Reggae artist Ginjah joined the call for the preservation of authentic and spiritual Reggae music, declaring that the genre must not be watered down, but its spiritual and revolutionary ethos protected for future generations.
“Today I Ginjah the Reggae soulman, will speak about the importance of reggae music,” the Music Alone singer noted on his Instagram page on Saturday. “I’m here strongly saying this music must not water down are be diluted, because in doing so we are defeating the importance of this great spiritual music.”
“Since the late 1960s reggae music is [used] to express the feelings of the inner city youths, socially spiritually and economically. As we all know that reggae music is the voice of the people. This music convey the message of the Rasta man, which is self-reliance praising Rastafari and black liberation. This music has an significant impact on the minds of people at home and abroad,” he said.
Ginjah, in expressing his concerns, said that authentic Reggae music, with its positive messages, was also a catalyst for health and wellness and general well-being for many people in Jamaica and across the world and serves to keep them on the path of righteousness.
The One Chance singer’s concerns come just weeks after Lyrics Rhoom music producer Joey Lyric asserted in an interview that the music from artists touted as the present generation’s standard-bearers for the Reggae genre, was neither spiritual nor revolutionary.
Joey had said that “Reggae, in its DNA, is revolutionary music” and the “voice of the poor and the oppressed” as well as a “lubricating conduit that is used to speak on the social ills of society” and to “highlight the atrocities being meted out by ‘Babylon.’”
In taking the purpose of Reggae a step further, Ginjah said that the music had also deterred people from engaging in wrongdoing, and has a positive effect on personal well-being.
“This music elevates us from a life of crime and also boost good health,” the Chester Castle, Hanover, native said.
“I’ve experience people using the music for therapy. This music can use as a tool to mitigate our problems, and also educate our youths. Because I’ve learn that the primary motive of Reggae were to lead the people on a righteous path. I’m here strongly saying this music must not water down are be diluted, because in doing so we are defeating the importance of this great spiritual music,” he added.
Reggae has been inscribed on the United Nations’ Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since November 2018.
UNESCO’s inscription states, among other things, that the “basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all”.
Ginjah, whilst insisting that he was not judging any of his musical compatriots who deviate from the original tenets of Reggae, also pointed out that it is incumbent on all involved to ensure the genre’s fundamental purpose, as a genre is not circumvented.
“I’m not here to point fingers on anyone because we are all in this together. Everyone have a social responsibility to protect the culture and our heritage. Reggae music is our livelihood the music that motivates and up lift the spirit, in spite of cost of living. even politicians are a wear of the influence of reggae dancehall music. and how it can revolutionize society positively and other wise,” he stated.
“Despite the pressure to conform to the injustice of the system reggae music brings freedom, we should reform to our original ideals which will preserve our tradition. Reggae music I’ve always known to be radical, dealing with the fundamental issues of the people. like in the case of subjugation and imbalances where people feel like they are not belong, because their rights have been taken away,” he added.