Jamaican producer JonFX, who is a governor of the South Florida Grammy chapter, has reminded lovers of Jamaican music that only albums which have at least 51 percent authentic Reggae recordings are considered as qualified for Reggae Grammy nominations.
The platinum-selling producer who serves as an advisor about Reggae and Dancehall, on the South Florida Grammy chapter was speaking with veteran entertainment journalist Anthony Miller on Television Jamaica’s The Entertainment Report recently.
“The genre specifically states 51 percent new Reggae Recording. Now, my wonderful Jamaican people, Reggae in the world is considered one drop. Dancehall is a sub-genre,” he explained.
@JONFXMUSIC) / Twitter" data-noaft="1" />According to the Hold Yuh producer, he understood perfectly why SOJA won the Reggae Grammy last year, the reason being that internationally, genres are categorized by drum patterns, and, the Virginia-based band, throughout their Beauty in the Silence album, had stayed faithful to Reggae’s one drop drum pattern.
JonFX, who was credited as a contributor to Jesse Royal’s Royal album which copped a Grammy nomination, said he was not heartbroken over SOJA’s win over the five Jamaicans who were nominated, as they were the only nominee who stayed true to authentic Reggae.
“I understood based on looking at the category. The category states 51 percent new Reggae recordings. Our winners, SOJA, congratulations to SOJA. Their album is a hundred percent real reggae recordings. The other albums that we had there had more experimental sounds (such as Reggaeton); even Country and Western,” he said.
“What the winners have, they have a theme of just Reggae. From Track one to the end. What we tend to do as upcoming musicians, we want to have different genres involved. We try to do a mixture of too many things. If we just keep the story the same, then the audience – because remember they don’t know – they eating slowly, what we consider ‘old parents and daddy’s music’, the world still loves it,” the Kingston native said, in explaining why SOJA came out victorious.
Of the six nominees for the 2022 Reggae Grammy, Gramps Morgan’s album was deemed by many as more of a Country album.
Jesse Royal had described his album as having “elements of f hip-hop, jazz, blues, Afrobeats and Dancehall” while adding that “Reggae is the backbone that holds everything in place”.
Etana’s Pamoja was described by her as a blend of Reggae with Afrobeat and Dancehall.
Spice’s 10 consisted of Dancehall and Reggae riddims and a few fusions of other genres such as Hip Hop and R&B.
Sean Paul’s Live n Livin was totally Dancehall.
The musical works considered for nomination for the peer-voted Grammy music awards, are hand-picked by persons described by the Recording Academy as a “learned academy of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other musical professionals.”
Based on JonFX’s revelations, these selection panels will use unique identifiers, in Reggae’s case, drum patterns, to determine whether songs on an album fall within the genre. This could mean that albums that are predicated on a Trap sound, with no Reggae/Dancehall beats, will not make the grade.
However, JonFX is expecting to see an increase in nominations for fully authentic Reggae nominations for the 2023 Reggae Grammy.
“It is interesting to see what will come out this year. But from my knowledge I have seen that most people, including myself have released more authentic Reggae and Dancehall,” he said.
Artists such as Protoje (Third Times the Charm), Kabaka Pyramid (The Kalling), Stick Figure (Wisdom), Shaggy (Come Fly wid Mi), and Jimmy Cliff (Refugees) have all 100 percent Reggae albums in time for this year’s Grammy nominations.