“There are plenty of American reggae acts… but none of them as genuine as Bobby Hustle. Built on a broad knowledge of reggae and dancehall music, Bobby’s authenticity is most impressive because it is self-taught and born of a true passion for a genre that most Americans only know through Bob Marley’s ubiquitous Legend CD.” – Dan Dabber, Reggaeville.com
Bobby was first exposed to Jamaican-style music in middle school when he became fascinated by the island rhythms being re-purposed by third wave ska bands like Sublime, Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish. His adolescent interest in that sound eventually led him straight to the source and he quickly discovered that Jamaica had a lot more to offer than just ska. He began to explore reggae crafted by Jamaican artists who were popular at the end of the 90s – artists like Morgan Heritage, Capleton, and Sizzla – and he quickly became obsessed. He scoured the Emerald City for any reggae record he could get his hands on, hoping to soak up as much Jamaican music, dialect, and culture as he could.
Bobby’s childhood friends, Dan and MG, were also attracted to the sounds of Jamaica at a young age and the trio bonded over reggae music through their high school years. Following graduation, Bobby took a more traditional path and enrolled in college, while his former classmates pursued their musical interests by studying audio engineering and building their own small studio back home in Seattle. When Bobby returned from his studies, Dan and MG were in the process of starting a label called Dynasty Records and they wanted their lifelong friend to join them. Dynasty gave Bobby a home base and an opportunity to try his hand at singing and songwriting, which came naturally to him. Influenced heavily by Jamaican artists for such a large portion of his life, Bobby’s mix of American slang and textbook Jamaican patois made him truly unique in the scene – bridging the gap between American reggae acts like SOJA and Rebelution, and Jamaican artists like Protoje and Jesse Royal. Bobby, Dan, and MG still work together frequently, though under a new banner, Loud City Music.
In 2010, Bobby Hustle began voicing reggae productions and, true to his name, he has worked industriously for labels from all over the world. In addition to his home camp, Loud City Music, he has written and recorded songs for many prominent outfits like the bicoastal American crew, Lustre Kings Productions, and German label, Jugglerz Records. Since his debut EP, Always On The Hustle, in 2011, Bobby has released a mixtape called Sweet Reggae Music, and his first full length album, It’s The Hustle. In his eight year career, Bobby Hustle has collaborated with some of the best reggae artists in the world, including award winning artist, Exco Levi, prolific roots veteran, Lutan Fyah, and reggae superstar, Collie Buddz, with whom Bobby was featured for the anthemic track, Habit 2016, from the American band, The Movement.
All of Bobby’s hard work has given the independent artist exposure, and he has managed to build a remarkable following from all over the world. Bobby’s music has taken him to far away places like Japan, Russia, and Italy, and he has performed opening duties for crucial reggae artists like Gappy Ranks, Konshens, and Protoje. But his success has not come without obstacles, most notably, a two year stay in Costa Rica, where Bobby awaited trial for a drug trafficking charge that resulted from a misunderstanding while he was on tour. Determined to fight the charge, he refused to accept a plea deal that would have given him a lighter sentence. Bobby knew he was innocent and decided that he would do everything in his power to keep his freedom. He was found not guilty of all charges and he was able to return to his friends and family in Seattle in December of 2017. Bobby’s experience in Costa Rica inspired the title track from his new 2018 EP, Can’t Hold Me.
Now in 2019, Bobby is living in Los Angeles while he works on five new projects. His EP, Wolaba Vibes: The Costa Rica Sessions, a collection of songs he recorded while in Costa Rica with Costa Rebel Studios, is out now. It features collaborations with Costa Rican’s Talawa Reggae Army and Ras Manuel, as well as Mexico’s Jah Fabio and Suriname/Holland-based artist Rapha Pico. English and Spanish link up in the Caribbean!