Established 2005, the rest is history!
With the same love and dedication others have voiced about their fondness of music, Floyd also boasts of total commitment to music. Raised in a music orientated family, Floyd’s eldest sister; Marilyn joined a group called Negro in the mid 80s as a backing vocalist.
The band consisted of Jerry Lion, Black Steel, Animal on drums and Stone on bass. Rehearsal was something Floyd would not miss, most of the time having to sneak out without mum and or Marilyn knowing for fear of being told “your not going”. Floyd would turn up just as rehearsal started so his sister could not tell him to go home, as for mum, she didn't have a clue where he could be.
Those sessions were great, Negro rehearsed upstairs while Jahman Sound System played down stairs. Most of the time you could hardly hear the band, maybe that’s why they call the drummer animal because he had to play so hard to be heard.
My second eldest sister, Pat provided backing vocals on "Riddim Wise" by Danny Red during the early 1990s and went on to continue providing backing vocals for a host of artists across London.
With music being at every stage of his life, during primary school, Floyd use to bring his fathers 7” tunes to school just to prove to his friends he has that tune as well.
Onto secondary school, when he began selling his fathers old tunes to Skinheads; who were hell bent on getting their hands on any old Blue Beat records to call their own. A rather confusing time for music, with Skinheads, Mods and the Punk craze searching for identity and spilling over into each others musical interests. Most of all getting their musical roots from the beginnings of Reggae music, example The Sex Pistol's version of Junior Murvin's Police & Thieves.
Moving into Soul music, at the time the Black Echoes newspaper gave Floyd a greater insight into the different genres of music, one style being Soul music. Along with increasing his own record collection almost on a daily basis with imports just in from the US, Floyd would purchase from one particular record shop he and others would visit Fridays after school all the way in Soho central London.
By the 4th year of school, Floyd had joined a sound system with his cousin John Mitchell and a group of brothers from the Lewisham area. As a party sound they played out every weekend across London, smashing up parties while making a name for themselves as a reputable party sound.
Lewisham as a London Borough had herald many great sounds like, Shaka and Saxon; who between them laid the foundation for many up and coming sound systems across London to gain experience to entertain and the knowledge of Reggae music.
Attending a Jah Shaka dance back in those days at the Moonshot Community Centre, was part of a learning ritual all locals who attended understood. while Saxon played on a Sunday at Childers Street Youth Club in South East London, before moving onto what was known then as Senegal Fields now Millwall Football clubs new ground.
A Sunday afternoon roller skating spectacular, was a much loved and well attended event we all looked forward to after our Sunday dinner. Not only was there roller skating, veteran MCs such as the late Smiley Culture, Little Andy, Asher Senator to name a few, all would pass through delivering lyrics which they practiced before releasing on vinyl to the eagerly awaiting public.
Saxon sound, went on to stage regular sound killing sessions in The Lewisham Boys Club. The sound system standard at that time was very high, spending money on your sound was the name of the game, and Saxon made sure that you did or else your sound would die. Remember the days of lick wood tear down neighbourhood? Them speaker boxes took a hand beating, my hands are still soar to this day.
Practicing selecting his ever growing music collection on his fathers Bluespot, correct name being Blaupunkt Gram, enabled Floyd to develop a skill for playing music and entertaining crowds. Floyd recalls, "I remember me and my sisters helping my cousin, Sister C prepare for what was the first female mc clash with Lorne G held in North London. Sister C eventually won amidst much controversy.
Floyd soon moved onto a bigger sound system one owned by Lloyd Honeygon sound of the same name, which he played for a short time with Sweet Vibes from 5th Avenue and Quadsy who is no longer with us.
Floyd remains involved with sound system, and provides a fully mobile system for some of the big names in sound system, example Saxon, David Rodigan, Stone Love when in the UK, Nasty Love, 5th Avenue, Chris Sweeney's Winner Road Show, PC Misty, Mickey Koos and lately Mighty Crown, the Far East Rulers have all hired the sound.
The sound system has travelled all over of England, parts of France and continues today under the name of Delroy Ps set (not the real name just what everyone knows the sound as) providing a professional and powerful sound system to whoever wants to hire it. There was also a time during the house and garage music craze, when the Dream Team with Spoony and the rest played on the sound. This was during the time of an event called Taste, who staged events under the market in Camden.
Floyd had also taken part in Jah Works Promotion roots sound competition playing his own sound with Stine aka DJ B who is mentioned later, called Dubvision during the late 1990s.
After leaving school, Floyd had joined The Lewisham Academy of Music, which is now The Midi Music Company and managed by Wozzy MBE, there things really got under way.
Meeting professional musicians such as Courtney Pine, Roy Ayes, Lee Scratch Perry and the late and great Curtis Mayfield was the norm. As teaching and creating music took place, it's where many now famous musicians established their craft.
Having quickly turned his attention to music recording, Floyd began teaching others sound engineering and taking on the roll of technical support. This is where Floyd got his first job as a youth worker, before going on to qualify as a part time youth worker with the GLC (long since been disbanded), and then headed by the one and only Ken Livingston.
At the Lewisham Academy of Music, pupils performed two shows each year. A winter and summer show. During the winter shows the venue was The Albany Empire, as it was called and the place where David Rodigan OBE began. We took full control sorting out the PA system, lighting and staging systems. While the South Bank became our summer venue. It was always exciting, an experience all involved enjoyed doing.
Having to pack equipment into vans and cart them across London with artists was another big and exciting experience. Floyd remembers having to play drums for Sammy Dyett's band, who is now known as Musical Genius of One Harmony Music Group, after the drummer was not allowed to attend.
The Academy had created many new acts at the time. Shovel from M People for one, use to play with 691 Band; a brilliant percussionist then a master now. Scratchy Fingers a master drummer at a young age who has toured the world with some of the biggest Reggae artists, to this day continues to provide drums for the big acts, and Roots Tradition now Intense; two of my close friends Robbie Rowe and Derek Nemhard who recorded tracks for The Mad Professor back in the late 80s.
When Dub Judah came down to the Academy, he blew us all away with is recording and mixing abilities. His control with delay and echo effects had led to a new page in Floyd's life, as he went onto practice some of things he had observed Dub Judah do with ease.
Floyd also assisted Charles Bullen in his studio Cold Storage in Brixton, working with Jah Foundation Band consisting of Dub Judah, Scratchy Fingers, Didiyeh and the late Ras Benji, then lead vocalist. Benji also recorded an album with Tafari entitled Jah Is The One, who also played the Ketteh Drum on the track Article which Floyd released.
Life at The Lewisham Academy of Music was becoming a political affair, just trying to keep the place going had become a major struggle. With one of the main founders Jack Belching from Test Department leaving, the future was bleak. However, Floyd had outgrown his stay and with little more to learn or do, it became clear it was time to move on.
Onto Ravens studio, a massive 24 track reel to reel studio based in New Cross owned by Deon Marsh, brother of Cassandra Mash. Stine aka DJ B from Genesis Radio, was also involved with Tafari as the in house drummer. Floyd with his old school friend and business partner Lloyd Mitchell, became heavily involved with the set up working with Roger Robin, Mickey General who teamed up with Luciano releasing songs on the Xterminator Label, and Napoleon.
While working as a social worker in East London, Floyd put together studio sessions for young people from East London to gain experience in working in a professional recording studio. Along with these sessions Floyd and Lloyd also helped out on sessions with Jah Shaka while at Raven Studio.
It was also around this time an opportunity came about to provide roadie support for Maxi Priest, who was beginning to make a big name for himself. Floyd enlisted the help of Lloyd and Scratchy Fingers, and we all went touring the length and breath of England with Maxi Priest, Mafia & Fluxy, and Jerry Lion, Messam was Maxi's manager at the time.
Another such opportunity arose, this time it was to provide backstage support for artists during the Capital Radio Music Festival of 1987/88. This was a two-week event consisting of a whole range of contemporary music. Floyd enlisted the help of his sister Violet to provide the work during the alternative music days, while he, Lloyd, Scratchy Finger, Stine and Deon covered the Reggae event.
This meant rubbing shoulders with the likes of Barrington Levi, Frankie Paul, Dennis Brown, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Gregory Isaacs the list is endless.
Floyd recalls “yeah that was a great time, I remember driving the van with all of us in it going to Alexandra Plaice for the first time, blew my mine the size of the place. When we got there we were told to park our vehicle in the same area as the artists.
I remember the only suitable space with between to very large blacked our coaches, little did I know that I would be responsible for the occupants who turned out to be Zingy Marley and the Melody Makers. Rita Marley and the whole family where there also.
I remember boarding the coach after being given our access all areas passes, introducing myself before asking if I could get anyone anything. Rita Marley responded by saying "yes son some water”. No sooner had she asked she received.
If there was a film to be made about the show, we all would have to be in it, that’s how exciting and eye opening it was. Sitting and eating with these larger than life characters was joy, and dream come true.
During these times creating music for Floyd was a thing that required much planning, without the financial means to afford studio time. Floyd never managed to record music for himself.
During his time at The Lewisham Academy of Music he experimented with recording live and programmable music, which gave him a good understanding of what was required to record music professionally and for public consumption.
Then technology brought new opportunities with it, the computer. This meant a lot could be achieved, even to the degree anyone could have a full recording studio right there in their bedroom. Drum programming became the norm, with the introduction of the Roland 808 drum machine, tracks like Under Me Sleng Teng by Wayne Jarrot took the place by storm causing us all to follow suite.
A decade had passed and, Floyd had continued the work he and Lloyd had started way back in 1985 with Youth Expression, a voluntary community based project aimed at providing opportunities for young people to express themselves through music.
Through Youth Expression, Floyd and Lloyd managed to fund raise staging events for young people. Events included a four borough music competition, with the final being held in Fordham Park, where the Moonshot Community Centre is situated. With featured artists including Roger Robin, Cassandra and PC Mistry comparing on one event which was a success and covered by The Voice newspaper who published a full page spread of the event.
Youth Expression also controlled a regular stage at Lewisham Peoples Festival, where year after year young up and coming artists, musicians and dancers would perform on stage to a packed park.
One of our last events, was with the full Saxon sound along with mc's Senior Sandy, Roger Robin, Tippa Irie, Junior San and others performing to a large audience in Mansfield Park.
Youth Expression continues to this day providing sound engineering training, DJ & MC workshops,which is currently used as an alternative to custody and diversionary provision for young offenders.
Funding gained from this work had paved the way for the creation of ukhomegrownmusic studio.
In 2005 Floyd had established ukhomegrownmusic studio, and within the same year released his first ever vinyls featuring Tippa Irie, Lloyd Brown, Peter Spence, Ras Degus and Deadly Serious.
Further tracks followed with artist like Gospel Fish and Jimmy Screechy. By 2006 UK Homegrown the project was formed and continues to this day.
This is just a snapshot of history about the work of Floyd, and the establishment of ukhomegrownmusic studio. It's been a long journey getting to where we are now. Like every thing in life, nothing comes easy.
Thanks for taking the time to indulge.