High Commission Stages Reggae Month Event in the UK

Photo: Contributed Deputy High Commissioner, Diedre Mills, welcomes guests to a Reggae Month event at the Jamaican High Commission in London on February 23.

Story Highlights

  • ‘My Boy Lollipop – Reggae from JA to UK, A Musical Journey’, was the theme of this year’s Reggae Month event organised by the Jamaican High Commission on February 23.
  • Music and History Consultant, Kwaku, in a presentation, highlighted the reggae influence in the UK.
  • The UK is an important market for Jamaica and UK-based reggae promoters, producers, singers and musicians.

‘My Boy Lollipop – Reggae from JA to UK, A Musical Journey’, was the theme of this year’s Reggae Month event organised by the Jamaican High Commission on February 23.

Music and History Consultant, Kwaku, in a presentation, highlighted the reggae influence in the UK. The event also featured music, recorded interviews and a lively discussion session.

Kwaku noted that Millie Small’s 1964 cover version of My Boy Lollipop was one of the earliest international reggae hits, reaching number two on both the UK and United States (US) pop charts.

Kwaku said that the UK provided an avenue through which reggae artistes were able to gain a foothold in international markets.

“Early Jamaican record labels such as Coxsone, Treasure Isle and Prince Buster had a symbiotic relationship with British reggae specialist record companies such as Trojan, Pama/Jet Star, and Island, which helped grow the reggae scene in Jamaica and the UK,” he said.

Kwaku noted that the UK spawned the “sweet style of reggae” known as lovers’ rock.

Lovers’ rock is a genre of reggae music noted for its romantic sound and content.  Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson are two of the genre’s reigning queens, and Maxi Priest as the best known male exponent.

He noted that more than 40 years on, groups such as Steel Pulse continue to represent the roots and culture message.

Kwaku said the musical relationship between Jamaica and the UK continues to be very strong.

The UK is an important market for Jamaica and UK-based reggae promoters, producers, singers and musicians.

JIS Social