Reggae Innovation and Sound System Culture in a Global Context

One country, six genres, decades of musical innovation

Sonjah Stanley Niaah by University of the West Indies & Sonjah Stanley Niaah
Bastien Bacha by Bastien Bacha
Janine Cunningham/Jah 9 by Nickii Kane
Dennis Howard by Richard William

Session 21

Chaired by Sonjah Stanley Niaah (Jamaica), University of the West Indies, Mona Campus

with Bastien Bacha (France), Talowa Productions;
Janine Cunningham/Jah9 (Jamaica), artist;
Dennis Howard (Jamaica), Institute of Cultural Policy & Innovation

Taking account of Jamaica’s six musical genres, of which reggae stands tall as a pillar of musical innovation, this session will examine the global influence of Jamaican music with reggae now inscribed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Is the inscription just hype or are there new opportunities for further globalisation of the music? How do changes in modes of consumption provide opportunities for innovation for producers and artists including sampling, collaborations, genre bending and genre crossings? The session will explore the global context of Jamaican music consumption and highlight challenges and opportunities for artists in a digital music landscape. What is the impact of the music now that digital sales have outpaced physical formats? In this segment an emerging artist will dissect this issue and provide a millennial perspective.