Saxon Studio International is one of the best known London reggae soundsystems (musical ensemble). It is notable for being the first UK soundsystem to win an international competition. It is also where three artists who went on to achieve UK Top Forty hits first came to prominence.
Saxon Studio International began operating in Lewisham, South London in 1976
The sound came to prominence in the early 80s because of the “fast chat” style which was pioneered by its deejay Peter King. Other Saxon MCs included Tippa Irie, Smiley Culture, Asher Senator, Papa Levi, Daddy Colonel, Daddy Rusty and Daddy Sandy, each of whom developed this style and went on to release records, some (such as Smiley and Tippa) achieving Top 40 hits in the UK national chart.
Singer Maxi Priest also began his musical career on Saxon.
In 1992, Saxon won the UK Cup Clash (a tournament for reggae soundsystems).
In 1994, Saxon became the first UK soundsystem to win the World Clash.
Saxon continue to play internationally, including an annual outing at London’s Notting Hill Carnival. Their style has influenced artists such as Massive Attack (who invited them to play at the 2008 Meltdown festival which they curated) and The Bug (who has collaborated with Tippa Irie and Saxon selector Trevor Sax).