Roots Manuva, born Rodney Smith is a British hip-hop artist, who mixes hip hop with reggae and dub as well as electronica, and even some gospel. He grew up around Stockwell in South London. His parents were from a small village in Jamaica called Banana Hole where his father was a preacher and tailor. Spending much of his early years in poverty, this and his strict Pentecostal upbringing clearly had an influence on his music as can be seen in many of his tracks such as “Sinny Sin Sins” and “Colossal Insight”.
In 2013 Roots Manuva returned to the fray with the 4 track ep (released on yellow vinyl) 'Banana Skank' & the digital single 'Stolen Youth' - a classic Roots Manuva moment written for the last episode of the TV series Skins.
Rodney Smith’s motivation is the same as it’s ever been. “You wouldn’t have reggae if you didn’t have these people from the Caribbean trying to reinterpret the soul and funk they heard on American radio. I’m trying to do that all over again. I’m trying to stretch the template.” He sums up the approach which has led him to be considerd one of the most exciting, honest, multi-faceted lyricists and musicians working in the UK today. “You got to sing like no one’s listening.” He pauses, searches for a way to expand on this, smiles as he thinks of one. “You gotta fart like there’s no one there to smell it!”