Jesse Jendau

b. Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Jendau, also known as Congo Jesse, began his career performing on sound systems such as African Roots and Magnum Force. His recording debut, ‘Mind Jah Lick You With…
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Artist Biography

b. Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Jendau, also known as Congo Jesse, began his career performing on sound systems such as African Roots and Magnum Force. His recording debut, ‘Mind Jah Lick You With Disaster’ was released in 1982 while he was still a student at Glenmuir High School in Jamaica. In addition to pursuing a career in music Jendau proved an exceptional footballer, which led to a scholarship at the Vere Technical College. By 1985 he decided to persevere in his musical quest and relocated to New York, USA. In 1992, he returned to Jamaica where he recorded the cautionary ‘Rude Boy Remember’, which was co-produced by Derrick Barnett of the Sagittarius Band at the New Name Music studios. The song launched Jendau’s career as an international performer. His success resulted in a subsequent video promotion that upset the Jamaican tourist board as it depicted the less glamorous side of life on the island.

The publicity-inspired Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell recruited the singer to perform in the Exterminator crew. With the crew Jendau toured globally and released a series of hits including, ‘Ready Ghetto Youth’ (with Sizzla), ‘Rasta No Fear No-One’, ‘Mark Of The Beast’, ‘Israel’ and ‘Strong Black Woman’. His conscientious stance led dub poet and cultural radio disc jockey, Mutabaruka to invite him to speak regularly on Irie FM’s The Cutting Edge radio programme. Jendau’s orations dealt with many issues such as the Y2K controversy and his accurate prediction of the collapse of Jamaica’s nationalised banks. When Jendau appeared at Tony Rebel’s Rebel Salute Festival he performed to critical acclaim and, emulating Capleton’s ‘More Fire’ catch phrase, Jendau interspersed his act with the chant ‘Israel, Israel’. Through to the millennium Jendau continued to release hits including the favoured ‘Africa Ah Mi Land’, ‘Rasta Empress’ and ‘Give Me The Chalice’. Jendau left the Exterminator crew and formed an allegiance with Cocoa Tea who released the performer’s long awaited debut, Knight Templar. While Jendau has maintained a high profile within the Jamaican recording industry he demonstrated a ‘back a yard’ stance by touring 14 Jamaican parishes as part of the Rasta Revolution dancehall presentation. In acknowledgement of his scholarship Jendau always preceded the showcase with a football match prior to cranking up the sound system.