24July2014

Now Playing:
Accessing Current Song...
You are here: Home Reggae News General Reggae News Displaying items by tag: reggae in the uk
Monday, 27 January 2014 23:00

Reggae WIll Never Die

The veteran British DJ on how Jamaica’s new roots reggae movement is keeping the sound alive.

The latest installment in Ministry of Sound’s Masterpiece series comes from David Rodigan, the legendary British broadcaster, radio host and headliner of last year's RBMA Sound System at Notting Hill Carnival. To celebrate the release, we asked David to detail the new roots reggae movement coming out of Jamaica.

You’re no stranger to putting out compilations and mixes. Why this one now?

“To be honest, I’d closed the door on doing any more. But I took this on because it enabled me to do something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before, which is to select songs that mean a lot to me stretching back to my youth. I wanted to go for songs that were very significant when I was growing up. The final CD, however, largely throws forward to current and futuristic music. I wanted it to be reflective of things that are happening now. By choosing these songs, I was saying: this music has a future; it’s not going away.”

What is happening now?

“In the past two years, there’s been a transition in Jamaica with the rasta revival movement. Young artists and bands, such as Jah 9, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, Raging Fyah, Taurus Riley, Pentateuch and Chronixx, are taking reggae by the scruff of the neck. They are going back to bands playing together in studios and coming up with songs of weight and depth. They’re true to the roots of what made true reggae powerful, as a music that stood up for human rights and against injustice and oppression. It’s about living a life of purity and of rejecting capitalism. That’s why I called that third disc Stepping Out Of Babylon.”

Was there a time when reggae coming out of Jamaica wasn't doing that?

“We've had a lot of negative press and attitudes created by elements within the music in the past – the glorification of gun violence and of a lifestyle that is vacuous and shallow, for example. It's impacted heavily on its image and has tarnished the respect that our music has gathered. The essence of the music was always about uplifting people. The negativity that entered into rap music is equally depressing and tedious. I know so many people who used to like rap who tell me it died in ’92. People like Jay Z name-checking brands in his records – that’s what Jamaican reggae would refer to as a ‘Babylonian’ attitude towards the world.”

In what ways are today's roots revivalists different to the last?

“They are writing original songs and creating original rhythms. And they've got something to say about the society in which they live and about what they are experiencing. They live and breathe the culture: performers like Chronixx, who is at the vanguard of the movement, doesn't just talk the life, he lives it. He is a spiritual Rasta man, he lives on an Ital diet, and his music reflects that.”

Why will reggae continue to thrive?

“First of all, it has amazing voices. The thing that always enthralled me about the music was the quality of some of the voices. Jah 9 is an example of this in the new movement – she's a politically motivated, powerful songstress. Also, reggae’s rhythmic structure: it's unlike any other form of music. It has this almost back-to-front structure and this ‘drop and wait’. And more important than anything else, it has been responsible for some magnificent songs.”

How do you manage to stay relevant yourself?

“I do so because I thirst for new music and to see people who've got talent being recognized. It’s something I've always loved, from when I was a boy looking out the back window to see if anyone in yards next to me were dancing to the songs I was playing on my record player. That was the beginning of me wanting to be a DJ and to see The veteran British DJ on how Jamaica’s new roots reggae movement is keeping the sound alive.

The latest installment in Ministry of Sound’s Masterpiece series comes from David Rodigan, the legendary British broadcaster, radio host and headliner of last year's RBMA Sound System at Notting Hill Carnival. To celebrate the release, we asked David to detail the new roots reggae movement coming out of Jamaica.

You’re no stranger to putting out compilations and mixes. Why this one now?

“To be honest, I’d closed the door on doing any more. But I took this on because it enabled me to do something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before, which is to select songs that mean a lot to me stretching back to my youth. I wanted to go for songs that were very significant when I was growing up. The final CD, however, largely throws forward to current and futuristic music. I wanted it to be reflective of things that are happening now. By choosing these songs, I was saying: this music has a future; it’s not going away.”

What is happening now?

“In the past two years, there’s been a transition in Jamaica with the rasta revival movement. Young artists and bands, such as Jah 9, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, Raging Fyah, Taurus Riley, Pentateuch and Chronixx, are taking reggae by the scruff of the neck. They are going back to bands playing together in studios and coming up with songs of weight and depth. They’re true to the roots of what made true reggae powerful, as a music that stood up for human rights and against injustice and oppression. It’s about living a life of purity and of rejecting capitalism. That’s why I called that third disc Stepping Out Of Babylon.”

Was there a time when reggae coming out of Jamaica wasn't doing that?

“We've had a lot of negative press and attitudes created by elements within the music in the past – the glorification of gun violence and of a lifestyle that is vacuous and shallow, for example. It's impacted heavily on its image and has tarnished the respect that our music has gathered. The essence of the music was always about uplifting people. The negativity that entered into rap music is equally depressing and tedious. I know so many people who used to like rap who tell me it died in ’92. People like Jay Z name-checking brands in his records – that’s what Jamaican reggae would refer to as a ‘Babylonian’ attitude towards the world.”

In what ways are today's roots revivalists different to the last?

“They are writing original songs and creating original rhythms. And they’ve got something to say about the society in which they live and about what they are experiencing. They live and breathe the culture: performers like Chronixx, who is at the vanguard of the movement, doesn't just talk the life, he lives it. He is a spiritual Rasta man, he lives on an Ital diet, and his music reflects that.”

Why will reggae continue to thrive?

“First of all, it has amazing voices. The thing that always enthralled me about the music was the quality of some of the voices. Jah 9 is an example of this in the new movement – she's a politically motivated, powerful songstress. Also, reggae’s rhythmic structure: it's unlike any other form of music. It has this almost back-to-front structure and this ‘drop and wait’. And more important than anything else, it has been responsible for some magnificent songs.”

How do you manage to stay relevant yourself?

“I do so because I thirst for new music and to see people who've got talent being recognized. It’s something I've always loved, from when I was a boy looking out the back window to see if anyone in yards next to me were dancing to the songs I was playing on my record player. That was the beginning of me wanting to be a DJ and to see 

Published in General Reggae News
Saturday, 26 October 2013 00:00

Giving Life To Reggae In The UK

For the generation that know Channel AKA as Channel U, Stylo G is a household name. Bursting onto the scene in 2004 with what was the anthem of many a bus journey, 'My Yout', he was the mascot of the mid-2000 urban music scene. Now he's back and ready to put reggae well and truly on the UK map. Stylo G has rocketed from the urban underground into the forefront of British music, headlining Glastonbury, working with Diplo and Damien Marley and being nominated for two MOBO's, a feat he himself remembers once being a mere dream;

"At one point of my career when I just started I wanted to become a nominee, not even a winner at the MOBOs. That was a platform that I aimed at. For me, over 10 years passed and I've actually achieved that."

He acknowledges his 10 year journey in music hasn't been the easiest one, but remains adamant that "If you're going to give up on something that means you never wanted it". The last time he had been in attendance to the awards had been under very different circumstances indeed:

"I went there when it was in London. I can remember Craig David, Kano and T-Pain on stage. I was just in the crowd watching. That was a motivation for me. It was like, 'Wow; this is possible Stylo.' I actually went to the after party and I couldn't even get in!"

To say things have now changed for him would be quite the understatement. Born Jason McDermott in Spanish Town Jamaica, Stylo moved to the UK at just 15 with his younger brother and despite the popularity of Grime and Hip-Hop around the time he entered music, he remained true to his reggae roots and sound. It was his 2011 breakout hit 'Call Mi A Yardie' that really cemented his place in dancehall and reggae, leading him to be the only UK act to be nominated for the reggae category at the MOBO's and pitting him against the industry greats:

"I feel good to know that I've revived and brought back something that people haven't seen in such a long while" he muses.

"That was one of my aims as well because when I watch awards and nominations they're always putting in outsiders you know, people from out the country, from Jamaica, people from America. Sean Paul, Shaggy- all these names, but my aim was to make sure that there's a spot for me. It takes a while but we actually nailed it and we're getting there so I feel good to be in that category against the big giants."

His love for his homeland permeates throughout his music and even in videos, his latest single 'Badd' showcasing the very best of Notting Hill Carnival, the notorious annual street party celebrating all things Caribbean. So, how does Stylo like to celebrate?

"I've been to carnival a few times, enjoying the vibes, the atmosphere, the culture, the food. The rice and peas and jerk chicken, the coconut water... I just feel like I'm in Jamaica for a day. And I think that's we've done that with 'Badd'. It's a good look to just get that culture across and to show people around the world what took place in the UK at carnival time. I think it's a good advertisement for Notting Hill Carnival so I think they should be happy. I think they owe me some money now!" he says with a laugh.

Clearly Stylo is a man who appreciates good food, even turning to recipe analogies when we ask him how he has sustained his new found success.

"I think my secret is to stay focused and make music to please. I'm not making music for myself I'm making music for people so that they can relate to it. I think my main secrets are my ingredients-good studio, good atmosphere, good producer, good vibes. To make a proper cake you need the proper ingredients and I just stick to my ingredients... I'm not trying to add no salt or no extra pepper to the pot. I'm trying to keep the pot bubbling just how it is so people can come back to my recipe and want to buy my food!"

It really is refreshing in this day and age to see an artist who knows where they've come from and exactly where they're going, even when able to count the likes of Idris Elba amongst their growing fanbase. Though big things are coming for this musician, his feet remain planted firmly on the ground and he appears to be approaching his big break with humility and patience. He imparts some true words of wisdom when we finally ask him what advice he would give to young artists trying to embark on their dreams as he did all those years ago:

"Success is a journey. A lot of things happen on that journey. Your wheel might puncture, but that doesn't mean you're going to turn back- just make sure you've got a spare tyre. It's a long journey, it's not easy. Some people have a quick journey and the quicker the journey, the quicker you can lose everything. I think the longer the journey, the more you appreciate it and my journey has been long."

Stylo G's single 'Badd' featuring Sister Nancy is out on 28th October.

Published in General Reggae News

Giving Back To Reggae141

We know how much you love and cherish the top notch service that we provide, by way of reggae news and non-stop roots reggae music with no commercial breaks. Reggae141 depends on your donations to keep us on the air, no matter how big no matter how small. We appreciate it all, so please consider donating to the cause. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give shall it be measured to you again. Your Donations are greatly appreciated and welcomed.   Thankfully Yours, Reggae141 Staff



Top Requests

Shout It Out Loud

Every year millions of Asian, European, American and Other World tourists visit these islands under the sun to experience a little bit of paradise. With a distinct diversity in culture, norms and way of life, it is almost always guaranteed to have a new and different experience every time you vacation.  This Reggae Radio known as Reggae141 promotes, inspires, guides and fortifies by way of musical entertainment.

Since its discovery in 1960 Reggae music has healed many of the broken hearted, empowered the oppressed & recognized the assiduous reggae artists for jobs well done.  This is the reason why we take pride in doing whatever it takes to bring you nothing but the Caribbean’s best straight to your Internet radios, computers and mobile phones.  Experience a little bit of Caribbean culture no matter where you are located. 

Thank you for choosing this Online Reggae Radio Station and we do hope that you find the Reggae Music we broadcast uplifting.

Our Partners