London Based DJ AYITO schools the Reggae Lover team on the Roots, Dub, and Steppas scene in the U.K. plus her journey as a rising female selector in a male-dominated industry.
“No matter what I go through, no matter how bad my day… as soon as I play [Reggae] music it just takes away all of the pain. It doesn’t only take the pain away, it just replaces it with pure joy and bliss. It’s a spiritual thing for me. I know it may sound a bit extreme, but I think this is the closest I can get to meeting God. It’s that feeling that [Reggae] injects in me.” ~ AYITO
The California reggae scene has been thriving for some time now and vocalist/producer, E.N. Young, formerly of Tribal Seeds, has played a significant role in this success. This classically trained pianist who now plays several instruments including the Melodica fell in love with Jamaican music as a youth in San Diego. He talks candidly about his journey as I sought to learn more about the movement he is pushing in the name of reggae. By the end of our conversation, I definitely saw E.N as an authentic reggae ambassador.
Topics covered In this episode:
1:35 – 2019 Summer Daze Endless Nights Tour
2:21 – 4th studio album, Forest Wilderness released in 2018
3:57 – Working with Kelissa from Jamaica
5:45 – Collabs on the latest album (Half Pint, Peetah Morgan, Inna Vision, Meta and the Cornerstones)
6:56 – Love for playing the Melodica and linking with Addis Pablo
9:33 – Production and instrumentation from Imperial Sound Studios in San Diego
15:25 – Gaining inspiration as a teen (especially spiritual influence) from 70’s reggae
20:10 – Resistance from family members and society in general for embracing reggae culture
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.
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.
Lord Fly with Dan Williams – Medley of Jamaican Mento