When at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again. If there is ever an entertainer whose determination and resilience is best animated by this gem, it is singer Kulcha Melody.
Born in Guys Hill, St. Ann, Jamaica, Kulcha Melody, christened Sheldon Faulkner, was raised by parents Aljana Brown and Augustus Harrison. Brought up as a devout Seventh Day Adventist, Kulcha Melody practiced his singing in the church choir. Alleluia-raising sessions obviously impressed the desire to do music. Later he made his talent known to the wider community of Castle Kelly in the garden parish where he grew up. Soon he was the area deejay/singer that was slated to appear at all community and school events.
At age 13, while attending St. George’s All-Age School, Sheldon saw an inspiration in fireman deejay Capleton. He would perform Capleton’s songs at his school and at community events, earning his first alias, Little Prophet.
In rare moments in the season of blue moons and untraveled waters, where prophets bring dreams and images from the unknown, Sheldon knew that he was destined to be a performer. He retreated into solitude where a myriad of voices spoke and where he listened and wrote. Real or fancied, he performed for an audience where there were no boundaries between the public and the private – everybody was inspired by his music.
Sheldon Faulkner later left St. George’s to attend the HEART Academy in Golden Grove, St. Ann. His first big stint came when he performed by request at the Moneague Teachers College. By this time he had armed himself with the original song ‘Whe Dem A Go Do’. His outstanding performance helped to increase his popularity in school and confirm his determination to make music.
He soon cut short his mason and steel fabrication training at HEART to seek his place in the music business. Roof International Studio opened its doors to him. The singer would visit the studio daily, sharpening his skills and learning more about his new trade. The next step was to get closer to the action. So he jumped at an invitation from a friend to come to Kingston. Two weeks after his arrival in Kingston, Sheldon made an appearance at the annual Garveymeade Barbeque. There he performed alongside Frisco Kid, Wayne Wonder and Spragga Benz.
Sheldon’s pilgrimage has always been to search the most sacred recesses of his soul, where consciousness is likened to a lamp that illuminates the dark nights and where obscurity is met with clarity.
Like most deejays, he hung out at studios waiting to get that break. When it did not come he put his talent on hold and pursued a trade in auto mechanics, a skill that he would later use to earn a living. This assisted in paying the bills and helping out his mother with his one brother and three sisters.
He made another attempt at music when he recorded for England-based producer Leroy Scarlet. He recorded a song entitled ‘Judgment’ which never made it to local airwaves for lack of promotion. The same can be said for ‘Done Dem’ recorded for Buck Town Entertainment.
Still not dismayed, the singer persevered and soon met Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee for whom he recorded ‘Run Up Yah’ and ‘Piece of Steel’. The expected big break he thought would come from these singles again eluded him. The singer again put his music on pause to return to the auto mechanic business. Simultaneously he took to the streets, doing dubplates and making his presence known at small community events.
Opportunity knocked again when a friend introduced him to hitmaker producer Bobby Digital. It was in these circles that Sheldon met Bobby Digital’s son Sheldon ‘Calibud’ Stewart who encouraged his name change to Kulcha Melody.
Soon after, Melody recorded ‘Lord Have Mercy’ on the Calibud label. Finally, in 2003 (a year he considers his lucky year) he arrived in radioland where the single gained airplay. With this renewed confidence he went into the studios again to record ‘Stress’, ‘I’m Lonely’ and ‘Africa’, power-played by Irie FM’s top disc jockeys.
Airplay was one thing, but when he couldn’t pay the bills again because the songs were not generating income he went back to the auto mechanics business. While doing this he recorded ‘Can’t You Feel My Pain’ for Lion Paw.
It was only when he met with Cordia Barry Brown otherwise known as Barry Boom of Triple B Entertainment that he was inked to a label camp in February 2005. Music to Kulcha Melody again became a burning cultural temptation.
Barry envisioned Kulcha’s talent reaching a worldwide audience. Under the guidance of management Triple B Entertainment, Kulcha Melody is being marketed and promoted in a serious way.
A music video to animate the single ‘Stress’, recorded in 2003, was released earlier this year and Triple B has plans to name his debut album ‘Stress’.
Now, with all his bookings and management being handled by Triple B Entertainment, Kulcha Melody is taking the country by storm with bookings that include events at Weekenz, and Market Place, among other venues. His newest single is ‘Sad To Say’ which will also be included on his upcoming ‘Stress’ album.