Sheldon Gava is a Rastafarian recording artist, poet and budding actor based in South Florida (U.S.A.).
He was born in Old Harbor Bay, St. Catherine, Jamaica, but grew up in Brooklyn, New York with his parents; except for Summer breaks, which were spent in Toronto, Ontario.
Gava’s first interest in the entertainment industry came when he was in Middle School, where he studied drama. It was there that he auditioned to play the leading role of Clinton for Spike Lee’s film Crooklyn. Although his acting skills were good enough to get him to the finals, he was eventually cut because of his age. Not being one to give up, he continued to work on his stagecraft and was later accepted at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, an institution that has schooled the likes of Alicia Keys. Unfortunately, his mother insisted that he attended Brooklyn Tech instead, one of the top academic high schools in the nation. Sadly, Sheldon never really settled into Brooklyn Tech, and as such he lost interest in acting and ended up quitting the drama club.
In addition to being drawn to the stage, Sheldon Gava was also very passionate about writing. He explains his love for penning words as follows: “Migrating from Jamaica to the States, at the beginning of Elementary School other students could not understand when I spoke heavy patois. I was ridiculed for my accent which led to a lot of fighting and suspensions even though academically I was a gifted student. In grade 4 I won a New York Citywide Martin Luther King Jr Day essay contest which I read for an audience of hundreds of other students and teachers from schools all across the city. I found writing to be the one single way that everyone could understand what I had to say, so I developed a passion for writing.”
Throughout his teenage years he would do freelance writing for magazines offering a few dollars for a certain word count, poetry style, or subject matter. The pay was not great compared to all the rights he gave away, but those freelance submissions taught him a lot about different poetry styles. Lessons that would serve him well later in life.
By the early 2000s he was a published poet with a growing fan base, who was frequenting open mic poetry recitals. At one such recital he met a group of Roots Dub musicians who invited him to their studio to record a few spoken word tracks. While working with them, gradually poems transitioned to lyrics, and just like that he added songwriter and recording artist to his title.
Sheldon Gava, the artist, would later record at Jamhill Studios in Lauderhill, Florida, a place that had several Grammy plaques on the wall; ornamental tablets achieved from working with various reggae legends in the past. Most of Gava’s early studio works however, were done at 56 Real Productions. This is due in part to the fact that they had an in-house producer / engineer who was from Old Harbor. Because Sheldon is also an Old Harbor man the two spent hours in the studio every day working on his lyrical delivery and overall sound.
Among his discography is a ten-track album titled Natty De Ras, which was released in October, 2020 on his own Gava Music LLC label. The project received mixed reviews, with standout track Ras Tafari earning international critical acclaim.
Fast-forward to 2021 and a more knowledgeable, focused Sheldon Gava is again sharing a new project. His latest offering is Weather Change, a seven-track EP that was officially published on April 30th, 2021. Gava and his team are now in full promo mode as they are committed to exposing this new record to a wider audience.
Though he is now known and respected as a recording artist, Sheldon remains active as a poet and has even resumed acting. In recent years he has been committed to playing the role of daddy to his three kids: Nyah, Sara, and Malakai. His dedication to his Rastafarian faith is always on all full display in every area of his life.