Michael Goldwasser


World-renowned reggae producer Michael Goldwasser re-invents Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Producer/arranger/songwriter/musician Michael Goldwasser is at the forefront of the U.S. reggae scene, masterminding some of the most successful independent reggae albums of the last decade.  His productions Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006) and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009) reinvigorated the genre, topping the Billboard reggae charts and winning over millions of new fans with his groundbreaking adaptations of classic albums by Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and the Beatles.  On August 28, 2012, Goldwasser does it again with the release of Easy Star’s Thrillah, his re-working of the top-selling album of all time, Thriller by Michael Jackson, which comes out on the label that Michael co-founded, Easy Star Records.

Easy Star’s Thrillah is in many ways a homecoming for Goldwasser.  He has been dubbed “the Mark Ronson of reggae” for his ability to bring authentic reggae vibes to any project regardless of what genre the artist is from, but he also comes from a background in R&B music, having been writing, performing, and producing that style at the same time as he was moving reggae forward with his popular productions.  Michael grew up listening to artists like Jackson, the Isley Brothers, and Donny Hathaway, and they were as influential to his musical makeup as reggae greats like Bob Marley and Dennis Brown.  Thrillah was the perfect opportunity to blend reggae and r&b to come up with an adventurous new sound that is firmly rooted in both styles.

From the outside, few might expect that Goldwasser, the son of a rabbi and a graduate of Columbia University, would have taken the career path that would bring him to lead the American reggae scene to where it is today. But when he and three friends, lamenting the dearth of quality reggae in the mid 90’s, decided to start their own reggae label, the table was set.  They felt that there was a place for roots reggae made with live musicians and analog equipment, like it had been back in reggae’s heyday of the 70’s and early 80’s.  So Michael carefully crafted his reggae sound, using vintage gear, tape machines, and great musicians, which created his signature sound and now has won over reggae fans around the world, including Emma Bloomberg (NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s daughter) who asked Michael and his band to perform Dub Side of the Moon at her wedding.


Michael has produced many of the biggest names in international reggae – Steel Pulse, Toots & the Maytals, Israel Vibration, Matisyahu, the Mighty Diamonds, Sugar Minott, Horace Andy, Frankie Paul, Morgan Heritage, Luciano, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Bunny Rugs (Third World), and U Roy.  He has also worked with Rebelution, the leading U.S. reggae band, and progressive jam band Umphrey’s McGee, as well as doing remixes for Tommy T of Gogol Bordello and Yoko Ono and providing original compositions for television shows (CSI:NY, Ghost Whisperer, Medium) and feature films (Cassandra’s Dream, Failure To Launch, Goodbye Solo).

Goldwasser is ready for any genre that is thrown at him.  When asked about his dream collaborations, he says, “I’m expecting a call from Jay-Z, Kanye, and Rihanna.  I’d love to dub out Blueprint, Watch The Throne, or Talk That Talk.”