That is what I feel about how the Reggae Lane celebration on Saturday 19th September, 2015 went. The greetings of long time brethrens and sistrens who travelled a long road together, some not seeing each other for over two decades hugged and greeted each other with such love! Those moments trumped any thoughts that I might have had in regards to whether the RL initiative was a good idea or not as it pertained to the supposedly controversial location.
Reggae won on this day! I got to witness the pure LOVE these veterans felt and the fact that many were able to speak on the microphone and share their day in the sun.
Overcast skies, heavy downpour that threatened to hang around all day yet I knew that all was well. Turned the corner in the parking lot and saw folks milling around under tents seemingly thinking that the day was lost. The clouds relaxed and we had our reggae day.
What must it feel like to be honored among your peers, Toronto reggae fans and even the world? Couldn’t tell you what it feels like but I can show you what it looked like. Look at the faces of the veterans!
The story of Reggae Lane got covered by The Metro News, The Jamaica Star, Tuff Gong Worldwide as well as The Toronto Star yet NO ONE from the Canadian music scene was there. NONE! They never are and never will be!
Who wasn’t there? There were no music people! Sony, Emi, Warner, Attic (don’t think that they still exist), Universal Music, Much Music, Juno committee, CRTC, or any other relevant sources that lets one know that they are a part of the music industry. None were present! Their ability to discard reggae’s involvement, input, showcasing is normal Canadian music industry behavior. On top of fighting the crabs within our own industry, we face disregard from the so called Canadian music industry.
Yet as I have always mentioned, we DO NOT NEED VALIDATION FROM ANYONE! I already know my worth and that of reggae music worldwide so I respect and thank Councillor Josh Colle greatly for recognizing the importance of reggae’s contribution to Canada, preserving it through the naming of Reggae Lane and what we as the fans and participants do with it going forward is totally on us.
Another moment of glee was when Fergus Hambleton held the microphone and free-styled on a riddim. The place went crazy! Lots of folks went up to him afterward and asked him who he was....lmaooooooo!!!! This humble lead singer of The Sattalites answered graciously and moved on to the next. For those who don't know, The Sattalites have been performing at The Orbit Room, 580a College Street west weekly, for over a decade now. EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT!
Anyone who doesn't ovastand reggae's popularity and impact need to check out this little piece that I will leave with you. This choir singing in their cathedral is covering three very popular Ras Tafari standards layered with the drums of the Nyabinghi. The average age of this choir seems to be between 70 to 80 years old, white men who felt compelled to sing Ras Tafari standards in their Holy place of worship.
Reggae music does not care where the good hearts are...it just goes there.
Support Toronto / Canadian Reggae... Buy Reggae Lane