Wallace Wilson AKA Red Rat was born on 17 January 1978 into a musical family in the tourist area of St. Anns Bay, Jamaica. His father played guitar for both the Vagabonds in England and Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires, 3 of his brothers are also in the biz. Incredibly, his first performance was at the age of four during his brother’s cabaret show ” They called me up and I started singing. I think it was a Michael Jackson song, yeah ‘ABC!’.” The audience went wild and Red Rat was hooked.
His recording debut as a guest artist on the single “Can’t Live Without You” by his brother’s band KRU brought him to the attention of Danny Browne who mentored Red Rat alongside Main Street artists such as General Degree, Lady G, Buccaneer and Papa San. General Degree suggested the name after they discovered there had already been another DJ using his first moniker of ‘mice.’ “Yo you [skin] red and you look like a rat!”
While still attending Meadowbrook High Red Rat recorded his first single “Itsy Bitsy” for Browne’s Main Street Records, but decided to wait until graduation to pursue music fulltime. In 1996 after graduating from Red Rat moved full steam ahead releasing a string of hit singles including “Shelly-Ann” and “Dwayne” catapulting him to the top of Reggae charts Worldwide and showcasing his unmistakable voice, unique sense of humor and his unforgettable trademark “Oh-No!”
In 1997 Red Rat released his debut album titled “Oh No….It’s Red Rat!” one of Greensleeves best sellers to date yielding a succession of hits such as “Tight Up Skirt”, “Cruise” and “Big Man Little Yute” with fellow Main Street artist Goofy. The album’s success and steady radio play and Red Rat’s outrageous live performances took him to places all over the world.
“I’m a Big Kid Now” Red Rat’s sophomore album followed in 1999 with yet more hits, critical acclaim and special guest appearances from a diverse set of artists and producers such as the mighty Treach of Naughty by Nature and Salaam Remi however, in the midst of Red Rat’s success Danny Browne suddenly decided to walk away from the music business for personal reasons. Surprised by the unexpected departure Red Rat took a hiatus from recording to spend with his daughter Taiye while working behind the scenes producing tracks for artists such as Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Spragga Benz, T.O.K. and many others under his label Brat Productions, but still continue performing for loyal fans Worldwide.
Inspired to return to the studio in 2002 by fans Red Rat and manager Delroy Escoffery of D’Empire Management formed Rat-A-Kastle Records and began recording new tracks in Holland, Germany, the U.K., Jamaica and the U.S. When not on the road or in the studio he can be found spending time with his daughter, playing soccer or video games.
(Source: afiwi music)