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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