Reggae musicians and producers Mafia & Fluxy are celebrating 30 years as producers on their record label in 2017. This is being marked by an extended tour around the world.
Brothers Leroy ‘Mafia’ and Dave ‘Fluxy’ Heywood grew up in the Tottenham area of ‘North London’, UK. Their musical roots began from the house sound system ‘Wizard Hi” fi owned and ran by their Uncle and sound man ‘Sir Ivan the Wizard.’ It was that sound system that made them aware of Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae in general. Uncle Ivan played the sound and gave the Heywood brothers a feel and great understanding and passion for Reggae music. In 1977 Mafia’s mother bought him an acoustic guitar which he used to play bass line along to records, his unwavering confidence and his ‘bad’ hard line stance in delivery brought about the name ‘Mafia’.
Fluxy began by playing on the sound, as Mafia’s love for reggae music grew, he learned to play bass by ear. He suggested that
Fluxy one day that he should learn to play drums. Fluxy made a crude homemade drum kit that consisted of a square speaker as snare drum, a bicycle lamp as a high hat and an odd shaped microphone as a kick drum! Dave got his name from his famous drum roll, in rehearsals one day, they said it sounded ‘fluxy’ and that’s how they became “Mafia & Fluxy”
They played a cassette recording of the band to the legendary producer ‘Fatman’ encouraged the band to continue rehearsing. Mafia then asked their other brother, Dingle to learn to play guitar and to start practicing his chords, soon after this they started recruiting a school band with the then 16-year-old lead singer ‘Toyin Adekale’ and the band became ‘The Instigators’ with Dingle on guitar. As the Instigators practised and became skilled musicians ‘Pablo Gadd’ approached them to back him in local shows and from there on they became the resident band at ‘The 100 club in Oxford Street supporting great acts like Hortense Ellis, Barrington Levi, Trinity, Al Campbell, Eastwood and Saint, Tribesman and many more. Their first single “Let’s Make Love,” produced by Fatman, was a top ten hit, for several weeks in the charts.
Toyin Adekale then left the instigators to embark on her own successful solo career, it was at that time ‘Courtney Bartley’ took over ‘Fatman Studios’ releasing tracks like “Boom”, “Pretty Girl” and “Your love. “The Instigators continued their success by backing seasoned artists like Freddie Mckay, Mike brooks, Jah Lloyd, Johnny Osborne, Supercat, Sugar Minott, Ninjahman, Josie Wales, Little John, Sanchez, Dennis Brown. In 1987, Mafia & Fluxy set up their own production and Record label releasing tracks like: “You’re the one for me”, Leroy Mafia, and “Hip Hip” – Tippa Irie.
In 1991 under the moniker of “Leroy Mafia” they released an album with hit singles called “Finders Keepers.” This brought about several classic hits such as “There She Goes Again” with Leroy establishing himself as an accomplished lead singer in the mix of the hay days of Reggae in the UK.
In that same year they went to Jamaica for Sunsplash to back Maxi Priest. They made regular trips to produce and play sessions for Donavan Germain at his Penthouse Studios. They also played with producers like King Jammies, Max Scorpio, Bobby Digital and recorded tracks for Bunny Lee and more. They played on hits like, “Worky Worky” with Chakademus which was number one for weeks and “I Wish” and “Complaint” with Beres Hammond, “Bandelero” with Pinchers, “Hold On” by Wayne Wonder, “Rude Boy Saddam” with Gregory Isaacs.
In 1992 under the management wing of Jackie Davidson ‘Mafia & Fluxy’ went on to remix tracks with top acts like; Soul4Soul, Janet Jackson, Sting, Gypsy Kings, Boy George, Curiosity, R Kelly, Aliyah. The duo began working on new productions with Michael Rose, Maxi priest, Mad Cobra, Beenie Man and Dennis Brown.
The brothers were recruited into top band SoulIISoul Fluxy on drums and Mafia on base. They then in 1993 they toured places with the likes of James Brown on European tour and CC. Penniston, Marky Mark, and Incognito on a Japan tour. In 1994 they returned to Jamaica to record with Buju Banton, Garnett Silk, Shabba Ranks and Lady Patra. With tracks like “Lift up your Head” and “Bad News “with Beres Hammond which became a successful national anthem.
From 1997 they continued to build home grown talent such as Glamma Kid, Troublesome, Sandra Melody, Marie Claire, Santana and more. In 2006 Mafia & Fluxy continued with in house productions alongside Gussie P and ‘So So’ Calvin Francis
In 2006 the studio closed and in 2008 Stingray Studios became the home of Mafia & Fluxy every Wednesday and where we still see them working from today. They continue to not only work with seasoned artists like Little Roy, Richie Davis, Sylvia Tella, Kofi, Macka B, Tippa irie, Luciano and included the late John Holt.
In 2008 they produced the album “Journey to Foreign” with Clinark, which featured collaborations including Richie Spice, Fantan Mojah, Luciano, Brinsley Forde & Maxi Priest and Clinark’s Tribute to Michael Jackson -A Legend and a Warrior album (2010). Bun n Cheese Album (2012), Live and Love Riddim (2012) Paradise Riddim (2013), Tribute to Jackie Mitto (2013) and a series of compilation albums including, “Music for Lovers,” and “R&B to Reggae” series and “Prescription” by The Pharmacist (2016). They also nurture and produce rising artists, like Adele Harley and Shandi, and Lady Stephanie. The duo celebrated 30 years in business in 2017.
They also tour internationally promoting their productions DJing as the Mafia & Fluxy Sound system.
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