Born in Lafayette, Louisiana of African, French and Attackapaw
First Nations Lineage, he was named Thaddeus Prejean at birth
and his earliest memories are of the fertile musical traditions
of the Delta Blues, Zydeco and Gospel music he was born into.
His early recollections also include the ugly reality of
segregation, the KKK and lynchings.
A natural musician, he began performing publicly at age seven
and still gigs with the 3/4 size Fender Duosonic guitar his
father gave him in 1959.
As a young teenager Thaddeus felt the calling to serve God and
attended the Divine Word Catholic Seminary in Bay St. Louis,
Mississippi for Black boys training to be a priest. Not
feeling edified by the Catholic program Thaddeus strapped his
guitar on his back and stuck out his thumb hitchhiking N.
America from coast to coast and Canada to Belize, Central
America as well as Europe.
Thaddeus settled in Canada in the early 70's. He was
attracted to the beauty of Canada's west coast, but more
importantly he says, "it was a breath of fresh air because
Canadians would treat a southern Black youth as a man - not
1972 found Thaddeus living a hermetic life on the West Coast
Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. After a long
period of solitude one day the wind stilled, the animals
became silent and an otherworldly presence came upon Thaddeus
which he can only describe as the presence of the Holy Spirit.
He was told to change his name to Dark Fire Cloud, to quit
trimming the locks of his head, to abstain from alcohol and
funerals and to pursue a musical ministry.
The newly ordained Reverend Cloud started performing a repetoir
of originals and R & B hits like Jackie Wilson's "Your Love
Keeps Taking Me Higher," but changing the lyrics to "God's love
keeps taking me higher."
It was during this time that Cloud released his first recording,
a 7 inch 45 titled "We are the Children of God." The flip side
was called "Coast to Coast with the Holy Ghost."
The mid 70's found Cloud visiting Jamaica, attracted to the
mystical rhythms of Reggae music. Two years of touring and
doing session work with the cream of Reggae musicians imbued
Cloud with a grassroots love of Jamaica and its music.
Then Cloud felt the calling to return to his own Louisiana
roots where he came upon a hybrid synthesis of Reggae and
Zydeco music. Zydeco is the indigenous music of Louisiana
Creole people that parallels the Cajun music of
Louisiana people of European origin. Both forms feature
uptempo squeezebox rhythms and washboard percussions.
Zydeco (which humorously means green peas) emphasizes its
African and Delta Blues influences while Cajun music
emphasises its Gaelic European roots. Zydeco has been made
world famous by singers like Clifton Chenier, Queen Ida and
1989 marked the release of Clouds's first E.P. titled
"So Jah Say - Zydeco Reggae," which has been warmly recieved.
After touring extensively on the bar and college circuit from
Memphis to Florida and California to Oregon, Cloud is now
stationed in the mountains close to Zurich Switzerland and is
starting to spread his unique music to the European continent.
Ever optimistic, Cloud expresses his view of the future, "With
the stuff we use you can't loose."