Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
The Oxford Dictionary defines reggae music as "a style of popular music with a strongly accented subsidiary beat, originating in Jamaica".
Reggae evolved in the late 1960s from ska and other local variations of calypso and rhythm and blues, and became widely known in the 1970s through the work of Bob Marley; its lyrics are much influenced by Rastafarian ideas.
Reggae is much more than a sound.
The following artistes share what reggae means to them.
1 Reggae is our life, our culture, our heritage as Jamaicans - it is the heartbeat of the people. There is no other music like reggae music, and no matter where on earth you are and it's being played something touches you and you have to move.
- Marcia Griffiths, artiste
2 Reggae means everything to me. Reggae is my whole life.
- John Holt, artiste
3 Reggae is the official music of Jamaica but the system is trying to downplay reggae as Rasta music. Still, reggae should be branded with the black, gold and green at every event that is being held in Reggae Month and other reggae events.
- Ras Astor Black, founder of Reggae Walk of Fame
4 Reggae music is our identity. It is identified with the Jamaican culture. Anywhere you go in the world and you say "reggae" people will naturally think Jamaica.
- OMI, artiste
5 Reggae is the music of my childhood. Reggae used to be about spreading a positive message and bringing people together - the people's news. Nowadays, I am not too sure because you don't hear much reggae music anymore.
- Tessanne Chin, artiste
6 Reggae, to me, means heritage and life. It is a staunch reminder of where I'm from, my roots, and what our musical ancestors did for us to be able to do what we as musicians do. I'm grateful for reggae and all that it offers.
- Denyque, artiste
7 Reggae is a universal music that sings truth to the soul. As my father would say: "Reggaemylitis!"
- Niambe McIntosh, daughter of reggae legend Peter Tosh