Chaka Demus (born 16 April 1963, West Kingston Jamaica) is a well known reggae musician and deejay, best known for a string of hits which enjoyed chart success in the 1990s, in both his native Jamaica and around the world.
Born as John Taylor in Kingston’s Waterhouse district., Demus is well-known for the number one hit “Twist and Shout”, a cover of the Isley Brothers song that featured Jack Radics and Sly & Robbie (under the name of Taxi Gang). He also performed as part of the duo Chaka Demus & Pliers, and they had a number one album in the United Kingdom with the re-issue of Tease Me and a reggae hit in 1992 with “Murder She Wrote”. The single “Tease Me” charted in 1993.
Taylor was a regular attendee at Kingston dances and was given a chance by Prince Jammy to deejay on his sound system Upon releasing his debut single, the Jammy-produced “Increase Your Knowledge” in 1985, he was virtually unknown and none of his early records saw chart success, but would later become huge hits. Other musicians quickly recognised him as having great potential, most notably Yellowman who joined him for such songs as “Everybody Loves Chaka”, “Scotty”, and “Bring It To Me” and Admiral Bailey, who collaborated with him on “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer”, giving him his first hit. After minor success, he moved to the Penthouse Records label where he recorded the single “Chaka on the Move” but switched back to Jammy’s the following year where he paired up with Shabba Ranks for the Rough & Rugged album. The same year saw the release of “Everybody Loves Chaka”, for the Scorpio label, which was then followed up by the 1989 album, The Original Chaka’ ‘Watch me Ride’.
He first met Pliers (Everton Bonner) in 1991 and suggested that they team up. They enjoyed an internationally successful partnership including a string of hit singles and a number one album in the UK between 1993 and 1997.
In 2007, Chaka Demus & Pliers reunited to record a track called “Need Your Lovin” which was released on vinyl, on Explorer Records. On November 18, 2007, Chaka Demus & Pliers performed “Murder She Wrote” alongside Alicia Keys at the 2007 American Music Awards. The new album, “So Proud”, of Chaka Demus & Pliers will be released in Europe and the Middle east in October 2008. A new solo album, called DJ Spirit was released in 2008.
Chaka Demus now runs his own record label, Bright Star, on which he has released records by his son, known by his stage name of Marvellous.