Born Pamela Ross on October 1962 in Wolverhampton, England, child of Jamaican parents, she debuted at the tender age of eight on her father’s Soundsystem. Aisha is a Soundmans Daughter… and, a True Roots Dawta. She’s trod the world singing her Ilahfull songs and doing Jah Works. But no matter where she goes — be it Africa, Brazil, Israel, Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, Mexico, or Japan –she’s Uplifted and Inspired the ones who hear her sing.
Her American debut came in March 2004 with Mad Professor when she blessed NYC with a special appearance. Her first albums, “High Priestess” and “True Roots” were produced by Professor on his Ariwa label, her last two, “Zions Daughter” and “Raise Your Voice” were produced by Twinkle Brother Norman Grant. All are roots classics. When ORB sampled “Creator” on the hit “Blue Room”, and Ministry of Sound sampled it again on “Roll To The Floor”, Aisha reached an even wider audience. After her performance at “Meltdown ’03” at dads sound, her father, whom she calls my greatest inspiration, also exposed her to his precious collection of vintage American and Jamaican music.
As a teenager, she developed her skills jamming on Lippys Locks City sound. “I was writing conscious stuff then because I think I just came into finding myself.” Her first break came in 79 when she joined the group Capitol Letters singing backup vocals. She’d just gone solo in 1984 when she met Dr. Alimantado, who was working locally with Neil Fraser, aka Mad Professor. Working with her partner Macka Dub for Professor she cut several tracks, including “Creator”, which was released in 1986. Jah Shaka, the respected UK Soundman, continually played a dub mixes of “Creator” in session, thus introducing ones to Aisha’s magical & angelic voice, singing one of the deepest and most heartikal of roots tunes. “Creator” not only became her signature tune, it became a bonafide Roots Anthem.
By 1988, Aisha realized that things were not really on a rootical level, which is why some would receive the music and some probably wouldn’t. “Either I was gonna change and follow the trend, or stick to how I felt about my songs. I never write a song without spiritually experiencing something that inspires me to write on a subject or feeling. As long as I can express myself and people can relate to what I’m expressing, I’ve done my work. I think with most of my songs that’s exactly how people relate to them. Lots of women mention “Now Or Never” from “True Roots”; you can feel what I’m feelin, though at the time, I never went back to that track, just left it, because it hurt so much. “I’m Not In This World” was another tune women, especially young women relate to; I was addressing women’s issues the things we naturally are going through while at the same time trying to balance it within Rasta and remain on a conscious level. I wrote “One God, One Aim”, when I was totally on a vibe where I was questioning my faith; I was determined to finish it and put it to song.”
To Aisha, each performance is special — not just “another gig”. Her tours and performances have inspired her spiritually. In 1998 she performed in Nairobi, at the Kenya Sunbeat Festival. “It was a turning point in my life because I actually reached Africa,” she says. “I was playing for 70,000 people and the way they received me… I literally had to receive people and acknowledge that I’m home. I was overwhelmed. Africa was like feeding the hearts of many. We probably take music for granted every day, but you go to places like Africa, and they’re so hungry for the food for the strength and encouragement.” Aisha is said to mean life, but in Israel in 95, she was told it’s an ancient word for grandmother. “I never experienced anything like that show; singing, looking at the sea and seeing endless people.” Her third album, “There’s More To Life” was issued in 2005.