Smiley Culture

Biography by

A satirical view of British society was set to uplifting reggae rhythms by South London-born vocalist and songwriter Smiley Culture (born David Emmanuel). His best-selling single, "Cockney Translations,"…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

A satirical view of British society was set to uplifting reggae rhythms by South London-born vocalist and songwriter Smiley Culture (born David Emmanuel). His best-selling single, "Cockney Translations," poked fun at the dialect of England's working class, while his unique view of London's security force was explored in his British Top 20 hit "Police Officer." The son of a Jamaican father and a South American mother, Culture acquired his nickname for his method of "picking up" girls by asking them to smile. Learning his trade with a series of London-based sound systems, Culture became a star after joining the Saxon Sound System, which also featured Maxi Priest. The first reggae DJ on BBC's Top of the Pops, he also hosted a Channel Four television show, Club Mix. Culture subsequently broadened his musical palette, performing a vocal interpretation of Miles Davis' "So What" in the film Absolute Beginners and collaborating with American hip-hop artists. Smiley Culture died at 48 years of age on March 15, 2011 upon sustaining a stab wound when police, armed with an arrest warrant, raided his home in Warlingham, Surrey.