The words and themes of the reggae revival movement on stage in the Reggae University


Today's session in the Reggae University has been veru important for several motives: firstly there was a large audience to receive and listen to the important theme of the new Jamaican station of Reggae Revival with words from artists like Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Iba Mahr and the writer and social activists Dutty Bookman. And we can be certain that the audience was not deceived given the seriousness with which these young and decided artists repsonded to the questions from both the audience and the organizers of the Reggae University, the journalists from Riddim magazine Pete Liliy and Ellen Köhlings, the writer David Katz and the radio deejay Pier Tosi.

The Reggae Revival was born naturally with the intent of transmitting the positive message of reggae music bring this art closer to its cultural and spiritual Jamaican heritage and provide a feasible alternative youth from the ghetto who absorb so much of the negative lyrics coming mainly from the Dancehall world. These artists have often argued that it is not an attempt to create a dualism between root and dancehall, both daughters of the same roots and that the dancehall scene is full of good lyricists and songs that comment on reality in a positive way, but the problem is that the dancehall draws attention when it negative messages and shallow lyrics. Protoje and Dutty Bookman both stressed that Reggae Revival is not only about the music but also has a lot to do with other diverse arts among them dance, cinema, theatre, literature, the figurative arts and even gastronomy. And that furthermore the events that have givien the artist of the movement their opportunity to express themselves like for example the week nights in Jahmnesia in Bull Bay ( the surf club founded by Billy Wilmot of Mystic Revealers fame) have seen from the very beginning the positive interaction in various fields. Kabaka Pyramid told us about the powerful influence that hip hop has had on his music, his move to reggae and his close friendship with Protoje. Iba Mahr spoke of the importance of having grown up in an environment related to to the organization Rasta Twelve from Israel and fro the musical guidance of his mentor Max Romeo. An imoportant factor in the movement is expression through original music and not strong run of 'riddims' in the Jamaican tradition: playing an important and perhaps indeed a pioneering role in this were the groups Dubtonic Kru and Rootz Underground, with even Protoje stating that the first time he saw Dubtronic Kru he decided to create a pillar of this music by forming the group Indiggnation Band.

Another of the fundamental aspects, is resiprocal love and respect and the united attempts of the entire movement, other important artists of Reggae Revival were cited, such as Pentateuch, the singer of Jah9 and Raging Fyah. A symbolic example of this unity in the Protoje's video 'I&I', recorded in in Jamaica last February. The singer told us how she decided in just a few hours to record the video and how thanks to the help of all the members of the movement, we ended up quite spontaneously with the best visual testimony of what the movement is. The artists stressed more than once that the movement is not related solely with Jamaica, indeed in the end the objective should be to bring the music and art to the people, and that they the public of Reggae University were all equally as important as the artists because the fans of reggae are to whom the music is directed and they play an equally important role. The warm response of the public to the spontaneity and the serenity of these artists was equally intense and moving

Pier Tosi | Traducción: Laura Castillo.


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