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|Since the age of seven, Mystic Bowie has performed professionally worldwide and recorded with some of the music industry's hippest melody makers.
Born Fitzroy Alexander Campbell in St. Elizabeth in Maroon Town, a descendant of the Maroon Tribe -- the only remaining unified tribe in Jamaica – he was given his tribal name, Mystic Bowie, by elders based on powers they sensed in him. Mystic became a singer for the Jamaica Tourist Board as a child, performing as many as 2-3 times a day all over the island at different resorts. Between the ages of 9 and 14, Mystic made three (3) recordings for Jack Ruby Records (“Back to Jamaica, “Happy Hut,” “Whiny Whiny”). He was 13 when he first left the island to perform abroad, and 14 when he left his tribal home and family, moving on his own to Negril. Then as now, he continued to obey the core tribal rules and values – no alcohol, no drugs, no impurities polluting the body. At the age of 17, Mystic moved to Birmingham, England to study at the University of Birmingham. Upon completion, Mystic then moved to the United States.
Winning an award for acting and drama in 1982, he was also the winner of Jamaica's Pop and Variety Festival music competition in 1986. Mystic went on to perform at the 1987 Lima Festival (Peru), the Junkanoo Festival (Bahamas) two (2) years in a row, and 1998’s Rock in Rio (Brazil). He made the circuit of resorts under the Superclubs emblem (Hedonism, Sandals, Beaches), and has taken his act to Cats(Cancun) for annual spring break and summer visits as well as the clubs of South Beach such as Clevelander, Mango’s, Ocean Promenade, and Tropics on the Beach. He also made five consecutive appearances headlining Blockbuster Bowl festivities (1987– 92). Mystic Bowie (2005 & 2006): winner of the Grand Band Slam as Best Reggae Band by the Fairfield County Weekly.
Once a member of Stanley and the Turbines, Mystic has been a featured solo artist for Reggae Sunsplash, eventually going on to open for a heavy-hitting lineup of reggae greats including Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear, Yellow Man, Buju Banton, and Jimmy Cliff as well as for Latin pop diva Gloria Estefan.
All of his hard work through these years culminated in the release of his first album, “Funky Reggae” (1992).
Well-schooled in the world of reggae and other Caribbean musical genres, it would be a performance in 1991 that opened a new path for him, a collaboration that would shape his future in more ways than one. Scheduled to perform on the Mardi Gras Fest bill at Tramps (NYC), Mystic had the opportunity to perform with the founding members of the Tom Tom Club as his backing band. Thanks to his performance with Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz (Talking Heads), it evolved into a partnership that has lasted to this day.
Mystic has worked steadily with the Tom Tom Club since 1992. With the release of their album, "The Good, The Bad and The Funky" (2000), featuring his vocals on the dub-heavy tracks "Time to Bounce"and a remake of Lee Perry's "Soul Fire", Mystic Bowie emerged as a force in his own right as their lead singer. Touring worldwide with the Tom Tom Club since 2000, Mystic’s performances have been praised for his seemingly ceaseless supply of energy and the excitement he generates with crowds everywhere. The irresistible vibe of this tour, and Mystic’s performances, has been captured magically on the Tom Tom Club’s “Live at the Clubhouse” CD (2002). Songs from this period also appear on the Tom Tom Club’s DVDs, “Time to Bounce” and “In a Bootleg Style.”
Mystic’s work has crossed over both into film and advertising. Covering Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” he sang co-lead vocals with Tina Weymouth on the Tom Tom Club's remake of the world-renowned hit for the movie "The Long Kiss Goodnight", starring Samuel Jackson and Geena Davis. Later, the track “Who Feelin’ It” from “The Good, The Bad and The Funky” was used in the urban thriller, “American Psycho.” Mystic’s voice has also been put to good use in commercial sessions at Bigfoot Studios (NYC).
His most recent work with the Tom Tom Club appears on the Vanguard Records’ release, “Creole Zydeco,” a tribute album featuring, among others, Cyndi Lauper and Taj Mahal. Released in 2004, the CD includes their cover of the Keith Franks’ song, “Only the Strong Survive.” In a review from New Orleans’ Offbeat Magazine – considered the authority on all indigenous Louisiana music -- Dan Willging says, “Perhaps the award for the hippest track goes to the Tom Tom Club who waxed Keith Frank's ‘Only The Strong Survive’ in their own inimitable, relentlessly pounding fashion.”
Mystic has enjoyed the fruits of countless collaborations far beyond his reggae roots, having performed with a variety of funk and rock units. During the heyday of Jamband scene – whether at Sierra Nevada Music Festival, the Gathering of the Vibes, Camp Creek, or appearing at the Jammies at Roseland Ballroom – he has performed onstage with the likes of the B-52’s, Trey Anastasio (Phish), members of Widespread Panic, and Warren Haynes, a small but diverse sampling, and testament to his drive to bridge musical genres. Mystic has been a frequent onstage guest of funk-rock unit Deep Banana Blackout over the years, and recently collaborated with the Bomb Squad featuring Jen Durkin on the song, “El Stinko,” from their upcoming CD.
Mystic’s interest and efforts in working with musicians from all backgrounds is best exemplified in his most recent CD, “Rebirth,” (2002) an album resulting from his collaboration with musicians blending styles from the heart of Jamaican and Caribbean music with compatible New Orleans funk and zydeco elements. Thanks to the Marley Family, in July 2006, Mystic launched his new label, FunkySka Music, LLC, with the release of his singles “Sixteen Dimples” and “My Way” on vinyl, distributed by Tuff Gong International.
In 1999, with encouragement and support from Tina and Chris, Mystic teamed up with a pair of New Orleans musicians playing in the Northeast. Other New Orleans musicians joined the effort to make a new “music” from these respective, but no doubt related, traditions. Musicians who have participated in this project since its inception hail from a diverse mix of ethnic, geographic and musical roots, combining talents in funk, jazz and rock with those of forming the rich Caribbean tradition that runs north to New Orleans. Mystic continues to bring together musicians who create music that truly possesses a hard-rocking, deeply funky reggae foundation.
Mystic’s latest single, “Mama”, was recorded at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica and was released in December 2006 on Tuff Gong International Label.