History It started in Jamaica in the 1960’s and it comes from other genres like Ska and Rocksteady. Artists like Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and The Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) are probably the most recognised names in Reggae and the pioneered the genre through the 60’s and 70’s. There were two notable record labels involved in helping Reggae gain success, these were Trojan Records and Island Records. In 1974 Eric Clapton covered Bob Marley’s song “I Shot The Sherriff” which helped it cross over into the mainstream. Since the 70’s there have been many spinoff genres from reggae, most notably Dancehall, Hip Hop, and more recently Dubstep- which uses reggae samples in a lot of tracks. Some modern reggae artists include Damien Marley, Alborosie, The Scientist and Radikal Guru.
Conventions Of The Genre Tracks consist of mainly percussion and strong bass lines, with a typical tempo of with singing and guitar. ‘Dub’ tracks are usually without singing and focus on the instruments and can be re-worked versions. In the music videos the artist is usually seen performing with cuts to the artist with people The videos are all very simple and not overcomplicated which suits the genre perfectly- chilled, and relaxed. Barrington Levy- ‘Here I Come’ Alborosie- ‘Kingston Town’ Bob Marley & The Wailers- ‘Easy Skankin’ Damien Marley- ‘Welcome To Jamrock’
Target Audience The target audience for reggae was poor, working class Jamaicans, however the genre ended up being listened to in all countries by people of all ages and race and it was adopted by the skinhead culture of 1980’s Britain and the Mods- also in Britain. Skinheads in Britain in the 80’s The Mod subculture Today, reggae has many forms, reaches many people, and is played by a variety of DJ’s and bands; Matisyahu is a reggae artist who is also a rabbi. And DJ Derek is a English reggae DJ in his late 70’s. Another popular white reggae DJ is David Rodigan who used to be a doctor.
BOB MARLEY Birth name: Robert Nesta Marley Also known as: Tuff Gong Born: 6 February Died: 11 May 1981 (aged 36) Genres: Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady Instruments: Vocals, guitar, piano,saxophone, harmonica, percussion Years active: 1962–1981 Most Famous Song: I Shot The Sheriff Died of foot cancer after injuring his toe playing football. Bob Marley & The Wailers- 'Easy Skankin'
BARRINGTON LEVY Birth Name: Barrington Levy Born: 30 April 1964 (age 47) Genres: Reggae, Dancehall Years Active: 1976- present Most Famous Song: Here I Come Re-recorded his most famous song ‘Here I Come’ with American reggae artist Shaggy under the name ‘Broadway’ Barrington Levy- 'Here I Come'
Damien Marley Birth Name: Damian Marley Also Known As: Junior Gong Born: July 21, 1978 (age 32) Genres: Reggae Years Active: 1996–present Most Famous Song: Welcome To Jamrock Recently recorded a new album with rapper NaS which was very successful. Damien Marley- 'Welcome To Jamrock'
Alborosie Birth Name: Alberto D'Ascola Born: Sicily, Italy Genres: Reggae Years Active: 1994 – present His name comes from a combination an offensive term used in Jamaica and his first name. Alborosie- 'Kingston Town'
Shaggy Birth Name: Orville Richard Burrell Born: 22 October 1968 (age 42) Genres: Reggae and Hip Hop Years Active: 1990 – present Most Famous Song: Boombastic It wasn’t him. Shaggy feat. Barrington Levy- 'Broadway'
Music Videos Barrington Levy- 'Here I Come' Alborosie- 'Kingston Town' Damien Marley- 'Welcome To Jamrock Shaggy feat. Barrington Levy- 'Broadway' Bob Marley & The Wailers- 'Easy Skankin' All of these music videos are performance videos, I think that this type of video was chosen because its very simple, and this simplicity fits in well with the characteristics of Reggae.