24July2014

Now Playing:
Accessing Current Song...
You are here: Home Reggae News General Reggae News Displaying items by tag: reggae will never die
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

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