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
This is an essential mix and overview of Dub, a Jamaican genre or sub-genre that grew out of Reggae music in the 1960s and has extended way beyond the scope of Reggae to inspire other genres including dubstep, hip-hop, jungle, grime, rock, house, techno, drum and bass, trip-hop, garage, and more.
Click to download: Dub Music Podcast
Dub was pioneered by Osbourne “KING TUBBY” Ruddock (pictured above), Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Augustus Pablo among others. Hear this specially curated mix now on the Reggae Lover Podcast, episode 120.
This mix features reggae’s vocal harmony groups from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
I took it back to the roots on this one. I focused on songs with an impressive vocal arrangement. This is a specific selection of songs with male singers harmonizing together.
I featured The Wailers, mostly from the “Catch A Fire” album. That album has that very dry, grassroots sound. This was before instrumentation such as horn sections and electric guitars were added. Before the female energy of the I-Threes was added.
The mix also featured some of The Heptones‘ Studio One era hits. I dropped in some original Israel Vibration before they split. Other groups featured are The Techniques, The Abyssinians, The Gladiators, The Sensations, The Mighty Diamonds, and The Silvertones. You also hear songs from Lloyd Parks and We the People, The Sharks, The Royals, The Cables, and The Flames.
Listen to those names and you know these brothers were from a different time. These vocal groups created some of the most beautiful music and the most powerful songs. You feel their passion because of the emphasis conveyed within the harmonies. There was something special about those days.
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Its the sweet soulful sound of great reggae music! If you enjoy this, check out episode 74. It’s entitled “The Greatest Reggae Bands of All Time (not including the Wailers).” That show features Aswad, Steel Pulse, Third World, Israel Vibration, Black Uhuru, and Inner Circle. Similar material is on The Studio One tribute episodes: 55 and 56.
It’s a new season of the podcast! I am back in full effect with new shows coming out every week until the end of the year. Thank you so much for listening. If it’s your first time, this is a livication to you, the reggae lover.
Whether you know the songs you hear on this show or not, my goal is that you feel uplifted after listening. I want you to feel joyous and happy. The music should help you to transmute any negative energy into positive. You should enter a different frame of mind via the therapeutic mixes and level up.
For booking information or to sponsor this podcast, email email@example.com. Thank you to everybody listening from around the world. I love that you get to tune in and listen to me doing what I love most. We are sharing a vibe and keeping this music alive. Until next time, have a great week. One love!!
We salute our dancehall trailblazer, king of digital reggae, sound system owner/producer Lloyd James aka KING JAMMY. This is the first half of a megamix featuring some big tunes and riddims from the Jammys catalog.
For more King Jammys vibes check out episode 4 (Sanchez, L.U.S.T and Friends – 80s Lovers Rock), episode 5 (Superstars Hit Parade 1987-1989 Tunes/Riddims), episode 10 (Dancehall Time Traveling Back to the 80s and 90s), episode 36 (Stalag meets Sleng Teng), episode 39 (A Late Eighties Reggae Dream 1979-1991).
Also see our tribute episodes featuring Cocoa Tea, Sanchez, Johnny Osbourne, Frankie Paul, and Josey Wales – artists who all recorded hits released on the Jammy’s label. Lots more to come… all dedicated to you, #reggaelover.