Jamaica moving to reclaim global dominance in reggae, island’s best-known cultural export

Excerpt:
…Jamaican artists say sustained support from the government could give the local music industry a much-needed boost and help prepare musicians to get a greater slice of the international market. There’s high hope for emerging artists like Chronnix, the most prominent member of a burgeoning scene dubbed “reggae revival” whose young artists are building their careers with a savvy understanding of social media.

Jamaica celebrates “reggae month” each February. This year, events included workshops on intellectual property for up-and-coming musicians. The island’s biggest university also recently hosted an international reggae conference, where the global business of reggae was a featured topic.

While non-Jamaican reggae artists are having the most success with the niche genre, Smith and others believe it’s only a matter of time before Jamaicans dominate reggae again. […]

Repeating Islands

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For decades, the sound of Jamaica has been reggae, the infectious, uniquely syncopated music that transformed the small Caribbean island into a cultural powerhouse.But the genre’s success has taken it far beyond its roots, and now many in Jamaica worry that reggae-lovers abroad are forgetting the motherland where it was born, the Associated Press reports.

“Reggae was given to the world by Jamaica so nobody can or ever should discourage anyone overseas from making this music. But we think there should be acknowledgment that reggae was created in Jamaica,” said Michael “Ibo” Cooper, a musician who is chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.

Around the world, music festivals celebrating the sounds made famous by reggae patron saint Bob Marley and followers who developed the faster, brasher derivative of dancehall are more likely to be headlined by bands from places like California or France than by native-born Jamaicans. Aside from…

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