Long Entertainment Biography
Ras Shaggai was born William
Bunkley in a small town in Northeast Ohio in
1962. A natural entertainer, he was singing before he could talk and dancing
before he could walk. Of African, Cherokee, and Irish descent, he sensed at a
young age, his purpose in life to project his internal unification of different
cultures outward and help to create a climate for unification and cooperation
of different cultures worldwide.
At age 4
he made his first TV appearance on the "Romper Room" show. During his
primary grade years he participated in dance classes, recitals and the church
found his family moving to the rapidly expanding Columbus, Ohio
area. This move allowed Shaggai to become exposed to a greater variety of
entertainment options. It spurned his songwriting interest and he wrote his
first song at ten. He began playing the trumpet at 11 and appeared on a local
children's TV show "Friendly Junction" to sing the song "If'n I was God" from the "Tom Sawyer"
soundtrack. A year later he was invited to join the Youth Performance Company
of the Columbus
Player's Theatre, an ensemble previously reserved for 13-18 year olds. His
stint in the YPC of CPT, included the lead role of
"Wilfred M. Wolf" in "Aesop's Falables",
a musical written and directed by Ed Graczyk, (who
also wrote, "Come back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean" an Off
Broadway play and Movie).
Shaggai continued to participate in church and school vocal and
instrumental, dance and theatrical performances during his teen years. He earned many Ohio High School
Music Association Superior ratings as a member
of the Walnut Ridge music department. He was also a two-year member of his High
School's 12 male and 12 female voice ensemble. Which
consisted of a choreographed medley of show tunes with a 35 to 40 show a year
schedule. He appeared in the scholastic production of "Fiddler on
the Roof" as both; Mordcha the innkeeper, and a Russian dancer.
Ashland College (Ashland, Ohio), for two years, he was elected Freshman class
president, worked at the college radio station as a DJ and Sports Update
co-host, cast in "Pippin", and became a member of Accordion Repair,
an improvisational comedy troupe.
At age 20,
he moved to the US Virgin Island
of St. Thomas in the Caribbean
where roots reggae captivated his heart and soul. After spending 3 years
absorbing the Caribbean culture and music, he returned to the States and
finished college, receiving a BA in Speech Communications from Youngstown State University
in 1987. Four months later, he began writing, singing, and playing reggae music
at many other clubs, college and community festivals and concerts.
he appeared onstage in the Youngstown State University
productions of "Working", and "West Side
he co-formed and fronted the reggae band, Liviration,
with Nicole "Zerby" Williams. They toured 9
Midwest states for two years and re-located to the Island
of St. Croix, US Virgin
Islands after the release of "Liviration
Posse" on the Conscious Vision label.
Ras Shaggai recorded a theme song for the America's Paradise Triathlon, which
became a huge Virgin
Island's hit and was
included in the ESPN's coverage of the event. In 1993, Ras Shaggai began
his solo career on the Island
of Puerto Rico and made a
major impact on the emerging roots reggae scene there. He has graced the stage
at the San Juan Hard Rock Cafe', opened for Third World, The Wailers
Band, Burning Spear, Yellowman, and gave a show
stealing performance at the 1994 Cool Runnings
Shaggai once again chose the State of his birth to base his operations in 1996,
a year later his song "Peace Inna the World", was selected and
included in a musical compilation CD of "20 of the best unsigned artists
in the country" by STR Entertainment. He continues to appear
throughout the US and the Caribbean, offering his positive life message to roots
reggae and dancehall beats.
and 2002 Ras was a headlining artist on the "Bob Marley Festival Tour", a
series of concerts in the state of Texas
by reggae musicians, in the spirit of the late Robert Nesta
on his debut album "I Awake", in New York City at HC
&F studios from September 4-8, 2001. The recording was finished at Anchor
Recording, Music Works Studios in November and December 2001, in Kingston, Jamaica.
Some of the many notable reggae musicians involved in the project are: Sly
Dunbar, Dean Frasier, Earl "Chinna"
Smith, Producer Sangie Davis and
engineer Rudy Valentino.
From 2002-2006 Shaggai was seen at venues from Texas,
to Massachusetts, as singer and guitarist with
reggae bands and Don Carlos (formerly of Black Uhuru).
The album "I Awake" was released in 2005 and has been getting airplay
around the globe, in Africa, Europe and America. It was the number 1 reggae
album on the Island of Guam in December 2005 and continues to chart and gain
popularity in Hawaii.
In 2006 Shaggai relocated his home base to Maui,
Hawaii where he regularly performs at Canoes Restaurant,
and other Island nightclubs, resorts, and festivals.
In 2011 Shaggai appears as an extra in the Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston movie "Just Go With It"
Shaggai is currently writing and recording songs to be released this year. An intelligent,
energetic and enthusiastic performer with a message that the world needs to hear, he is poised and prepared for continued success.