Aisha was born in the north of
England in the sixties.
She was always surrounded by
music as her father ran a sound system playing at weddings and
It was her father who encouraged
her early development as singer as he realized her natural
talent and would give her the microphone so she could sing over
the records that he played.
At sixteen, Aisha met a DJ called
Lippy who owned a sound system called Locks City. He gave Aisha
the opportunity to ‘voice’ the dub plates that he played in his
This experience creatively
expanded Aisha’s abilities, and she began writing lyrics.
In 1979, the band Capital Letters
became prominent in her life. She was encouraged to audition as
a backing vocalist. They were so impressed with her voice they
welcomed her as a member.
In the early eighties, Aisha’s
first break came when she was introduced to Dr. Alimantado who
was recording at Ariwa Studios; he introduced her to Mad
The first tracks of the album
called “High Priestess” were laid at Ariwa.
Another album “True Roots” followed, along with various single
Aisha continues to work, touring
mainland Europe, Kenya, Botswana and the UK.
Aisha is a Soundman’s Daughter .
. . and, a True Roots Dawta. She’s trod
the world singing her Ilahfull songs and doing Jah Works. But no
matter where she goes--be it Afrika, Brazil, Israel, Europe,
Australia, Scandinavia, Mexico, or
Japan--she's Uplifted and Inspired the ones who hear her sing.
Her first Jamaican performance came in 2000 at the Augustus
Pablo Benefit. Her American debut came in March 2004 with Mad
Professor when she blessed NYC with a special appearance. Her
first albums, High Priestess and True Roots were produced by
Professor on his Ariwa label, her last two, Zion’s Daughter and
Raise Your Voice were produced by Twinkle Brother Norman Grant.
All are roots classics. When ORB sampled Creator on the hit Blue
Room, and Ministry of Sound sampled it again on Roll to the
Floor, Aisha reached
an even wider audience. After her performance at "Meltdown '03"
London's Royal Festival Hall, the
London Telegraph termed her "the closest we have to a female
Born Pamela Ross on October 1962 in Wolverhampton, England,
Jamaican parents, she debuted at age eight on her dad’s sound.
Her father, whom she calls my greatest inspiration, also exposed
her to his precious collection of
vintage American and Jamaican music.
As a teenager, she developed her
skills jamming on Lippy’s Locks City
sound. I was writing conscious stuff then because I think I just
into finding myself. Her first break came in ‘79 when she joined
the group Capitol Letters singing backup vocals. She’d just gone
solo in 84 when she met Dr. Alimantado,
who was working locally with Neil Fraser,
aka Mad Professor. For Professor she cut several tracks,
including Creator, which released in
1986. Jah Shaka, the respected UK Soundman,
Itinually played a dubplate of "Creator" in session, thus
introducing ones to Aisha’s magical & angelic voice singing one
of the deepest and most heartikal of roots tunes. "Creator" not
only became her signature tune, it became a bona fide Roots
By ‘88, Aisha realized that
things were not really on a rootical level, which is why some would receive the music and some probably
Either I was gonna change and follow the trend, or stick to how
I felt about my songs. I never write a song without spiritually
experiencing something that inspires me to write on a subject or feeling. As
long as I can express myself and people can relate to what I’m
done my work, I think with most of my songs that’s exactly how
people relate to them. Lots of women mention ,Now or Never from True
Roots; you can feel what I’m feeling, though at the time, I never went
back to that track, just left it, because it hurt so much. I’m Not in
This World, was another tune women, especially young women relate to;
addressing women’s issues, the things we naturally are going
through, while at the same time trying to balance it within
Rasta and remain on a conscious level. I wrote One God, One Aim, when I
was totally on a vibe where I was questioning my faith; I was
finish it and put it to song.
To Aisha, each performance is special--not just "another gig."
and performances have inspired her spiritually. In 1998 she
Nairobi, at the Kenya Sunbeat Festival. It was a turning point
life because I actually reached Africa, she says. I was playing
for 70,000 people and the way they received me . . . I literally had
receive people and acknowledge that Im home. I was overwhelmed.
Africa was like feeding the hearts of many. We probably take
granted every day, but you go to places like Africa, and they’re
hungry for the food, for the strength and encouragement. Aisha
is said to mean life, but in Israel in ‘95, she was told it’s an
ancient word for grandmother.I never experienced anything like that
singing, looking at the sea and seeing endless people. You just
reggae’s so big, bigger than they let us
Collaborations with reggae legends have enriched Aisha’s life
artistry as well. In ‘96, in England, she met Augustus Pablo.It was a pleasure and
privilege being around him and actually observing him, she says.
He gave me so much inspiration in terms of acknowledging what this
all about; the time and the effort. They talked of doing an LP,
and with him she recorded.
Give a Little Love, and two unreleased
tracks, now planned for an upcoming roots daughters compilation.
the norm, fitting her tunes over pre-recorded rhythm tracks, she
Pablo had a way of working that I wasn’t used to. He said you
work around you .it was like learning from a legend how music
was produced in the early days. One of the last things he told me
Aisha, don’t change, be who you are, continue doing what you’re
the end of the day, I felt his presence spiritually. And of
performing with Jah Shaka, she says, It’s beautiful. Where Shaka
In addition to her music, Aisha works with troubled teens. I’ve
around young people all my life. I’m here to encourage the young
generation, ‘cause what I see In England is not really
promising; I look
at the youth and think they don’t have any hope; they honestly
there’s no future for them. She’s also raised three sons the
of my strength. The eldest, 24 year old Leon aka Quake is a drum
bassist with a record releasing soon.
I give thanks for everything that’s come my way; every time I
onstage I could never say I’ve been ungrateful for what I’ve
had, because within the pain I’ve learnt my lessons," Aisha
says. "If I didn’t have the pain, then I don’t think I would
have been able to move on, because there’ve been many pitfalls.
As long as I enjoy what I do inside, and feel quite natural to
express myself the way I’ve been
inspired to. Because all I am is an instrument that the Father
use to heal people, so I give thanks for every opportunity. Some
have been very small in most people’s eyes it would be a waste
of time but my life is people . . . to feed people.