Ken Boothe

Singer — Kingston

Name, where are you from?
Ken Boothe, Kingston Jamaica, born and bred.

Describe your style in three words?
Presentable, attired, myself.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I saw Owen Gray in Kingston many times in the 1960s at The Ambassador Theatre, part of the variety show Opportunity Knocks. He can sing superbly.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Lloyd Parks is the one. Biggest show band in history. Other artists I'd love to be on the bill with are Fabulous Five and Byron Lee – ska, rocksteady, playing all genres.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
The Rastafarian movement. Emperor Selassie and his teachings. When he utters he utters for humanity. This man speaks for everyone. "Until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes".

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Somebody to gain some real knowledge from so my Mum or Dad. Or imperial Haile Selassie.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
Back, in the beginning, we played a lot at Hammersmith Apollo. With Inna De Yard we just played the Olympia in Paris. It's pretty and the sound is wonderful.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Every generation there are those left behind which is a shame. There's so many, especially in Jamaica. Someone I have massive respect for who isn't so well known is Stanger Cole, he auditioned me way back when and gave me the break.


Ken Boothe is one of the artists involved in 'Inna De Yard', an all-star Jamaican reggae collective, along with other Jamaican musical legends suck as Cedric Myton, Winston McAnuff and Kiddus I. The collective is the subject of a documentary film directed by Peter Weber, which has its UK premiere on 21 August 2019 at Somerset House as part of Film4's Summer Screen. 

Find out more about 'Inna De Yard' here.

The first track you played on repeat?
'Everything I Own' by Andy Williams
'Rough And Tuff' by Stranger Cole.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Mustang Sally' by Winston Pickett.

One record you would keep forever?
'Puppet on a String' by Sandy Shaw.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
'When I Fall In Love' by Nat King Cole.

A song you wished you had written?
'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Promised Land' by Dennis Brown.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
The Italian Version of 'Stand by Me' by Adriano Celentano.

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
Any ska song.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
'I'm Still In Love With You' by Alton Ellis.

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
Romain Virgo and Sanchez, both from Jamaica.

Name, where are you from?
Ken Boothe, Kingston Jamaica, born and bred.

Describe your style in three words?
Presentable, attired, myself.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I saw Owen Gray in Kingston many times in the 1960s at The Ambassador Theatre, part of the variety show Opportunity Knocks. He can sing superbly.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Lloyd Parks is the one. Biggest show band in history. Other artists I'd love to be on the bill with are Fabulous Five and Byron Lee – ska, rocksteady, playing all genres.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
The Rastafarian movement. Emperor Selassie and his teachings. When he utters he utters for humanity. This man speaks for everyone. "Until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes".

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Somebody to gain some real knowledge from so my Mum or Dad. Or imperial Haile Selassie.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
Back, in the beginning, we played a lot at Hammersmith Apollo. With Inna De Yard we just played the Olympia in Paris. It's pretty and the sound is wonderful.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Every generation there are those left behind which is a shame. There's so many, especially in Jamaica. Someone I have massive respect for who isn't so well known is Stanger Cole, he auditioned me way back when and gave me the break.


Ken Boothe is one of the artists involved in 'Inna De Yard', an all-star Jamaican reggae collective, along with other Jamaican musical legends suck as Cedric Myton, Winston McAnuff and Kiddus I. The collective is the subject of a documentary film directed by Peter Weber, which has its UK premiere on 21 August 2019 at Somerset House as part of Film4's Summer Screen. 

Find out more about 'Inna De Yard' here.

The first track you played on repeat?
'Everything I Own' by Andy Williams
'Rough And Tuff' by Stranger Cole.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Mustang Sally' by Winston Pickett.

One record you would keep forever?
'Puppet on a String' by Sandy Shaw.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
'When I Fall In Love' by Nat King Cole.

A song you wished you had written?
'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Promised Land' by Dennis Brown.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
The Italian Version of 'Stand by Me' by Adriano Celentano.

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
Any ska song.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
'I'm Still In Love With You' by Alton Ellis.

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
Romain Virgo and Sanchez, both from Jamaica.

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