If you’ve had a long rough week, and need to let your hair down and take your mind away from all that worries you, The Sahara Reggae Band is sure to accommodate. This band has proven to be a true crowd pleaser that does not allow anyone to leave their venues unhappy. However, don’t be fooled by the name because The Sahara Reggae Band is so much more than just Reggae. This multi-talented group incorporates all genres of music into their performances, but keeps Reggae as its foundation. This type of musical performance has been dubbed the “Sahara style.” According to the band, “the people demand Sahara style, so we have to give them what they want!”
The Sahara Reggae Band prefers to provide a mixture of Reggae (which includes dancehall and Soca), R&B and African music. No matter who the audience is, the band will combine their talents and give you an unforgettable show. According to all the members, the group has a main mission to please and share their natural passions for music. All the members truly love what they do, and never feel that performing or composing is work.
The Sahara Reggae Band is comprised of six spirited souls overflowing with positive energy with an innate musical thirst. Benji Kroma is the founder and lead male vocalist, who was born in Sierra Leone and raised in the church. He plays a host of instruments and ultimately accredits his success to his mother. Kroma founded the group in 2001 with its original members being his brother, Raymond Kroma (who now works behind the scenes), James “JC” Campbell, his current bass player, and Randy Fuller, his current drummer.
Over the next 10 years or so, Benji would meet the rest of his musical family, and complete his band. As a performer and musician, he finds joy and rewards from seeing others happy and satisfied with the band’s music. He has found that his “happy” place is with music and performing, which transcends into vehemently loving what he does. Although he does write a great deal of his own music (and plays a host of instruments), he has found that the fans of The Sahara Reggae Band prefer to hear songs they are familiar with, but with an added touch. He admits that five percent of their music is original, and 95 percent is cover music mainly due to the demands of their fans. Songs that people know that are relatable, and they try to cater to everyone, says Benji in the interview. One major aspect of being a musician for him is ensuring the audience is satisfied and happy. He has been influenced by Bob Marley, Alpha Blondy, Elton John, Madonna, Cameo, and Michael Jackson to name a few.
A second vocalist in the band is the sultry, beautiful and harmonious, Trice D’Vine Wright, who is pursuing a dual career as a member of The Sahara Reggae Band, and as a solo artist. Wright attributes her love of music from her familial roots, as her father had a Reggae band and her mother who was a member of a gospel band. She became acquainted with The Sahara Reggae Band in 2012. Wright exclaims that she feels she was born to sing, and she absolutely loves what she does. Her main influences throughout her career have been her family, children, coworkers, and a host of influential entertainers such as Beyoncé, Jazmin, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Lauryn Hill, Cece Peniston, and The Temptations, or more importantly anyone with a powerful voice and a message. What Trice loves the most about being a performer is the energy that she exerts and captures from her audience. She has a natural way of connecting with people and making them feel comforting and happy. Trice puts her heart and soul into her music, and feels that any hurt, pain, joy, or happiness spills out into her music. She always considers herself as a member of The Sahara Band, and she truly feels they are a family. The one message she has for her fans is that there is always a happy place no matter what is going on. Keep your head up and stay positive.
On drums is Randy Fuller, who also found love for music in the church choir as a child. He plays a few different instruments, and once out of college played drums for RCA Records for nine years. In 2000, Randy and Benji crossed paths, and the rest is history. He accredits his success and being to his mother, first and foremost, and being grateful for meeting good caring people. After venturing into Reggae, Randy has learned so much about his culture and is truly blessed. He gives most thanks to guitarist Johnny McGhee from the group LTD for giving him the best realistic advice on being a responsible musician and not succumbing to life’s demons. He expressed in the interview that he loves what he does, and the most satisfaction he gets is from the reaction on people’s faces and how they move when they hear their music.
Reggae taught him patience and discipline in his overall life. He believes that the Reggae culture in the Greensboro area is still very small, so it works for them to take well known songs and flip them with a touch of Reggae to keep the crowd satisfied. Bringing in their original works will come when the audience “gets full” off their current performances and ask for more original pieces. Randy’s top musical inspiration is Parliament Funkadelic. His main message to fans is simply to “free your mind, relax, and loosen up.” For the future, he wants to do all he can to see The Sahara Band make it big in the Triad area.
Terrell Smith is the band keyboardist and music director. He says the band plays a diverse mixture of music with a Reggae flavor. Smith exclaims the bands mission is to put out good music and make people dance until they sweat and can’t dance anymore. He has a long-standing background in the music industry, dating back to childhood in the church. His musical influences include his high school band director and mentor, Stevie Wonder, and Chuck Brown. His message to the audience would be a quote that he ran across in a high school from Mahatma Gandhi, which read: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and Smith says that change starts with him.