Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Reggae plan to pull Argentines to Ja

Published:Monday | July 23, 2018 | 12:13 AMJanet Silvera/Gleaner Writer
Dread Mar I (centre) is flanked by his brother Emiliano Castro (left) and friend Emiliano Curo at Reggae Sumfest 2018.

At 11 years old, Mariano 'Dread Mar I' Castro received his first Bob Marley cassette. The Argentinean reggae artiste describes Marley as his first music teacher. "From just listening to Bob, I was able to learn all the elements of the music," he told The Gleaner.

Twenty-nine years later, the reggae artiste is the number one influencer invited to bring some of his 880,000 followers to experience Destination Jamaica to experience the world's greatest reggae festival - Reggae Sumfest. The impact of his influence was evidenced by a recent video post by the artiste doing a song by The Melodians. His social media blew up, with some 250,000 impressions. "People are speaking of Jamaica's beauty and how much they want to be here," Dread Mar I told The Gleaner.

His followers, he said, have expressed an interest in coming to Jamaica between December and March, when they have summer break. This is not the artiste's first time in Jamaica, but it is the first he has ever been asked to use his influence to showcase the island.

Impressed with Reggae Sumfest's quality organisation, Dread Mar I said he has attended festivals all over the world, "and this is one of the best, organised, especially the and audiovisuals". This is how reggae music should sound, he concluded.

Dread Mar I has recorded with Jamaica's Luciano, and his reggae song Tu Sin Mi has had more than 260 million views on YouTube. During his stay on the island, the Jamaica Tourist Board, his official sponsor, ensured Dread Mar I experienced a number of attractions, including Ahhh Ras Natango Gallery and Gardens and rafting on the Martha Brae.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com