Starting from chatting over Hip Hop and Dancehall riddims in his loft and parties in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood in the early 90's , this veteran MC/Producer/Performer set out to create his own sound within the genre of Reggae Dancehall.
A long time fan of all sorts of music, it was the late 80's House music sound and the UK breakbeat/Dance/Soul culture of the early 90's which inspired Chatman to start to produce beats. The way the UK was blending Reggae, Dance and Soul music were a big inspiration.
It was a chance evening one night at Chicago's infamous Smart Bar where Chatman (then known as DJ Collage) was asked to join the stage with a local jazz hip hop band and give his shot at performing a freestyle rap. When he left the stage, he was approached by a fellow from Australia who was in the crowd and said he sounded more like a toaster than a rapper. From the very next day, he began practicing and working on his raggamuffin flow. And so it go........
Mista Chatman performing live @ Rumba Notes, Seattle 2017
Under his previous performance name of DJ Collage, MISTA CHATMAN first appeared on the international music scene in the early 90's as a guest vocalist on the track "Mother Earth" by San Francisco based dance group Dubtribe. The track was a modest dance hit and led to Chatman performing extensively up and down the west coast with the group. During that time, he also became a member of the Reggae Soundsystem Positive Sound Massive and was featured on their 7" single -"Sex & Guns/Unity". This collaboration led to many west coast performances and tours with Reggae greats like Barrington Levy,Daddy U-Roy, Wailing Souls, Yellowman, Nicodemus and others.
When the Soundsystem dissolved, Chatman returned to exploring chatting Reggae lyrics over other genres of music. By having this versatility, he was able to perform at many San Francisco Acid Jazz and Jungle parties throughout the 90's and was one of the first west coast MC's to perform with early UK Dubstep pioneers Benny Ill and Kode 9 in the early 2000's. He was also featured on a full Dub remix album by electronic legend Meat Beat Manifesto titled "...In Dub"
In early 2000, Chatman (still known as DJ Collage) began to focus more on his own productions and released his debut ep "Uptown/Downtown" on his own Masse Oneimprint. The Dancehall and Hip Hop flavored CD gained him attention on the east coast and Europe by receiving generous airplay and reviews. Some of that attention led him to Vienna, Austria where he immediately became a part of the Reggae and Electronic music scene there. He began performing at many local Viennese Dancehall parties and
recording with top Vienese producers like- Megablast, Wickedsquad, Stereotyp and Sofa Surfers with whom he toured throughout Europe in support of their "Encounters" release on which he was featured on three tracks.
After returning to the states from Europe, Chatman relocated from California to Seattle and returned to working on his own productions. Word of his talents began to spread up north to British Columbia, Canada and he began being requested to perform at many local Reggae events there. While being in Canada, he caught the attention of Canadian world fusion band Dehli2Dublin and was invited to be a guest vocalist on their debut album. The collab track "Celtic Dub" was a hit off the album and he was invited to perform with the band at many venues and music festivals all across British Columbia. At the same time, His own productions began to get noticed again too, and his Bhangra flavored Ragga track "Crown Mi King" was picked up by a Canadian licenensing agency and featured in several TV shows and commercials.
Jamaica/New York City
In 2010, Collage officially changed his performance name to MISTA CHATMAN and began being heavily booked for Reggae shows in Seattle & Canada opening up for artists Sly & Robbie, Yellowman, Julian Marley, Mad Professor, Collie Buddz & more. During this time he also travelled to Jamaica and recorded 2 unreleased singles with CHOP CHOP Productions in West End, Negril. And over on the east coast in New York, Subatomic Sound System started to hear about the Chatman vibes and began bringing him to NYC to perform at Reggae and Dub parties in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And in 2014, Chatman returned to the studio to record and release the single "Waiting" featuring Seattle based R&B singer Sistah Luv which received modest airplay & reviews.
Shortly after that, Chatman decided to take a break from the music scene but returned to the stage in 2017 by re-uniting with longtime collaborator Subatomic Sound System to open up for Dub legend Lee Scratch Perry in Seattle. And in 2018 he created his one man soundsystem show "RIDDIMBOX & A MIC" and toured in places like East London, Portland and New Jersey chatting lyrics over his self produced riddims. In 2019 he produced a new anti-narcissist/fake friend single "Dem Haffi Run" for which he returned to Brooklyn, NYC for the video shoot.
RIDDIM BOX & A MIC
"A One Man Soundsystem Show"
Keep watching this website for info on a virtual version of the Raggamuffin sound system show that's moved crowds from Portland to NJ to East London!!!
Covid 19 derailed all performing plans for 2020 but Chatman still kept busy last year by creating his CHATBOUT! vlog on IGTV where he discussed political and lifestyle topics inspired by tracks he received from independent Reggae artists. But now Chatman is ready to get back to the live performance even inna virtual sense...so Stay Tuned and Keep Watching this space!!