Adrian Sherwood

Long one of the most influential and innovative figures on the U.K. reggae scene, producer Adrian Sherwood and his famed On-U Sound label pioneered a distinctive fusion of dub, rock, and dance that made waves not only in roots circles but also in the pop mainstream. Born in 1958, Sherwood first surfaced during the late '70s at the helm of a series of disastrously short-lived labels; he formed On-U Sound in 1979, and counted Creation Rebel, Prince Far I, Bim Sherman, and the Mothmen (later to form Simply Red) among the roster's earliest additions. While the On-U Sound crew's original focus was on live sound system performances, the emphasis soon switched to making records; when none emerged as a break-out success, Sherwood began mixing and matching lineups, resulting in new acts including New Age Steppers, African Head Charge, Mark Stewart & Maffia, and Doctor Pablo & the Dub Syndicate.