Music is a medium that has the power to get everyone together no matter what background you come from. One of the reasons for this is its ability to adapt to new times while still retaining the musical influences of the past. This is what is happening in the African country of Ghana, where new music artists such as Larruso are being produced all the time. Many of them are now making music that has its roots in Jamaican Dancehall and it’s taking the world by storm.
Music, in general, is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to escape the pressures of life, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though people cannot see live music, they can still listen to it at home just like other forms of escapism including online gaming where free spin casino bonuses are profitable if chosen correctly.
What is Jamaican Dancehall Music?
Dancehall is a highly popular genre of music that originated from Jamaica in the 1970s. It has its roots in reggae, but is less pronounced and is also influenced by other genres that give it a sound of its own.
The name comes from the popular Jamaican dance halls of the 1940s where music used to be played on sound systems. This began because the people from inner-city Kingston were not allowed to take part in dances uptown.
During the 1980s, the sound of dancehall changed due to the introduction of digital instruments such as synthesizers and electric guitars. This new form is called digital dancehall (or ragga) and was usually discernible by its faster rhythm.
Sound systems were a big influence on the popularity of dancehall, as Technology improved so the sound systems became more powerful and sounded clearer. Lower-class Jamaicans were often outside without a radio, so the sound system gave them an easy way to enjoy music outside which was hugely important to them.
DJs would often turn up with their mobile sound system and play music for the people. It was this ability for the music to go where the people were that made it so successful.
In the 1980s, InnerCity Production which was led by Mike Tomlinson and Louis Grant, developed what would go on to be one of the biggest concerts in Jamaica at the Harbour View Drive-In. This was a concert that showcased some of the rising talents at the time and became labeled ‘DanceHall.’ The concerts ran into the 1990s, and gave many artists their big exposure to the world.
New artists like Larusso along with established musicians like Spragga Benz are not only keeping the dancehall genre alive, they are also updating it for a new audience.
Larruso is one of the new artists coming from Ghana. Born in Accra, he has already been making music that people love. His breakout track ‘Killy Killy’ has over 1 million views on YouTube and features other artists Stonebwoy and Kwesi Arthur. The music video for the song features all the classic elements of dancehall music. There is a mobile sound system and people dancing and listening outside.
As with many other musicians, dancehall artists are breaking out into other areas to give themselves an outlet beyond music. Macka Diamond is a popular dancehall artist previously of Hula Hoop and Pink Pearl’s fame. She has decided to launch her own clothing line based on her own signature style.
Other dancehall favorites such as dancer and fashionista Carlene Smith has started branching out into the food arena with recipes and old Jamaican dishes such as sweet potato pudding.
Dancehall’s Global Reach
Although dancehall has its roots firmly in African music, there is an ever-increasing global appetite for this genre. One country that has been embracing this music is Israel. Even though it still isn’t as popular as it is in the United States and Europe, artists such as Sean Paul and Popcaan have been performing in Israel to try and boost the already growing popularity there.
Even though reggae acts have performed in the country before, the growth of dancehall even within the media has many people astounded.
Although some people are concerned about how some of the lyrics in dancehall songs could promote violence and sex, there is no doubt that it has cemented itself into many countries around the world. Even those where you might not think this genre of music would be popular.
With emerging artists coming forward all the time, the future of dancehall music looks to be assured for a long time to come.