Garfield Thomas, who is publicly known as Rufftop Rock I, is reggae recording artist who has a rich musical history which started when he was a child.
In his childhood days Thomas resided in a small community known as Two Rivers in Roses Hill, St. Andrew, Jamaica. Like a lot of Jamaican singers before him, he started singing in church. Though he recalls always belting out songs when he was a youth, there was one particular experience that he felt was significant in him deciding, definitively, that he wanted to sing professionally.
One Sunday after returning home from service, he was in a chocolate tree on a banking looking at the river; for some inexplicable reason he began chanting a popular gospel song: “I need another touch from the Lord, to guide me on the way to go home.” As the words left his mouth, tears ran from his eyes; and that was the moment that served as a catalyst for his career in music.
Unfortunately, due to political unrest in the aforementioned community, Thomas’ family, specifically his mother and six siblings, had to relocate to Allman Hill in the tiny district of Spring Field in St. Catherine, Jamaica. This is where Garfield started to experience music outside of the church.
The area had a popular sound-system called Prince Fame that would keep regular dancehall sessions. At these gatherings young Garfield got the opportunity to perform in front of an attentive audience. He also spent a lot of time honing his craft on a smaller sound called Brimestone. With Brimestone, in addition to performing, he was allowed to select music and compete against other artists to see who had better lyrics, flow and style. These clashes were instrumental in sharpening his music skills.
Garfield, who was now being called Daddy Mutt, soon became best friends with Fiyaneer, the son of one of the sound-system owners. They began making music together, like a duo, and were constantly in the streets pursuing new opportunities. One such opportunity came in the early 90s when they met the operator of Nitty Phonic Sound. The connection with him led to them linking up with Bescenta, another talented artist whose addition to the team transformed their duo to a trio called Kill Dead Crew. By the late 90s the group started to gain traction, so much so that they had to change the name to something that was more accepted. They decided to go with New Generation. Around the same time, they got the chance to do a few shows in the U.S. and once they saw that the group had the potential to be big, they opted to change the name yet again, this time to something with more significance: Kana Stone.
Garfield, who had now switched his name to Mutt Daddy, has shared the stage with artists like Nadine Sutherland, the Marley brothers and several other top-tier reggae and dancehall artists. He has done so as an individual act as well as with the ensemble Kana Stone.
Regretfully, the men dismantled the group in 04 / 05 when Bescenta decided to leave. However, they did remain friends and continued working on their respective careers. That being said, in 2006 Rufftop entered Jamaica’s Festival Song Competition. Sadly, he did not win, but was acknowledged and awarded for his stellar performance. His final name change was made shortly before the contest.
Prior to the competition Fiyaneer had suggested that he change his name from Mutt Daddy to Rufftop. He told him this because at the time Garfield was making it known that he was not very comfortable with the name Mutt Daddy and was seeking something that better represented him. Fiyaneer went with Rufftop because Garfield was always eating a biscuit with the same name. Rufftop agreed and immediately took on the new moniker. Rock I was added when the producer he worked with during the festival competition told him that Rock I would suit him better than Rufftop. Not wanting to lose the Rufftop, he decided to use both: hence Rufftop Rock I.
The following year, in 2007, before migrating to America, Rufftop Rock I worked at the Bob Marley Birthday Celebration at Ranny Williams Center in Kingston.
Rufftop Rock I now lives in the United States and is working with one of the most respected record labels in the reggae-dancehall industry, Reggae Vibes Music. They just released his new four-track EP, titled The World Needs Love. It goes without saying that both Rufftop Rock I and the team at Reggae Vibes Music are now in full promo mode as they hope to use this project to expand his fanbase.