Music soothes our souls through diverse genres and modes of delivery, but one of the oldest and most recognized is Reggae. Reggae is a style of Jamaican music that dates back to as far 1970(Introduced by the likes of Bob Marley). This genre became an indispensable part of the Nigerian music, especially after the rise of singer Majek Fashek. Fashek was, like many Nigerian reggae performers, a part of the long-running band The Jahsticks. Daniel Wilson (aka Mr. Ragamuffin), one of the most prominent, who introduced his style of ragamuffin music to Nigeria. Daniel Wilson dazzled the Nigerian music scene with hits like ‘Mr.Ragamuffin’ and ‘Original Bad Boy’. Some other notable musicians include Jerri Jheto, De King, Daddy Showkey, Ras Kimono, high school band of Victor Eshiet and Peggy Umanna, The Mandators and the London-based MC Afrikan Simba, Ras Kimono. Major pioneers of Reggae music include big names such as Orits Williki, Peterside Ottong, Andy Shoreman, Alex Zitto, Evelyn Ogoli, Wale Man, Isaac Black, and a host of others. These pioneers paved way for the new generation of home groomed reggae artists.
Reggae music was further propelled into the mainstream of Nigerian music in the mid eighties. Radio stations became a viable medium of choice for many recording artists and record label executives, because of its chart-topping musical programs delivered to the listeners during that period and the supply of vibrant Radio On Air Personalities acknowledged below. They re-invented the way musical programmes ought to be presented on Radio to the listeners around the country. Both in print and electronic media, they saw and created an avenue to promote a different kind of music in the ever diverse Nigeria demography. In the 1980s came the advent of Radio stations such as Radio Nigeria 1 Ikoyi-Lagos, Radio Nigeria 2 Lagos (Martin street) , and the sister’s station Radio Nigeria 3 Ikoyi-Lagos, in 1987. They began and frequently hit the airwaves with this new type of music genre that took Nigerians by storm. Radio Personalities such as Bisi Olatilo, Mani Onumono, Richard Onaghise (aka Manrichie), Zachari Mohammed, Smart Otemu, Boniface Onogwu, Nelson Edosovba, Ruime Effetie and Shea Martins, immensely featured Reggae musicians and aired their interviews on their programmes.
With the ever progressing advancements in the music industry, Nigerian reggae has taken various amazing and enormous forms since then. A newer generation of Nigerian Reggae artists have emerged; fusing many styles and brands with Reggae beats and equally blending styles that borrow influences from Reggae, Hip-Hop, R&B, and Dance-Hall culture, artists such as Timaya, P-Square, Esco Banton, Banky W, Ice Prince, Patoranking and BurnaBoy expand the definition of Nigerian born Reggae artists, maintaining the trends of Reggae music as seen throughout the world.
Reggae is a passionate genre of music that speaks to the soul and takes the listener on an adventurous ride in the land of a different kind of music. Some quotes from Bob Marley include:
|“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”
“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”