Even when there are other influences involved in what is known today as Reggae, it is safe to say that its closest ancestors are Ska, Mento, and Calypso. Early Reggae was inspired by the music of the times; In the 1950’s African and American Music played a crucial role shaping the music in Jamaica. Genres such as Jazz, Blues, and Rhythm and Blues contributed to the early stages of Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, and eventually Dub (1). The 1960’s and 1970’s also saw a surge of Reggae music coming out of Jamaica and the UK as the music continued to evolve and specialize.
At the same time, artists in other areas were producing Soca and other genres of music with the same influences.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s producers continued to develop Jamaican Dancehall, influencing artists in other countries in the Caribbean region to venture into what became Spanish Reggae. We could break these into sub genres, but as DJ, it seems easier to arrange them by riddim and year given that this is how they were produced. We use the original composer and year as a reference whenever possible, but many variations and represses of the riddims exist.
Stay tuned as we continue to expand on the journey of Caribbean music, and check out our blog to explore our music lists.
1. Cooper, C.J. (2015) Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.