Sizzla Kalonji, or simply Sizzla (born Miguel Orlando Collins, 17 April 1976) is a reggae musician. He is one of the most commercially and critically successful contemporary reggae artists and is noted for his high number of releases. As of 2014 he has released over 70 solo albums.
Sizzla was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to devout Rastafari movement parents. Like them Sizzla subscribes to the Bobo Ashanti branch of the Rastafari movement. He was raised in August Town, Kingston, Jamaica where he studied mechanical engineering at Dunoon High School.
Kalonji witnessed a dancehall explosion, and with the music came the lifestyle: drugs, guns, and “slackness” (vulgarity). Formally adopting the Rastafari faith, with its advocacy of repatriation to Africa and its use of cannabis, he joined the ranks of the Bobo Shanti in the mid-1990s.
Sizzla began to develop his own style whilst serving his musical apprenticeship with the Caveman Hi-Fi sound system. He has used his music as a vehicle for his message, kickstarting his recording career in 1995 with a release through the Zagalou label, he then teamed up with “Bobby Digital” Dixon for a series of singles. Extensive touring with fellow roots and culture artist Luciano followed, earning Sizzla notability.
Homer Harris, the same man who named and mentored Buju Banton got him his first break, introduced Sizzla to top Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser, the musical director for Philip “Fattis” Burrell‘s Xterminator Family. 1995 marked an important turning point for Sizzla when he began working with Fattis. This union led to a run of successful singles and the release of Sizzla’s debut album, Burning Up.