Saturday, February 4, 2017

#ReggaeMonth Jamaica - Good Idea!

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February is #ReggaeMonth in Jamaica. This is a recognition of the importance of reggae to #Jamaica socially, musically and economically. It is being celebrated across the island and is supported by artists and the government alike. Check out the twitter handle @reggaemonth and the hashtag #reggaemonth. It is great to see the people of Jamaica and the government recognizing the impact reggae music has made to enhancing brand Jamaica.

Jamaica is the home of reggae so, it is right that it is celebrated. The music has spread from a little isaland in the Caribbean all over the world. It has been a vehicle for people to express important human issues like injustice, equality, peace and human rights. This is probably the reason main stream radio shies away from having much reggae on their playlists.

Though the music still struggles to get the recognition it deserves, there are now other 'centres' of growth and expansion of #reggaemusic like the USA, Europe and even Japan. Where new artists from differing backgrounds are expanding the boundaries of reggae and building large followings. Reggae now has sub-genres, like Dub, Dancehall, Lovers Rock and each of these sub-genres is expanding. It will become more and more difficult to ignore reggae music.

Reggae month, therefore, is a good way for Jamaica to advertise that Jamaica is where it all began. That is something that will never change and cannot be taken away.

rastaman and Jamaican flag

In the UK, the reggae market seems to have shrunk compared to mainland Europe where, you will find many international reggae music festivals like #Rototom Sunsplash #ReggaeJam and #Garance Festival. In fact there are reggae festivals all over the world. This is confirmed by the number of Jamaican artists that may well tour Europe without visiting the UK or just make a token appearance.

This is a shame as I was fortunate to experience what I believe was a golden era for reggae when Bob Marley was at his peak. In the UK, at the time,  reggae was a voice for change and I clearly remember the 'Rock Against Racism' movement of which reggae played an integral part. So, maybe the UK reggae industry could put its weight behind a reggae month in the UK (maybe #reggaemonthUK) to re-energize the reggae scene and maybe give the music the critical mass, focus and exposure it needs.

We see for a few days in August each year how the Notting Hill Carnival gets a lot of exposure and is now recognized  the world over. A countrywide celebration of Reggae annually could achieve the same thing. We have the tools to make this happen WE JUST NEED THE WILL!

Anyone for #reggaemonthUK
                                                              ------   oOo  -----
How good is your Jamaican Patois?
I came across the hashtag #reggaeAFilm on twitter. Where you add a reggae / Jamaican twist to a film title. There were some really good contributions like the ones below:

Lord of the tings
G'wan with the Wind
Irie Potter
Dial M fe Murdah
Dutty Dancing
The Gruffalo Soldier

My contribution:
Spar Wars
Godfaddah tree

A bit of fun got any ideas of your own?

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