Tena Stelin takes his name from the Amharic language of Ethiopia, which, translated, means ‘greetings’. He began his career in the late 80s as a UK-based vocalist with the Conscious Sounds label and initially enjoyed a roots hit with ‘Can’t Touch Jah’. Much of the recording for the Conscious Sounds collective’s output took place at the Manasseh studio run by sound system operator Nick Manasseh. The UK roots scene enjoys a cult following, with releases appearing on cassette corresponding with African rather than reggae recordings. In 1990 DJ Joey Jay, widely acknowledged as a pioneer of UK roots, began transmitting the sound legally with Nick Manasseh across London when the radio station Kiss FM was granted a broadcasting licence. This resulted in wider exposure for Stelin, along with other notable performers, including Devon Russell and Sound Iration. In 1989 Stelin had recorded ‘Give Thanks And Praise’ and ‘King Of Kings Parts One And Two’ with Sound Iration. Stelin’s producer, Dougie Wardrop, employed a session band known as Centry who enjoyed several hits, including ‘Stepping Time’ and ‘Thunder Mountain’. The release of Wicked Invention was received with rave reviews, though in 1990 the roots revival was still impending. As a bonus for those purchasing the CD and cassette version, Sound Iration In Dub were included. Recording at Digital B, Easy Street and The Toy Factory he maintained his profile with producer Morris Johnson.
Share this page