Kibwe was a late 80’s label based in Washington D.C., USA. It was run by Ras Jesse who also was the label’s producer. The label recorded and produced Tinga Stewart, Sugar Minott, Eric Monte Morris and Trevor Castell along with local deejays such as Super Barry, Natango Kid, Scorcher B, Supa Wes and Junior Bapp.
SUGAR MINOTT & TREVOR CASTELL in REGGAE INTERNATIONAL LP (1986) is a collection of very obscure tunes recorded 1981-1983 at King Tubbys, Balance and Ozzie B Studios. With heavyweight riddims by the Roots Radics and a signature mix by Scientist (who lived in Washington, DC at the time), this album includes several really hard-to-find gems.
Check Sugar Minott’s “PRAISE JAH” and Trevor Castell’s “GYPSY LADY”:
While the Sugar Minott and Trevor Castell tracks are strong, the real gem here is Deborah Washington’s “CHILDREN OF BABYLON.” This is a track so brilliant that its worth buying the album just to own a copy of the song. Recorded and mixed at Washington, DC’s Balance Studios, “CHILDREN OF BABYLON” is an eerie, haunting roots reggae tune that very easily could have come straight out of Bullwackie’s studio in the Bronx. This track is “dread inna fine style.”
Interestingly, Trevor Castell AKA “Stella” is the younger brother of the talented singer Lacksley Castell, who grew up in Kingston 11 AKA Waterhouse AKA Firehouse and was good friends with Junior Reid and Hugh Mundell. Junior Reid has referenced Lacksley Castell in plenty of interviews from the early-mid 1980s. Check GREAT TRIBULATION: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HUGH MUNDELL to read more.
In 1978 Trevor wrote the song “CHILDREN OF THE ISRAELITES” aka “JAH CHILDREN” for Lacksley’s debut recording for Augustus Pablo, which was released on the Hungry Town Label.
During that time Trevor and his family lived literally next door to Don Carlos and around the corner from legendary King Tubby Studios on Drumalie Ave. The brothers Castell gravitated to Waterhouse singers Don Carlos and Garth Dennis for spiritual guidance and help with their singing careers.
In 1983 Trevor broke out with his debut single “COOL AND DEADLY,” released on the Striker Lee Gorgon label and on the Shuttle label in the UK.
After penning the tune “DANCE UP A NEW KINGSTON,” which was inspired by the sound clash between Jamaican radio disc jockey Barry G. and English radio disc jockey David Rodigan.
Also included on the KIBWE album is “MR. CARPENTER” which Trevor co-wrote with younger brother Clifton “Bud” Castell.
Trevor Castell also recorded other tracks for KIBWE, all of which are still unreleased. These include: “JOKER LOVER”, “STRANGER”, “DANCE THE REGGAE”, “OPPRESSION” AND “RAM DANCE MASTER.”