Shakalab is a Sicilian collective formed by 4 singers, veterans of the reggae / hip hop scene of the island: Jahmento, Lorrè, Br1 and Marcolizzo. All Sicilians of the western part of the island; Shakalabs make dialect one of their strengths. Born from the fusion of different solo projects and different genres and styles, the Shakalabs have joined forces to create what is now one of the most influential and interesting groups in the entire Italian black scene.
From Sicily, where for years their squares and clubs full of people were waiting for their concerts, the range of action has gradually moved throughout Italy, becoming in a few years a musical reference point for many people. Their influence on the Sicilian territory has been of great impact especially among young people, both for the social messages conveyed and for the many initiatives in which they took part.
In 2016 the mayor of Campobello Di Mazara wanted to honor the collective with a tourist sign at the entrance of Torretta Granitola fraction, country where Shakalab they chose to shoot the video for one of their flagship pieces “Il posto giusto”.
Over the years, Shakalab have participated in many genre festivals and not only, enjoying immense success, given the power of their live, which usually occurs on stage with the 4 singers and a back DJ. Live is intense, fast, powerful and quick, alternating ironic moments with moments of reflection. It’s a varied live that has no downtime and takes your breath away.
We suddenly move from the more classic Roots to the Dancehall passing through Rap, Electronics and Speeches typical of Jamaican music that hold the attention in the spectator who is often involved in the show (especially at the time of freestyle).
It all began in August 2010, a summer in which the current members of the crew met constantly in their respective concerts. So it was that after yet another meeting resulted in a jam session, Davide Lorrè offers members of the band (then Shakalaska band, which were already part of Br1 and Jahmento) to make the first official tour all together. Turin, Rome, Genoa, Perugia, Milan, Bari and Parma have been the first cities in which the new training has made a stop, proving a success that will definitely bring together everyone’s professional prospects. On returning home from that tour that collaboration between many projects finally had a unique name: Shakalab.
The first album entitled “Tutto sbagliato” comes out in 2012 and immediately receives a great success both from music critics and from listeners. In “Tutto sbagliato” we find collaborations with the best artists of the national reggae scene: Sud Sound System, Adriano Bono (Radici nel cemento) and Bunna, frontman of the Africa Unite.
The 3 singles from the album: “I poteri crollano”, “Il posto giusto” (become a true anthem of the Sicily) and “Reggaeby” (which sees the participation of the Sud Sound System) are immediately appreciated by the whole panorama Italian music, entering all the gender rankings of the various distribution channels.
The musical productions are entrusted to the producer Gheesa (currently beatmaker in the stable Macro Beat) to the sicilian Haz and to DJ Delta (in force within the collective until 2016). After the first record, the musical and media attention on Shakalabs is multiplied, and this leads them to collect many live crowds of people all over Sicily and in Italy. Shakalabs become very popular and the epithet of “Shakalab phenomenon” is conquered.
Some of their pieces become part of the daily life of the Sicilians and of the spoken language. At the linguistic level of this aspect the professor Roberto Sottile of the University of Palermo will be interested, who decides to study and deepen the phenomenon (together with other cases) and to include it in his book “The dialect in the Italian song of the last twenty years”.
The second album of Shakalab “Duepuntozero” is a sort of artistic upgrade of the band. “Duepuntozero” comes out in December 2015 and collects, as well as in the case of “Everything” wrong “an excellent appreciation by both the critics and by the supporters, who are catapulted into this new dimension Shakalab.
Inside “Duepuntozero” we find again collaborations of thickness and songs that will become from there to little real posters for the genre and for the black music in general. In fact, there are: Mama Marjas, in the song “Get up & Move”, and the Salentini Boomdabash, in the song “Stopdem”; then again the rappers Barile and EasyOne in the song “Treesessanta” and the promising Camilla Luna Vazquez.
As we read from the review of the portal rockit.it: “Duepuntozero is a record that already wants to highlight the artistic growth of the band, without betraying his style that mixes teasing tones to a more serious and antisystemic approach, all seasoned by rhymes in dialect on the instruments that touch all the ramifications of black music combining new roots, raggamuffin, hip hop, funk, dance hall and trap … Shakalab confirm themselves as one of the leading Italian black music companies, with a great artistic production level enriched by experimental arrangements, modern and fresh “. There are four individuals extracted from the disc and once again confirm the expectations around the Shakalab phenomenon, which has met with enormous success.
Currently the Sicilian collective is working on the third album that will be released in June 2018 and already sees an exceptional feature: “Assassin aka Agent Sasco”, which we find inside the last single “From Sicily to Jamaica”. This time the Shakalabs went out of the continental borders working with a super Jamaican artist and as promised the result was exceptional.
During the various tours and concerts, Shakalab, have played in the major shows dedicated to reggae music by opening live of the likes of Shaggy, Barrington Levy and Ky-Mani Marley, sharing the stage with the main Italian black artists.
In 2018, after having crossed, on some occasions in previous years, the national borders, and after making a resounding sold out in the historic London club “The Garage” collaborate with the Sicilian Mood review that will take them to some of the most important clubs of some European capitals. In 2018, in fact, cities such as Paris, Dublin and London were included in their “spring tour 2018” dates. The tour will also touch other important cities such as: Catanzaro, Bologna, Rome, Pisa, Turin, Palermo, Catania etc…
After the official consecration in the national music scene, the Shakalab are confirmed as one of the realities destined to last over time and seem destined to make themselves talked about for a long time.