Authentic reggae vs. reggae/dancehall fused music

Jamaica has a rich cultural legacy and nurture all type of musical talent in its traditional and popular music.  Lately, many have come to know Tessanne Chin, the multi-talented singer whom by way of entering one the most watched talent competition on U.S. NBC The Voice television series has drawn the attention of millions.

While it’s acceptable that Tessanne Chin is exceptional, there are other outstanding artistes and musicians in Jamaica that the world is yet to discover.  An interesting observation is the fact that even though reggae is the native genre a vast majority of the undiscovered talents are not inclined to sing reggae and those interested in singing other genres find it difficult to get the type of exposure required to get noticed so they resort to fusing their genre of choice with reggae.  
This fusion with other genres have yield success for several artistes for example Dianna King, her Shy Guy single is still a master piece or even Tessanne Chin’s Hide Away though she had only gotten national recognition upon releasing the track.  More successes for fused music came during the 90s era and are widely believed to have been some of the best ever, yet the songs popularity and/or sales figure has still not surpassed or come close to the that of authentic reggae songs as proven with the music of King Bob Marley.  Important to note is that many of these songs fused with other genres, are not classified as reggae but of it’s offspring Dancehall which is more popular among Jamaicans in Jamaica. 

Now reggae music has to be nurtured to sustain it’s longevity hence the best of the genre has to be authentic but it’s proven that dancehall fused music take off much faster than authentic reggae.  The results are encouraging for both reggae and dancehall fused music but in terms of sales (which is still at an all time low) the better of the two is reggae.

By: Sophia McKay

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