Pandora’s Diego Herrera on Reggae Lover

We caught up with Diego Herrera, the Reggae/Caribbean Music Curator and Programmer for Pandora Media. He curates the popular New Reggae Now playlist.  

Diego is entrenched within the culture and has been for a long time. As you may know, we’ve been working with Pandora to help push reggae music. Our podcast is featured on Pandora and we curate playlists on Pandora as well.

We had a very interesting, informative conversation. You will love it. We loved it! Diego works in the ecosystem touching the artists, labels, and the distribution channel. We pull back the curtain and shed some light on what happens on the back end at digital streaming services. 

New Reggae Now cover.

We all use these platforms to listen to content, but how do they really work? What are the inner workings? We learn about that plus get Diego’s refreshing perspective on new reggae now and the state of the culture. He comes from a very knowledgeable point of view. Of course, after the main segment, we present the Buzzworthy, Tastemaker, and SoundClash update segments.  

Buzzworthy

  • Buju Banton denounces mask-wearing.
  • David Rodigan and Cedella Marley receive Jamaican Order of Distinction honors.
  • Barrington Levy in the studio with DJ Kahled.

The Tastemaker

  • Official music video for Koffee’s “Pressure” Remix featuring Buju Banton.

Soundclash Update

  • Downbeat pays epic tribute to fallen reggae icon Bunny “Striker” Lee on LP International’s Real Talk IG Live Show.

Tessellated Interview

We sat down for an interview with Tessellated, the Billboard chart-topping, Emmy-nominated Jamaican artist who blew up in 2017 with the hit single, Pine and Ginger.

During our Interview with Tessellated we uncovered:

  • What were his early musical influences?
  • From where does he draw his inspiration?
  • Who is he listening to right now?
  • What’s next on the horizon musically?
  • How did he get to #1 on the Billboard Jazz charts?
  • How did he earn the 2020 Emmy nomination?
  • How would he describe his lyrical and production styles?
  • The fusion of Afrobeat and Dancehall on new single, No Ansa feat. Crayon from Nigeria.
Tessellated Interview
Interview with Tessellated on the Reggae Lover podcast. Click to Play.

Tessellated Bio:


With Jamaican influence on international music inescapable in the current era, a new wave of exciting artists is emerging from the Caribbean island. One artist leading the charge for this global assault on the music industry is Tessellated, a multi-talented 23-year-old artist/producer from Kingston who burst onto the scene in 2017 with his bona fide Caribbean hit
collaboration – Pine & Ginger.


Citing influences from many genres, a unique blend of styles and sounds shapes the backdrop for Tessellated’s musical endeavor. Through this, he aims to push forward a fusion of Jamaica’s roots presented alongside other world genres. With this original style, Tessellated has now carved out a lane of his own already garnering support from music
industry heavyweights such as Camila Cabello, Lily Allen, Diplo, Major Lazer, Jorja Smith, and more.

Continuing the trend of breaking boundaries, last year Tessellated picked up a huge sync deal for his track ‘I Learnt Some Jazz Today’, a fusion of jazz, dancehall & hip hop, with Apple for their film ‘Bounce’ created for the release of their new AirPods. After its release, the song saw massive support worldwide, racking up several million plays in a matter of
months and going #1 on the Jazz Billboard Chart, a first for a Jamaican artiste.

Since then, Tessellated has signed with Sony/ATV Publishing and is currently gearing up to release his first solo project.

Season Finale of Reggae Lover

This season finale opens a few cans of worms. 

Questions come up like:

  • Is the stereotype that Jamaicans don’t like soca dead?
  • Does the Red Bull Culture Clash clash with soundclash culture?
  • Has Afrobeat replaced Dancehall for real?
  • Do young people everywhere know who Bad Bunny and Afro B are? Do they know Chronic Law and Squash?
  • We will be back in 2020 with amazing new content and this year was a blast. 

Reggae Lover Podcast 2019

 

We take a few minutes at the top for our favorite memories and takeaways from this season. Also, we do some shout outs and let you know how you can interact and support the show.

Thank you so much for the love over the last 47 episodes.  Don’t forget to check out our archives (talk and mixes) and please enjoy your Christmas and New Year celebrations safely.

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DJ RunDat: Best-Selling “How to start a DJ Business” Author

Boss Mama Michelle Miller aka DJ RunDat, guests on Reggae Lover.  DJ RunDat is known for her gift to inspire others to fulfill their dreams while fulfilling her own.  In 2019, she became the best selling author of, “How to start a DJ business,” launched her first digital course, an online show, and a mentorship business.

 

Topics discussed included:

  • Her roots in Humbolt County, CA., home of the Reggae on the River festival.
  • How she has grown her DJ hobby into a very profitable business.
  • Becoming a best-selling author.
  • The online show, “Queens on Decks,” where she interviews female DJs from around the world.
  • Her Facebook group, “Female DJs” where DJs network and support each other. 
  • Is Afrobeat replacing Dancehall?
  • Support for and connection with Jamaican reggae music in California.
  • The absence of “Reggae On The River” and “Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in 2019.”
  • Speaking at the Mobile Beat DJ Convention in Las Vegas 2020.
  • Balancing family life and being a mother with her career.

Learn more about DJ RunDat www.djrundat.com.

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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

Download Reggae Lover episode 140 by clicking the image above.

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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