Born in Kingston, Jamaica lived for more than 25 years in the small city of Easton in Pennsylvania, United States. He studied graphic design in the early 1980s, at the Jamaica School of Art, now called the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Of the many artists that influenced Freestylee during the formative years, few did more than the Rastafarian artist Ras Daniel Hartman. Hartman’s prolific output of drawings in the 1970s represented for Freestylee a rich source of Rastafari references and traditions that were growing deep influences on the Jamaican popular culture. Freestylee’s influences were not, however, exclusively Jamaican, or the Rastafari movement. Like other young progressive artists in Jamaica at the time the anti-apartheid struggles and liberation movements in Southern Africa were very inspiring, so were the struggles in Latin America. The subjects were evident in his earlier personal designs, drawings and paintings (1970s – 80s). During that period, he won two successive poster competitions in Jamaica, which gave him the opportunity to participate with the Jamaican delegation in the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students in Havana, Cuba in 1978, and again in Moscow in 1985.
Michael was committed to the mission of helping to transform Kingston into a global port of call. The catalyst and centerpiece of his vision is reggae. Michael’s ultimate goal was the erection of a monumental Reggae Hall of Fame Museum in Kingston, designed by a visionary architect of the caliber of Frank Gehry.
This grand structure must evoke the voice, vision and vocabulary of reggae and related musical genres. Michael’s vision pays full respect to the roots and lineage of reggae’s past. His mantra is a combination of heritage and tradition, of aspiration and intuition. Michael believed in advocating and celebrating a music that is cosmic, optimistic, righteous, hip, healing – a wholesome alembic for these tricky millennial times.