Music, Caribbean People and Representation

download (2).jpg Caribbean music
It will forever evolved.

Music has always been a form of expression for Caribbean people and it can be linked to the early days of slavery. It is an avenue where all aspects of life are espoused.  Should one pay close attention to any music genre it tells a social, political or cultural story.

Caribbean music means so many things to so many people.  For some, however, it is a time for “wukking up”, relaxation, stress relief, holding a government accountable or getting conscious.  Despite the reason, the representation is dependent on a number of factors; for instance, singer, producer, genre, beats, vocals, country, age, generation and class.  In the eighties, on Sundays you were sure to hear oldie goldies playing on the radio.  Sunday was to be a day for reverence and many of our grandparents would tell us they were forbidden to play banja in the homes during this time.  Yet some may argue that oldie goldies is not Caribbean music.  Yet there is a connection with a certain demographic who can tell you what type of dance go with a number of songs.  The same holds constant for each generation as music evolves.

At this stage you may be asking yourself, what is Caribbean music?  Is it a rhythm, a feeling, a particular genre?  On the other hand, you may even want to argue it is calypso, extempo, kont, soca, zouk, dancehall, dub, or reggae.  What we can all agree on is the complexity of the music and that they are different fusions and beats that make up Caribbean music.  We can also agree that it is an identity and social construct as Jamaica is identified with dance hall, dub, reggae, and lover’s rock, Trinidad and Barbados with calypso, and soca and within recent years bashment soca has evolved in Barbados.  Other countries have different types of music.  It would be unwise, therefore, to attempt to lay claim on which country is the original producer of music because music is a fusion of rhythms and beats.

Music is infectious.  Technology and the movement of people have made it possible for us to embrace other types of music.  If there is ever such a thing known as “Caribbean music” therefore, it is the meaning, effect and connection of Caribbean people.

images.jpg wesu Wallace
Wesu Wallace, Barbadian.   Appeared on the Voice in 2018.  Sings soul, pop, rock, R&B, neo jazz and reggae.  Talented guitarist and piano player.

 

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