Pop Quiz: What is the most successful reggae song in 2012? Who won the 2012 Grammy for best reggae album?Too many Jamaicans are not able to answer those questions correctly. Reggae music has come a long way since its inception in the 1960s but the evolution seems to be greeted with waning interest.
It is unfortunate that the birthplace of one of the most unique and transcending music genres seems to have forgotten about it. Local radio stations would sooner play dancehall or bubblegum pop songs than they would reggae music. This is not to say that they're to blame - they are only catering to the needs of the vast majority of their listeners. So who is the culprit here?
IN response to my commentary headlined Reggae at 50 and published in this newspaper on Sunday, August 26, 2012, Sam Clayton Jr stated: "Based on my personal involvement in the music business in Europe and North America, I have no doubt that Jamaica is still the headquarters of reggae music, because in spite of the fact that we don't have the biggest festivals, I don't know of any reggae festival that does not have Jamaican bands performing. I also don't know of any major reggae release in Europe that does not have a significant Jamaican connection; Jamaican studio, producer, musician(s) or feature artistes. Every major new innovation and advancement in reggae and its sub-genres comes out of Jamaica. Add to this the undisputed fact, the best reggae musicians and producers are Jamaicans."