From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Birth nameEdmund Carl Aiken
Born (1962-04-10) 10 April 1962 (age 62)
Kensington, England
GenresReggae, reggae fusion, dancehall, hip hop
Years active1986–present
LabelsElektra Records, African Love Records

Shinehead (born Edmund Carl Aiken; 10 April 1962 in Kent, England)[1] is a British Jamaican reggae singer/toaster/rapper.


He began his music career by performing for different New York City reggae dancehall sound systems in the 1980s, most notably Tony Screw's Downbeat the Ruler, based in The Bronx.

His recording debut was in 1986 on the African Love Music independent record label with "Who the Cap Fits (Let Them Wear It)" from the album Rough & Rugged. In his early years, Jeff Buckley led his group on guitar and lent a hand with backing vocals. He appeared on Sly and Robbie's 1987 album, Rhythm Killers.[2]

Shinehead was signed to a recording contract by A&R representative Raoul Roach with Elektra Records in 1988, and remained with the label until 1995.

His best-known single is the cover version of Sting's "Englishman in New York", retitled as "Jamaican in New York" (1993). It reached No. 30 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1993.[3] The single featured on the Sidewalk University album.

He is largely credited as being one of the original acts to cross hip-hop with reggae music,[4] now known as reggae fusion, with songs such as "Try My Love" in 1992.[5] Shinehead's vocal talent can be heard across various tracks on the Unity (1988) and The Real Rock (1990) albums. His rapid deejay chat style can be heard on tracks such as "Cigarette Breath", "Gimme No Crack" and "Do It with Ease". Shinehead's melodic, singjay approach is present in songs such as "Strive", while he brings more hip hop flavor in tracks including "Chain Gang". "Chain Gang" was the first video to be shown during a regular season episode of Yo! MTV Raps, in 1988.

Shinehead is still active. He was part of the yearly Jamrock cruise in 2015. The same year, he played at the CES in Las Vegas. He has had success with his sound system, Kingston 12.



Charted singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"Jamaican in New York" 1993 30 97 34 17 31 5 21 Sidewalk University
"Let 'Em In" 70 13


  1. ^ "Shinehead Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Rhythm Killers - Sly & Robbie | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 496. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2254. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  5. ^ "Shinehead Biography 1999". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Shinehead Albums and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Shinehead | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  8. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 251.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Shinehead – Jamaican in New York". Retrieved 8 October 2022.

External links[edit]