Justin Yap

Justin Yap

Real Name:
Philip Yap
Jamaican producer in the ska era, born 23rd of May 1944, owner of Top Deck Records and brother of Ivan Yap.

In early 1962, under the influence of a girl called Josephine, Justin Yap came up with the idea of writing songs. He wrote a couple of songs and started to seach for somebody to sing them. Justin met Ephraim "Joe" Henry, who worked with Chris Blackwell, and he had a little knack towards a Nat King Cole type of singin'. So Justin decided that Joe Henry would be just right for singing his songs.

Justin also hooked up with the singer Jackie Opel and some of Kingston's best session musicians of the period, for an example Baba Brooks and Val Bennett, and then recorded the tunes "There She Goes" and "My Darling Josephine" at Federal Recording Studio. After that, Justin was introducd to the then recently formed Skatalites and held a number of long sessions at Coxsone's Studio One, 1964-1965. His 18-hour session of November 1964 is legendary and during that session tunes such as "Chinatown", "The Reburial", "Step Down", "Ambition Of Men", "Turn To The Almighty" and "Valley Of Green" was created and recorded.

By 1967. Justin, like many of his fellow Jamaicans, had decided to migrate to the USA where he later became a US citizen. He returned to Jamaica in 1995 and resolved to make all of his tunes recorded in the 1960's available once again.