Reggae In the Age of the Internet

Everyone knows that reggae is best appreciated loud through a sound system with a stomach shuddering bass. This is not what one normally associates with music heard through the internet – the speakers on most laptops are not going to do justice to King Tubby’s dubs or Prince Far I’s vocals. However, the internet has brought lots of good things for the world of reggae and Jamaican music.

In 2010, a young Jamaican entrepreneur and computer programmer created a new reggae/dancehall computer game which was reported in The Gleaner. Alex Morrisey, who previously created the famous website jamaicanmusic.com, called the game Songwrita and hopes it will be played by fans all around the world. His earlier website is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to know about Jamaican music.

The idea behind the game is that you have to catch various song lyrics as they fall from the sky while you name the artiste – it also links in to iTunes too, so you can buy the music you like. Morrisey told The Gleaner that “I am delighted to have launched this game because dancehall and reggae music is an international entertainment staple that influences so many cultures around the world – Songwrita will definitely help to bring popularity to upcoming artistes and further establish the strength of our music around the globe – something that we are all proud of.”

This wouldn’t be the first time music has inspired a computer game. Music is found in everything from corporate blockbusters like the Grand Theft Auto games, which include lots of great tunes, to smaller games, like pocketfruity.com and Kerrang Radio‘s collaboration on Stairway to 7. Other internet entrepreneurs have looked to Facebook and other social media for inspiration rather than games. The website muzikspace.com is a Caribbean online community where people can meet other music fans and share music, images and videos. An interesting project that is currently seeking funding on the crowd funding website Kickstarter is Trendy Reggae. This is a social utility for reggae and dancehall music fans to discover new music and gigs. The app was created by Tarique Smith (based out of New York) and Calvin Brown (based in Kingston) and you can help funding it until the end of Monday May 12th 2014. Another good reggae community site is reggaelution.com, so check that out too.

There are many other good reggae themed websites – and ours should surely be right at the top – and here is one of the best: For anyone who live in the UK or Europe generally, David Rodigan‘s site rodigan.com should be a saved your bookmarks. Rodigan is a legend in the UK where he has been DJing reggae since the 70s on the radio and live, he has even won the Champion Trophy at World Clash Reset in New York in 2012. This man has a serious passion for the music.

A few other websites you can try to find music, videos or to chat to fellow reggae fans are yardflex.com which has lots of news about Jamaica in general, but music in particular; dancehallreggae.com has loads of videos and lots of forums where fans can chat with others; if you’re just after a forum dancehallareaz.com forum is a great place to chat; and if you’re just after videos reggaetopten.com has lots of good stuff.

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