Shaggy Says Dancehall Is In ‘A Incredibly Great Space Right Now’

Five Best Songs From Shaggy's 'Boombastic' AlbumShaggy credits Teejay’s “Drift” for fueling dancehall last year

Shaggy continues to bat for dancehall even in light of mounting criticisms the new generation of artists faces regarding the quality of their music. The dancehall legend is one of the strongest advocates for dancehall locally and on the global stage, and he has consistently maintained that dancehall is thriving.

Shaggy Recommends Bangin' on the Bathroom Floor While Quarantined During  CoronavirusWe in the media space will also agree with Shaggy that Jamaica’s popular music is thriving locally and overseas without discounting the need for the new generation to work on the quality of their music. In an interview clip shared by Shaggy on Thursday (April 4), the “It Wasn’t Me” singer says dancehall is in a “great space.”

“I think that dancehall is in a incredibly great space right now,” he said while crediting Teejay’s hit song “Drift” for a major part of the genre’s success last year. “I think we started the year with a bang. I think last year was an amazing year for dancehall because we had ‘Drift,’ which I was happy to be a part of. So I think that dancehall is slowly moving it, but it’s a new sound.”

Sean Paul Teejay
Sean Paul and Teejay

“One thing we gotta understand; the old sound of dancehall, that we know, the old style of dancehall we know, that was very successful by the way, did its thing,” Shaggy continues. “The highest point in dancehall was that sound. It’s over; that sound is no more. I don’t think people are going to make records like that anymore.”

Shaggy says the new sound of dancehall, which some people associate with trap dancehall, is here to stay. “I think there’s a new sound of dancehall that you’re hearing that this kind of trap type sound that they’re making and they’re gonna find a way to make it become successful to where it starts to chart and start to do well. It’s a new day.”

Not everyone was in agreement with Shaggy, including some members of the reggae/dancehall community, who say the new music coming out of Jamaica is not gaining traction in the international market. Dancehall artiste turn pundit Tulox of Twins of Twins shared his opinion in the comments.

“Don’t agree on any level, dancehall is not just about sound, it’s a complete Package, image, culture, onstage versatility, actual substance… which by the way present dancehall completely lacks,” Tulox wrote. “On the other hand I do agree that we can’t expect the same sound of dancehall forever .. because dancehall has made numerous changes over the years and they have all been accepted and went on to do good .. so change is not the problem it’s the present crop who represents or stands for anything including respecting who came before or even caring to know more about the genre they represent.”

Bay-C of dancehall group T.O.K. chimed in, saying, “I wouldn’t say it’s over, but I get what big bro is saying. The new sound is from the new generation, and it will work internationally. However, the classical [dancehall] sound, while it may not be successful from Jamaica anymore, We will still see international acts. Make the most after that song. For instance, Ed Sheeran or Rihanna or others using that sound coloring, it’s with there. Flavor and hitting big with our sound.”

While speaking at the 2024 Island Music Conference, Shaggy said that if the current generation of dancehall artists developed a better work ethic, they would be unstoppable in the music space. The Jamaican legend also advised artists to get a good team around them.

Source: Shaggy Says Dancehall Is In ‘A Incredibly Great Space Right Now’ – Urban Islandz

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