International Reggae Day: 10 things all reggae fans know

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A report by Taran Bassi for Metro.

Reggae lovers unite, because July 1 is an international celebration of all things that make the music genre so great.

International Reggae Day is celebrated across the world, with events taking place in Kingston, Jamaica to celebrate this style of music that originated in the Caribbean and spread across the world.

There are different styles of reggae enjoyed by many, and the history is deep and colourful.

But you don’t need to be in Kingston to celebrate, you can cook some Caribbean recipes, listen to some reggae music and enjoy.

1. So much debate

When it comes to determining who is the greatest reggae artist of all time there is fierce debate.

Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Damian Marley and Sizzla all come to mind, but the debate goes on and on, and no-one can ever agree on a set favourite.

But what most reggae fans can agree on is that Bob Marley is the most iconic, and a great artist for newbies to discover the sound.

2. Always sounds good

It is so soothing, uplifting and therapeutic. Therefore there is never a bad time to play it.

3. Played everywhere

You could be in a tiny bar in Thailand, or at a club in Berlin and if you ask the DJ to put on some reggae they will definitely have something in their collection to satisfy.

And of course the crowd will love it.

4. People don’t always understand it

Reggae music, the lifestyle and culture is iconic, but this doesn’t mean that it should be mindlessly appropriated and used as the punchline to offensive jokes.

Please stop wearing those hats with the fake dreads and adopting a fake Jamaican accent. It is very annoying.

5. It doesn’t get much recognition

Yes Bob Marley was great, and he is symbolic of the genre, but there is a lot more to reggae music than just him.

You get sick and tired of reeling off the names of famous reggae stars, and giving examples of mainstream music that borrows heavily from reggae and doesn’t give proper credit.

Looking at you Drake.

6. Unifies people

Nothing can unify a group of people like the slow rhythm, the easy flowing sound and soothing voices of reggae music.

7. Lifestyle choice

Although it is a musical choice you find that the reggae lifestyle slowly starts creeping into other areas of your life.

Slowly dreads are forming, you’re adopting the language, the dancing and of course the cuisine of Jamaican life.

8. It is relaxing

There is no other type of music that you would ever listen to in order to relax. Not even classical.

Reggae music does exactly what good music is supposed to do, and that is to make you feel chilled out and happy.

9. Jamaica is your dream trip

Above anywhere else you would love to go to Jamaica, and in fact you already have an itinerary planned.

You would visit the Bob Marley museum, go to a classic Jamaican dancehall, and you would time your visit with the famous Reggae Sumfest.

10. It’s a special fan club

Not everyone is cool enough to understand and appreciate reggae music, but as soon as you find someone who does, you immediately become friends.

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