*Feature Photo taken by Flickr Photographer*
Reggae as a genre started in the late 1960s in Jamaica. Within the next decade, it had grown internationally. By the 1970s, reggae was particularly popular in Africa, Britain, and the United States. It’s a music style influenced by earlier music genres like Ska, and Rocksteady.
As reggae continued to develop, there’s a connection between the music style and the Rastafarian movement, a movement that advocates equal rights and justice. Several artists brought forward a popular fusion of these two, including Bob Marley, Big Youth, Black Uhuru, Burning Spear among others.
Jason Bentley interviews Jimmy Cliff, a Jamaican ska and reggae musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and actor. Cliff talks about the roots of Jamaican Reggae music, explaining that a new era began in 1971 with reggae music and artists such as Winston Grenon, and Hux Brown, among others.
“Now reggae music is worldwide. There is nothing to hide. Reggae gonna make me feel good, reggae music making me feel alright”, says Cliff, “Now it’s 2012. And reggae music is still here as the voice of the people everywhere. Wherever there is tyranny, and injustice, reggae music is there standing up for the right and as a true light”.
Many of the topics of the genre cover social and political issues. According to the Encylopedia Briticanna, “It was widely perceived as a voice of the oppressed…Reggae evolved from these roots and bore the weight of increasingly politicized lyrics that addressed social and economic injustice… A major cultural force in the worldwide spread of reggae, this Jamaican-made film documented how the music became a voice for the poor and dispossessed. Its soundtrack was a celebration of the defiant human spirit that refuses to be suppressed.”
In a Reggae Sunsplash interview with Bob Marley in 1979, Marley explains the purposes for his music and reggae in general. When one thinks of reggae, Bob Marley is an international symbol. He explains how he being anti-establishment and being for the masses of people, for the average person.
“When we play music, and we don’t play to suit critics”, Marley continues, “We play what we want to play, when we want to play it, how we want to play it. and we have a reason why we play it too, you know”.
Here are some fantastic reggae cover songs.
Conkarah and Rosie Delmah‘s “Hello” Originally by Adele. Conkarah has covered several other popular songs including “Wake Me Up” by Avicii, “As Long As You Love Me” by the Backstreet Boys, and “Too Good at Goodbyes” by Sam Smith among many others.
Spirited Band‘s”Maps” originally by Maroon 5
Mr. Diamond’s “All of Me” originally by John Legend
Mohan’s “Someone Like You” Originally by Adele.
Shelly Ravid‘s “Love On The Brain” orighinally by Rihanna
Mael Clerc‘s “Get Lucky” originally by Daft Punk
Ameena Ceasar‘s “Chandelier” Originally by Sia
Asantewaa‘s “Another Day in Paradise” originally by Phil Collins