Wayne Smith was a Jamaican reggae and dancehall musician best known for his 1985 hit “Under Mi Sleng Teng”, which is regarded as the track which initiated the digital era of reggae.
Smith grew up in the Waterhouse area of Kingston, Jamaica. He began recording in 1980 at the age of 14, initially working with producer Prince Jammy, who also produced his debut album Youthman Skanking (1982) and the 1985 follow-up Smoker Super.
His 1985 recording of “(Under Mi) Sleng Teng”, is generally regarded as the beginning of ragga style reggae. The rhythm was a pattern found on a Casio MT-40 keyboard and is based on the riff from Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else”. Although there are a number of conflicting stories about how it was first found, the commonly accepted view is that Wayne Smith and Noel Davy discovered it. Smith had further hits with “Come Along” and “Ain’t No Meaning in Saying Goodbye”. Other songs included “E20”, “Ism Skisim”, “Time Is A Moment In Space”, “Wicked Man”, “To Dam Craven” and “Music On My Mind”.