2015 and the train keeps rolling along...
Magic topped the Billboard charts with their tune “Rude” so even with limited support from our music governorship in this country, reggae music finds its own path, because truth be told, “they” are not on our path. They are here to monitor the easy stuff on behalf of major labels and have no interest or intent to promote or to develop a viable reggae ‘industry’ so the onus as always lies with us. The participants! The fans!
No it does not let “them” look internally for the next reggae act to promote, or to invest in the reggae genre in Canada, yet what it has done, is encouraged some of us to recognize that there is opportunity, even if it isn’t supported by the people who run this game. The fact is, we will and we must find our way and many are already on that tip. There are many projects being done by many folks currently and this is uplifting to see. Great raspect to those submitted for the Junos which include three time winner Exco Levi, Mikey Dangerous, Tasha T, Kirk Diamond and Steele. All are accomplished artists, producers, musicians and veteran performers who have never given up on their work with reggae music.
Whether the powers that be recognize reggae participants or not, we recognize ourselves and we as a genre seem to be elevating in many aspects of this game that was set up to block our path. The music cannot be stopped. Reggae proves that over and over as it infiltrates all cultures, countries, races and creeds. Raspect to so many performers, producers, DJs, selectas, writers, dub poets, sound engineers, musicians and promoters of reggae music Canada. Thank you all for never stopping the flow of this wonderful music of the people.
Back in November 2014, I learned about the naming of the laneway behind the barber shops, Raps & Mainsha, just east of Oakwood and Eglinton. “Reggae Lane”! When I asked about the reasoning behind the name from Michael Tutton, then eventually Councillor Josh Colle who spearheaded this venture, they explained that as the Eglinton area grows economically, the TTC coming through, condos to follow, Little Jamaica may become a forgotten place, so Reggae Lane will serve as point of reference in the years to come.
Speaking to folks in the area, there are mixed feelings about the choice of that lane, especially because of some of the history and even the present goings-ons, some feel that it is inappropriate as a symbol of the people and rich history and culture of the Jamaican and reggae history. Like many others, I have been down the Lane on numerous occasions. The band I managed, IBADAN used to rehearse in Ruffin’s spot down the lane. I look back at those as glorious times for all as do many of the band members. I remember the lane in a positive light. Respectfully, others don’t!
I’m more excited for the influx of positive things happening for reggae music in Canada and currently I see more and more opportunities opening up for many who practice and promote the genre. Having City Hall (Councillor Josh Colle) getting involved, gives me the indication that reggae vibes are moving more towards a true integration in Canadian lifestyles, further enhancing a Canadian reggae audience. What is also interesting and exciting, is whenever I Google Reggae Lane, only one can be found. Right here in the Tdot! That is history making and we all get to be a part of said history.
The “Reggae Connections” continue to blossom as we move forward...