Rhoda Dakar live @ Bearded Theory Festival
Rhoda Dakar began her musical career as lead vocalist with all female 2Tone band, The Bodysnatchers in 1979. She went on to record with The Specials, The Special AKA and Madness, along with her solo work. She has 7 gold albums and 1 silver covering these and other recording projects. Rhoda is also a respected DJ and toured the Americas and Europe as support to The Selecter in 2019 and The Specials in 2016 as special guest.
Rhoda has a five-piece backing band, The Lotek Four, and has once again begun to play live. Though times are straightened for independent artists after Covid, she did manage a short tour with her band in March last year, supported by Arts Council England. She is planning to repeat this early this year, to coincide with her new album launch. In the past few years, Rhoda has played with pick up bands in the USA, the Czech Republic and Germany. Her last international gigs were in Australia in early 2020.
Recently, Rhoda has released a series of four singles on Sunday Best Records with artwork designed by renowned Sheffield artist Pete McKee. In fact, Pete has repurposed some of the artwork for other projects; most recently the cover of his 2023 calendar and a wonderful 2Tone inspired slipmat! Her most recent single, a Reggae cover of As Tears Go By, got a Twitter endorsement from none other than Elvis Costello! He called it a “beautiful, trippy rendition of the mighty melancholia of Jagger/Richards”. There is one more single in the pipeline before the album rounding up the project is released later on this year.
Rhoda’s latest collaboration is with US Ska Punk band The Interrupters, who have recently blazed a trail through Europe and the US. They asked her to contribute to a track on their new album, In The Wild. The track called As We Live also features Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and was released as a single in August. Rhoda was delighted to join them onstage during their headline UK tour in Nottingham (Rock City) and Brixton (O2 Academy) in the summer.
Back in 2020 Rhoda collaborated with the Dub Pistols on a track about unity, Stand Together, with a US civil rights themed video released coincidentally at the height of the Black Lives Matter worldwide protests. Back in 1982 her track about date rape, The Boiler, was released just as a nationwide news story broke about that subject. Coincidence and perhaps a little prescience, Rhoda maintains that songwriting is about paying attention.
Other projects include a radio show called Pork Pie & Mash Up, which began on Totally Wired Radio but is now exclusively on Mixcloud. A mash up of music from her eclectic taste often including an interview with friends and/or 2Tone luminaries. There is also a large Facebook group themed around the show.
Rhoda also writes sleevenotes, most recently for Trojan Records’ release, Love Is All I Bring, a double album showcasing female vocalists. Still a campaigner and local activist, she is a patron of the Music Venue Trust and a board member of their offshoot Music Venue Properties, Chair of a local community squash club in Brixton and a former governor of an NHS Mental Health Trust, responsible for four hospitals.