Sizzla’s son changes name to Skorcha
His father, the reggae great that many know as Sizzla, named him Melech Miguel-Kayodeye Collins but fondly calls him 'Meleku' .
And when he decided to launch his own career as a recording artiste in 2015, at age 18, the young Collins decided to use Meleku as his stage name, but he did not make mention of the fact that he is from Kalonji's bloodline.
"The name Sizzla was a lot to live up to; as such, I would shy away from the fact my father is such a giant in the industry, and at the start of my career I would beg for that not to be in the promotion," Meleku said.
However, that was inevitable, and as the burgeoning talent became more popular, many associated him with his dad. As Meleku, he recorded music and has completed two major tours, performed on both the small and large stages at Reggae Sumfest in 2015 and 2017, respectively, and Rebel Salute.
He is also featured on the Life of a Ghetto Youth - Chapter 2 album released in May, which debuted at number seven on the Billboard Reggae Charts, and peaked at number four last month.
Out of three tracks on the album, How Great Is That Moment, had the reggae community likening his vocals to his father's.
Meleku has since rebranded himself as 'Skorcha'.
"I was trying to find myself. I have now proven to myself I can do it and (I am) accepting that I am his son and will produce greatness to add to the musical legacy," Skorcha told THE STAR.
He continued: "The latter part of last year was spent overseas, and that was when I got on the album with my dad and after putting in the work, I have directed the vision towards a new brand and I have developed a whole new game plan in promoting it."
He says it is time to accept the responsibility for being the son of an icon. Making reference to the Marleys, he expressed, "You don't see the children and grandchildren of Bob Marley debuting without mention or use of the legend's name. I am ready ... ."
The name Skorcha will not only be known in the reggae community, as he now also dabbles in the dancehall sphere, having just released the track titled Gyal Criminal on the No Sleep rhythm, produced by up-and-coming producer/disc jockey Russ Buss.
Has the image changed as well? He answered, "I don't think everything remains the same over time, and 18 to 22 is a lot of years and room for change. I want people to understand this about Skorcha and it is stated in my music. I describe myself as a "Rasta rockstar" so yes, the image has changed, but only because after a lot of self-actualisation, I am being true to myself."
"I would be lying if I act like I am just like Sizzla - while we are one in the same, we are two different personalities. I didn't grow up like my father because he made it so I would grow up in better situations. Also, I still follow the teachings of his Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I and respect the Garveyian vision, but I am young, I do go out, have a drink sometimes and I don't think it is right for persons to judge me based on that," he explained.
Skorcha is billed to perform on the SPF Weekend event I-Rise, the cultural reggae show at Kaya Herb House in Drax Hall, St Ann. The line-up also includes dynamic acts like No-Maddz and Jesse Royal, but Skorcha is far from intimidated, sharing, "Me a keep it hot, look out for the fire," he said.