Fashek was born in Benin City, Nigeria to an Edo mother and a Yoruba father.
Fashek first gained national fame on a television show in the early 1980s as a member of Benin-based reggae group Jastix. His bandmates included Ras Kimono and Amos McRoy Gregg. They toured for many years with fellow reggae group The Mandators. In 1988, shortly after Jastix disbanded, he began a solo career and quickly became the best-known reggae artist in Nigeria. His song “Send Down The Rain” was a hit, and he won six US-based PMAN Music Awards.
After leaving Tabansi Records, he was signed to CBS Nigeria in the early 1990s before moving to Island Records’ Mango imprint, a label more accustomed to marketing reggae internationally. His first album for the company included a cover version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. In 1990 he was signed to Interscope Records and released the critically acclaimed album Spirit Of Love, produced by “Little Steven” Van Zandt. Flame Tree released The Best of Majek Fashek in 1994. He has recorded several albums for various labels since, including Rainmaker for Tuff Gong (1997) and Little Patience for Coral (2004).
Fashek is one of the increasing number of African artists to be drawn to the music of the Caribbean, specifically reggae, rather than indigenous hybrids such as fuji, jùjú, or highlife. Having grown up in a fervently religious and musical family, he was exposed to the imported sounds of Bob Marley at an early age, alongside the innovations of local stars such as Fela Kuti.
Fashek’s major influences are Bob Marley (whom he strongly resembles vocally), Fela Kuti, and Jimi Hendrix.