Michael de Koningh
One of the world’s leading Jamaican music experts, Michael de Koningh developed a deep affinity for black music from an early age, with his passion for the sounds of Jamaica first demonstrated in the late 1980s with his regular contributions to Trojan’s popular fanzine, ‘Let’s Catch The Beat’.
Although trained as a landscape artist, Michael initially worked in graphic design and print before taking a chance on turning his hobby into a profession by selling vinyl for a living, managing his ‘Reggae Reggae Reggae’ record hand record business for over twenty years.
Following the sale of Trojan Records to the Sanctuary Music Group in 2001, Michael became a regular compiler and writer for the reggae label, with his knowledge and understanding of the music resulting in a number of popular Trojan collections, including the widely acclaimed and extremely collectable, ‘Haunted House’ and ‘Spirit of 69’ 7” vinyl box sets.
Aside from his work on ‘Young Gifted & Black: The Story Of Trojan Records’, Michael also co-authored and ‘Tighten Up! The History Of British Reggae’, as well as regularly contributing to a variety of music magazines and fanzines, most notably Record Collector, Record Buyer, Distant Drums, Echoes and Blues & Soul. In addition, he found time to write notes and compile for a variety of other back catalogue record companies, with their number including Universal Music, Union Square, Snapper and Secret, occasionally working under the alias of Door Peeper.
Intelligent, modest, knowledgeable, passionate, enthusiastic, honest and thoughtful are just of the few of the many positive attributes that Michael possessed in spades. His passing in June 2016 at the age of 58 was an overwhelming loss to Trojan Records, all those fortunate enough to have considered him a friend and most of all, his beloved wife, Kathy.
His contribution to the Trojan story, and the understanding and appreciation of reggae music over the past few decades was substantial and should never be either overlooked or underestimated. We will always miss you Michael.