By Claudia Cheung
In the late 1960s, reggae music started to make an appearance in Jamaica. Ever since, reggae music took over the world with the help of the famous band Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Toronto stands heavily influenced by Caribbean culture and there is no doubt reggae music has had an impact on our musicians.
VIBE 105 recently interviewed Stacey Marie Robinson - Communication Specialist, Kya Publishing about her experience with reggae music. Robinson authored several Toronto-based novels related to the Black Canadian experience.
Back in the 1960s, many Jamaicans relocated and immigrated to Canada, specifically in the Greater Toronto Area. As the Jamaican community grew bigger in Canada, they brought with them their culture.
“I remember my dad told me that during the 70s, if you were looking for friends from back home that had come to Canada, you could go to certain venues and reconnect with your friends. We socialize and reconnect this way because you won’t know where they lived or what their phone numbers [were].”
©Lillian Allen- Topic/ YouTube
Music is the uniting force in building the Jamaican community in Canada. Robinson believes music is a source of the truth. Even when you are not in your native homeland, you can always trust your culture’s music.
“Reggae music is spiritual music. It is political music. It is powerful music.”
- Stacey Marie Robinson, Author (Urban Toronto Tale).
Reggae music has been a strong force for communicating messages, where it unites people to join forces to fight for truth, freedom and justice. Reggae music always has a message and belief, and it empowers people and gives them strength.
“You can gain inspiration from reggae music to help you get through any difficulties you’re experiencing. Whether it is racism, police brutality, violence — reggae is a source of strength to help you get through it,” Robinson added.
©Jah’Mila Music/ YouTube
Robinson describes Canadian reggae similar to that of Jamaica.
“It all comes from the same roots and same influence. I would say the only difference is location. But maybe the resources surrounding it are more restrictive in Canada.”
Robinson believes the current pandemic affects people who want to hear music live.
“We love music, but when you don’t get to go out and hear it live, it takes away a little bit of your inspiration, your daily energy to go through life,” said Robinson.
“I miss being out in concerts and feel the energy of people and enjoy music with them.”
© I- Octane/ YouTube
Robinson noticed reggae DJs and artists are currently finding new ways to reach out to fans in this challenging time. People with the same interest would gravitate to each other no matter what and where they are.
Do you like reggae music? What reggae artist/ music would you recommend to us?
Share your thoughts with us on our social media @vibe105to