Born Miguel Collins on April 17, 1976 in the Scotts Hall community in St Mary, Jamaica, Sizzla Kalonji knew from an early age that he would become someone great. Raised in the community of August Town, St. Catherine to devout Rastafarian parents, it was instilled in him that education is a very important asset. During his early schooling years, Sizzla developed a love for music, and excelled at writing. Thanks to his Father, he also found a love for Mechanical Engineering in High School, and would pursue studies in the field. While he was focusing on his studies, music soon became a part of his curriculum. Under the guidance of Homer Harris, Sizzla would pursue a music career under the moniker “Sizzla”, which was given to him by Harris as he would express a passion for burning the fire musically, and he enjoyed hot sip. He would develop his skillset through Homer Harris, and in the process, landed his first gig with the Caveman Hi-Fi Sound system.
Sizzla recorded his first single for the Zagalou label in 1995, and it sparked a conversation about him between Mr Harris, and Musician Dean Fraser. Sizzla would later be introduced to Producer Philip “Fatis” Burrell, who gave him his official break in music. Shortly after Sizzla’s break, fellow Artist and longtime friend Louie Culture took Sizzla to meet with Producer Bobby “Digital” Dixon, and Recording Artist Luciano. These series of events eventually lead to extensive touring with Luciano, later earning Sizzla critical acclaim.
When Sizzla connected with Philip “Fatis” Burrell, it marked the beginning of Sizzla’s rise. Armed with sharp lyrics, an ear for great sounds, and his dedication to the Rastafarian faith, Sizzla quickly became a hot commodity in Jamaica’s music scene, and a name to know around the world. With a string of successful singles, Sizzla put his best foot forward with the release of his debut album, “Burning Up”, which was done in collaboration with Phillip “Fatis” Burrell. His sophomore album, “Black Woman & Child”, which was a collaboration with Bobby “Digital” Dixon, proved that he was built to make classics. His 3rd album, “Praise Ye Jah” showcased his staying power, and was a small taste of his impeccable work ethic that would follow for years to come.
Now with a career spanning a few years that came with critically acclaimed albums and singles, accolades, and a fanbase that grew exponentially every year, Sizzla found even more success in the 2000s. Thanks to his 2003 album, “Da Real Thing”, he crossed over to the American market, joining a list of Caribbean Artists who have successfully performed the feat. With a presence in the US, Sizzla collaborated with a few prominent acts over the years, became affiliated with Record Exec. Dame Dash, and continued to bring his content to new territories. Sizzla Kalonji has close to 100 albums to date, some becoming award winning releases. He has scored numerous collaborations with some of the best in music around the world, and he has been sampled a number of times.
While Sizzla Kalonji paved his own way in music, he has also taken vital philanthropic roles as well. He established the “Judgement Yard” residence and organization in the August Town community, and has been overseeing various projects that promote unity, upliftment of the youth, and community development. The community has been responsible for the decrease in violence in August Town, and was recognized in 2016 for the success of the “Zero Murders Campaign”.Sizzla has also established the “Sizzla Youth Foundation”, a community based non profit organization that assists in feeding, educating, and creating a safe space for the youth in Jamaica, and around the world. Sizzla Kalonji has also established the “August Town Bicycle Club” and “Crank Up Bikers” initiatives in efforts to enhance the creativity, and introduce new skills to the youth in the August Town community, and surrounding areas.
Sizzla Kalonji is still an active Recording Artist, Producer, Philanthropist, Community Leader, and global Ambassador. Sizzla is currently working on new music, and is embarking on various projects to further build the August Town community.