"MCing is about expression, it needs to come from you."
Slough resident Kebbie Conteh aka Joker Starr brings two essential ingredients to the musical mix - energy and personality. He certainly possesses boundless amounts of both!
His parents (hailing from Sierra Leone) brought him up on Calypso, Soul and Jazz and it wasn't until 1998 that Joker Starr discovered an interest in Hip Hop. His interest soon developed into a passion as Kebbie began to pursue his own ambitions as an MC.
The nickname 'Joker' came from a cousin as a result of Kebbies relentless clowning around and irrepressible sense of humour. It also speaks in no uncertain terms of his musical style. He effortlessly references past and present pop culture turning everyday icons on their heads with a 'no holds barred' approach to rhyming. Along with the trademark humour, Joker Starr's music is often very concept driven. The conscious themes are not always obvious, in fact they often surprise, emerging out of lyrics that appear to operate on a certain level but then with a deft twist are revealed to go much deeper. He refers to himself as a lyricist, having not fully comprehended the depth of Hip Hop until he began to articulate his own ideas and experiences. A great believer in the importance of individuality, he stopped listening to Hip Hop while searching for his style determined to stay true to himself and not lose his voice in the multitude of existing voices.
Alongside his commitment to originality is Joker Starr's dogged determination to move his audience. Whether on stage or in the studio, he wants to inspire his audience to go out and do something get involved. On stage he'll scream, throw water, and hurl so much energy at the audience that they cant help but absorb some of it. In the studio he does the vocal equivalent, barely containing himself as he tries to convey his inspired message.
The 'Starr' part of the name Joker Starr refers to the artists personal ambitions in music. With the multitude of skills he enjoys and his personal drive the name is easily a fore warning of where he is going.
Joker Starr's infectious 'Welcome Back Home' is the opening track on the YNR compilation 'Feeding Time at the Zoo'.