GHANAIAN Afrobeats star Stonebwoy is staking his claim to reggae music. According to him, the Jamaican music belongs to Africa.
“Reggae is rooted in the heart of Africa… It doesn’t belong to any Caribbean society from its core. It belongs to Africans and we are enjoying it in diverse ways,” said Stonebwoy in an article quoted in The Cable Lifestyle.
“Remember that Jamaicans are all Africans by virtue of the slave trade. So, it’s just the music that we’re doing back again…Whether reggae, dancehall, high life, or Afrobeats, they all come from the same source,” he continued.
Music insider Kingsley Goodison is, however, rubbishing Stonebwoy’s claims.
“Don’t come here with that foolishness. Reggae was formed in Jamaica in different stages. It was ska, then the rocksteady, then reggae. Africa has nothing to do with that. Follow the history of the thing… But reggae is Jamaican,” Goodison told the Jamaica Observer.
Goodison, conceptualiser of Tributes To The Greats awards show, says it is not the first he has heard other people making claim on the reggae.
“There was another guy in South Africa that said the same thing years ago, but he died,” he said.
Goodison started Tribute To The Greats in 1998. Since its inception, close to 200 individuals have been honoured, including producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd, former Prime Minister Edward Seaga (a pioneer producer), singer Alton Ellis, and Australian sound engineer Graeme Goodall.
Deeply linked with Rastafari, reggae originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s with its political commentary and religious undertones. The word first came to prominence in a 1968 single titled Do The Reggay by Toots and the Maytals which was the first popular song to use the word reggae, effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience.
Stonebwoy, whose given name is Livingstone Etse Satekla, combines reggae and dancehall with traditional African beats. He is no stranger to Jamaica. The singjay performed at Reggae Sumfest in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, in 2018.
He has also collaborated with Jamaican artistes and most recently recorded with ”Dancehall King” Beenie Man.
“I have an album out that has I-Octane. I have also worked with Kabaka Pyramid, Sean Paul, Agent Sasco, mi do a collaboration with Sizzla…whole heap a Jamaican artiste…Beenie Man, Christopher Martin, most of the Jamaican artiste dem. This is showing that the music all comes from one source,” said Stonebwoy.