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Jamaican Artist Sheldon Shepherd's Impactful Role in the Bob Marley Biopic One Love

Jamaican actor and creative Sheldon Shepherd

Sheldon Shepherd Photo/Instagram

Music artist, author, and award-winning actor Sheldon Shepherd has left an indelible mark on the Jamaican entertainment industry over the past two decades. Best known for his roots reggae dub poetry band, No-Maddz, and his stellar performance in the 2011 award-winning film "Better Mus Come," Shepherd's star has only continued to rise on the global stage.

His Role In Bob Marley: One Love

In 2018, Shepherd garnered international attention with his role in Idris Elba's film "Yardie," marking his foray into the global film industry. However, it was his recent portrayal of Neville Garrick in the 2024 Bob Marley biopic "One Love" that solidified his status as a versatile and captivating actor. The film centering on the life of the legendary Rastafarian and Jamaican icon during the making of his 1977 album “Exodus” hit theaters on February 14 and claimed the number one spot at the box office for the second straight week.  The Paramount film, which was produced for roughly $70 million has surpassed expectations, pulling in $13.5 million during its second week and has grossed nearly $72 million in North America.

Shepherd's portrayal of Neville Garrick, the visionary art director behind Bob Marley and the Wailers' timeless album covers, seamlessly captures the spirit and enduring legacy of the legendary Rastafarian. The film beautifully illustrates how Marley's music continues to inspire and uplift contemporary audiences, and Shepherd's performance offers a glimpse into the pivotal role Garrick played in Marley's career and legacy.

Sheldon Shepherd the Poet

Beyond his acting, Shepherd's dedication to dub poetry remains unwavering. In his poetry collection, "In the Morning Yah," he not only showcases his own works but also pays homage to his father, Keith Shepherd, who ignited his passion for dub poetry.

Sheldon Shepherd's journey into dub poetry began with his father's passion for the art form. In a 2023 interview with the British Blacklist, Shepherd revealed, "My father, Keith Shepherd, would use dub poetry around the home to entertain and pass the time, and I guess children do live what they learn or follow what they see and hear."

Shepherd ventured beyond the confines of his home, participating in competitions, and nurturing his talent. Shepherd shared in the same interview that he draws inspiration from his family, personal experiences, and social constructs. This thematic richness is palpable in his dub poetry works, reflecting a deep connection to his roots and the world around him.

The No-Maddz Band

Shepherd extends his poetic expression into music. In 2000, the multi-talented artist founded No-Maddz, a Jamaican art collective and roots reggae band, with bandmates, Everaldo "Evie" Creary, Christopher "Birdheye" Gordon, and O'neil Peart to be different, at their alma mater Kingston College. The group fused Dub Poetry with multiple music genres and their live performances transcend the conventional – showcasing their multifaceted talents as performance artists.  

The band, now comprised of lead singers Shepherd and Creary, give audiences a three-dimension shows ingeniously intertwined with singing, playing, and acting, to tell their story through song. 

Reggae duo the No-Maddz


Their debut album, "The Trod," released in 2017, was hailed as the first Jamaican-produced live reggae album of the millennium. This achievement led to frequent comparisons between Shepherd and reggae legend Bob Marley. The band has since released several other albums including Sly and Robbie Presents No-Maddz (2015) and Heaven on Earth (2019). While honored by the comparisons, Shepherd, expresses a desire to be new, fresh, and incomparable, holding Marley's teachings in high esteem.

In essence, what makes Sheldon Shepherd unstoppable is his ability to seamlessly navigate various artistic realms, from acting and writing to dub poetry and music. His journey, rooted in familial influences and a deep connection to his Jamaican heritage, serves as an inspiration for Caribbean youths. As we witness Shepherd's continued growth in his pursuits, we eagerly anticipate the unfolding chapters of his remarkable and multifaceted career, confident that he will inspire generations to come.

Listen to No-Maddz on Apple Music and Spotify. o


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