Musical Project that founded and hosted ‘Reggae inna Park’ for over 20 years. A project that helped to clean out the gang fested park in their area and turn it into Rasta Park, a peaceful area where kids can play and be kids. His memorable work would be the Game On Riddim which is a dancehall riddim featuring Black Dillinger, Thurston Di Preferct, Demolition Krank, Spyda Strings and Scorpion Da Student. His infectious Phantom Riddim landed on the number spot on the MzansiReggae Dancehall Singles 2015 via Korianda Izajah’s Pay We Single.
He has shared the stage with Da Sons of Selassie, Black Noise, Rockets, Starkey Banton, Zulu Boy, Jah Thunder and Capleton, but more impressively, he was a permanent feature on almost all of the grass roots community projects, concerts, dances and festivals in his area.
The multi-talented artist will be remembered by his conscious lyrical content and positive messages expressed throughout his musical compositions.
“The same sun that melts the ice, hardens the clay” was his favourite saying. Today, Skeleton Da Scientist, The Rebel, The Fire Angel, Skully, Issachar The Fire Maker is no longer with us in flesh, but his spirit, his music, his legacy will live on.
Rize in Powa Selassie Souljah!
FULL NAME: Leroy America
KNOWN AS: Skeleton Da Scientist
BORN: 11 August, 1986, Cape Town – South Africa.
DOD: 07 March 2018
GENRE: Dancehall – Reggae
OCCUPATION: Musician – Producer
INSTRUMENTS: Vocals – Guitar – Bass – Keyboard
LABEL: Rebels’tone Muzik Lab