Tony Francis was raised in a household with his Mother, Father and 6 siblings during the mid-1960s in South London. His Mother was a devout Pentecostal Christian, bought Tony his first electric guitar, so he could join in with the rest of his older siblings, who also played instruments and sang in their gospel family band, called the Francis Band.
Tony’s early musical influences were from watching the musicians, at the Pentecostal church his family attended on Sundays in Mallison Road, Battersea. His Mother disliked secular music, and would only allow gospel music to be played in their household. However, Tony’s Father secretly exposed him to variety of 60s reggae and ska music. At an early age, his earliest musical memories are of his Father playing the Exodus album by Bob Marley and also Desmond Dekker, You Can Get It if You Really Want. Tony became obsessed with reggae music he took any and every opportunity to listen to reggae records, wherever possible.
Whilst growing up in the mid-70s Tony frequented The Wandle School Play Centre, where he met his later to become lifetime long friend Gaffa Blue, together, they were fortunate to be able to fulfil their love for music at the centre; their Youth Workers would allow them to play their own records on the communal record player. Tony monopolised the record player. No one else at the youth centre could get a look in! One of Tony’s memories is of being eager to play his first ever record purchase, Rappers Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang. Ironically, a hip hop record!
Tony later joined the Boys Brigade and also played football, at Rock Community Centre where the presiding Reverend Phillip, who applied for and arranged funding from The Princes Trust charity to fund, the purchase of sound system equipment. With the allocated funding given Tony and his peers, Reggie B, Axe, Fowl, Blackie, Bigger Ranks and General T, purchased equipment and built his first full sound system, Young Prince, which was named after the housing estate they lived on in Earlsfield. Tony was nicknamed “GT”, as his friends thought he sounded similar to the popular Jamaican 1980s dancehall Deejay, General Trees.
With his newly formed sound system, Tony “GT” Francis, began playing at local venues and house parties in South London. As word began to spread how good Young Prince was, the momentum grew, they gained a loyal following, and then emerged a new charismatic, energetic and popular Deejay Tony “GT” Francis! His Deejay persona was well and truly established.
When Tony left school he became a carpenter, following on in his Father’s footsteps. At this point his deejay career became purely a hobby. Over the next few decades, with his new found reputation he would often be asked to Deejay over the popular larger sound systems in London, during the 90s and 00s namely King Tubby’s, Young Lion, I Spy and Killa Watt to mention a few. Tony “GT” Francis became a renowned and regular deejay on the circuit, travelling throughout Great Britain with the aforementioned sound systems on weekends.
Tony “GT” Francis has for the past 5 years been the resident Deejay for Nasty Rockers sound, with his childhood friend the selector Gaffa Blue. Tony has since outgrown the moniker “GT” and is now better known as Mr Tony “Oh Yes” Francis, he was ordained Mr “Oh Yes” Francis for his spirited, dynamic and enthusiastic personality at dances.
Tony’s distinctive, vibrant and energetic aura always electrifies and wows dancehall enthusiasts annually at Notting Hill Carnival, Brixton Splash, local festivals and sound clashes in Brixton Town Hall.
Mr Tony “Oh Yes” Francis and Nasty Rockers continue to captivate and entertain dancehall audiences around London the UK and abroad.
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