What you don’t know about the history of Reggae

Was Bob Marley really the pioneer of this class of music that is known as Reggae?

Not really!

Then who did it? Who endowed and introduced this style of music to the world?

We did some research and discovered some amusing facts regarding the history of Reggae.

What is Reggae?

Let’s just say that reggae is a music genre that can be used to chant your inner struggles, the on-going trials of this world or even just your personal emotions, with a subtle dance beat to it. Bob Marley’s musical compositions were loaded with such references, making his music universal.

If compared to its precursors, Reggae’s pace falls somewhere between Ska and Rocksteady. The musical instruments employed to create this masterpiece are very basic. Guitars, conga, drums and a keyboard are enough to compose reggae jewels!

How Did Reggae Come to Exist?

Reggae was first developed as a music genre in the music studios of Jamaica – the land where Bob Marley came from. Reggae was developed as a successor to Ska and Rocksteady genres of music. It was almost like a love child of these two types of music genres!

In the late 1960s, many Jamaican song artists began to incorporate Ska and Rocksteady style of music together, and discovered this new genre of music that appealed to many.

Soon music artists began to blend jazz, blues, Mentos and calypso music styles and the resulting amalgam turned out to be an absolute treat to the ears!

How Did ‘Reggae’ Get Its Name?

The term ‘reggae’ was coined to describe this contemporary music style. Reggae was derived from the word ‘rugged’, owing to the different styles of music that birthed it. In fat, the Jamaican musical band, ‘Toots and the Maytals’ are documented to have introduced the word reggae to the masses by using it in their single, ‘Do the Reggay’.

Reggae’s Journey to International Acclaim:

Jamaican artists soon started to take wing and land in either United States or the United Kingdom, taking Reggae with them. The new audiences were highly impressed from this new genre of music. Soon reggae became a popular choice amongst not just music artists, rather the masses as well.

Reggae was propagated by the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Johnny Nash, Neil Diamond, and Frederick Toots Hibbert. However, the big break came when Bob Marley entered the music scene, and instantly became the universal Reggae icon.

He came, he saw, he conquered!

Bob Marley employed his musical genius to utilize the art of reggae for the purpose of political, social and religious (Rastafari movement) issues. This technique instantly shot him to fame, making his contributions timeless classics.

Bob Marley’s songs like ‘One Love’, ‘No woman no cry’, ‘Get up Stand up’, ‘Three little birds’, and ‘Redemption Song’, created frenzy amongst his followers and so, Reggae became the next big thing!

Reggae in the Contemporary Music World:

After Bob Marley’s death, many others experimented with Reggae and came up with different genres that were a blend of Reggae and other music styles.

Roots Reggae, Dub, Lover’s rock, Hip hop and rap and Reggae Fusion are a contemporary continuation of the classic Reggae style.

Even though Bob Marley was not the originator of Reggae, his tremendous contributions to Reggae made him the uncrowned king of Reggae, and Reggae his vassal!