The New Music of Jamaica

Walshy Fire stated that “Jamaican artists are on the verge of creating a new genre” in a recent interview. This claim warranted further exploration so we went in on the topic.

Before analyzing today’s music we reviewed the many genres that Jamaica has created. That amazing history includes Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall. Reggae sub-genres Nyahbingi, lover’s rock, and rub-a-dub are also popular styles.

Reggae Lover Podcast 140 - The New Music of Jamaica

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There was a peak in dancehall popularity in the early 2000s followed by a decline in quality reggae. At that time vinyl formats transitioned to CD. Then CDs went out and digital downloads came in. DJs started using laptops to play music and consumers turned to personal electronics. This transitional period led to what we call the reggae revival.

The current global dancehall and reggae revival movements are creating genre-bending trends. Artists like Protoje, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, and Koffee are synonymous with such trends.

Based on our analysis there either is a new emerging genre, or the concept of genres is simply dead. Distinctions between genres have become blurred and young audiences around the world are embracing that change.

References:

  • Lord Fly with Dan Williams – Medley of Jamaican Mento
  • Koffee – Toast
  • Culture – Two Sevens Clash
  • Lila Ike – Biggest Fan
  • Toots and the Maytals – Do the Reggae
  • Reggae Lover Episode 20 – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry,
  • Johnny Osborne – Water Pumping
  • Reggae Lover Episode 21 – Augustus Pablo,
  • The Skatalites – Guns of Navarone
  • Reggae Lover Episode 120 – Dub.
  • Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus – None of Jah Jah Children
  • Hood Celebrity – Walking Trophy
  • King Tubbys – King of the Arena
  • Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
  • Justin Beiber – Sorry
  • Koffee – Rapture
  • Bob Marley – Talking Blues
  • Reggae Lover Episode 126 – Dancehall vs Reggae
  • Reggae Lover Episode 133 – The Influence of Reggae
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The Influence of Reggae

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Discussing the power and cultural impact of reggae music on Jamaica and the world historically and today.

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What life lessons have you learned from listening to reggae music?

In your opinion, what has been the biggest effect on the world as a result of reggae music?

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Success in Reggae

In this episode, we talk about what really validates a reggae artist to a reggae fan.

Reggae Lover Podcast 132

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A unique voice or some crafty lyrics can get you the spotlight for a moment.
There are different ways to measure success in the dancehall/reggae world.
Kahlil Wonda and AGARD go through the possibilities.
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The Business of Reggae

If you are in the reggae music recording industry or thinking about getting into the business, then you need to hear this.

Hosted by Highlanda Sound co-founders Kahlil Wonda and AGARD, Reggae Lover is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on the issues, insights, back-stories, and adventures of the biggest names in reggae. Discussions center around the culture, economics and all things relatable to reggae lovers.

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Listen to this if you love reggae music and consume it via streaming services, digital downloads, vinyl records, CD, mixtapes, concerts, and/or dances.

In this episode of “Reggae Lover,” we discuss the current landscape faced by reggae artists from Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. This includes looking at how music distribution has changed in recent years and the impact of copyright laws.

We offer tips to help up-and-coming artists steer away from the evils of the business and suggest avenues of potential revenue that are commonly overlooked. This includes discussion of global trends as it relates to reggae and dancehall.

We tackle questions like Who is making all the money? Should artists go independent or pursue recording contracts with major labels? How can reggae/dancehall artists compete in the global marketplace? Are the GRAMMY awards even relevant?

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