On Saturday July 1st we celebrate International Reggae Day. The genre, ranked top 10 of the world’s favorite music genres, began in Jamaica when, it is widely regarded that in 1968, Toots Hibbert from Toots and The Maytals first put the word Reggae in a song called “Do The Reggay.”
Since then, the world has enjoyed popular releases from the genre; from the greats such as Bob Marley and The Wailers, Toots and The Maytals, Joseph ‘Culture’ Hill, Alton Ellis, John Holt and more, to recent greats such as Sizzla Kalonji, Beres Hammond, Shaggy and Sean Paul – the genre has taken root in every country around the world.
Some of the famous sub-genres of Reggae include Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Mento, Ska, and Dub.
Kool Herc, now inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, was a founding father of Hip Hop which is a mainstay in the music landscape making up 30% of the top songs on Billboard. According to Forbes, Reggaeton is the fifth most popular genre, more popular than Country and EDM. Dub, with all its reverb and echo, created musical stars King Tubby, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Keith Hudson and Augustus Pablo. Current Global Roots Rock Reggae artist Alborosie has taken the mantel of Dub in modern times, utilising the authentic sound and effects pioneered by the likes of King Tubby. The genre is continually evolving and a number of cutting-edge electronic artists reference the sound of Dub in their contemporary compositions.
As we look to the future, we note that Dancehall comes from Reggae, and so too do the younger generation artists who carry the mantle. Jahvillani, Intence, Shenseea, TeeJay, Jahshii, Yaksta and others have pushed the genre to the crossover space where international descendants in the Diaspora consume and incorporate Reggae culture in their artform.
This year, IRD2023 will pay homage to the Jamaican Artistes, the Producers and the Sound systems who were central to the development of the rhythms and the sound, and helped to spread the Dancehall phenomena. Our cultural influence from that era on music, dance, fashion and other cultural expressions, laid the foundation for this popular lifestyle music as a global export.
Visit the ireggaeday site for more information
Credits : Blog adapted from VP Records