The phrase “from Jamaica to the world” is a popular term that Jamaicans utter with pride whenever we are proud of a fellow Jamaican who has represented the island nation well on the international stage. Same is true of anything influential, culturally or other otherwise that is accepted and recognized internationally.
They are our gifts to the world. Jamaica is well-known for a few things like being a well-regarded tourist destination. It has some hidden talents such as being the 6th largest producer of bauxite, which is the chief commercial ore of aluminum. In short you can’t have aluminum without it.
One ofour most well-regarded exports is reggae music. The unmistakable sound that originated out of the creativity of Jamaican musicians, and has progenitors such as Mento, Ska, and Rocksteady. Reggae has always been a part of my life. I have received many things from my parents, beyond good genes. One thing in particular is a love and appreciation for music, even more so reggae music.
I spent most of my formative years in Jamaica. Needless to say reggae music was and still is pervasive. As pervasive as say country music is in Nashville. Reggae easily consumes 90% percent of radio airplay. Reggae musicians are our versions of celebrities. Most concerts are, you guessed it, reggae concerts. That is not to say musical tastes are one dimensional on the island, as they are not. There is certainly a healthy appreciation for most musical art-forms. But reggae is simply king.
It is an entertainment and economic engine for segments of population. Jamaica is reputed to have more releases of recorded singles per capita than anywhere else in the world. The pace of music production on the island is dizzying. What is even more impressive about the reggae industry is the international influence it has on pop music and pop culture. Influence that is maintains largely on its own as an independent niche genre. My personal lifelong love affair with reggae music naturally manifested itself in me creating the world’s first and only reggae music streaming subscription service known as Artekal Music.
The word Artekal, sometimes spelled hortical, in the Jamaican dialect means to “be original, respectful, and respected”. When considering names for this endeavor, Artekal seemed like a natural fit. Artekal was born out of a belief that while reggae music is more or less accessible, it could be packaged and delivered to the world in a much better way. When most people think of reggae, they naturally think of reggae music’s biggest superstar, Bob Marley.
Simply a musical legend. Reggae music of course has lots of really talented reggae musicians who write and record amazing music. Given the independent nature of the reggae genre however, a lot of that music is not played on pop radio, or is easily discoverable. While digital platforms such as Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Apple Music, and Google Music have made reggae music more accessible. They do not solve the problem of music discovery and curation. Popular music genres gain that through radio and media saturation. Most music listeners discover their favorite songs through radio stations, friends, parties, and “popular” playlist on platforms such as Spotify. The curation of those lists, goes a long way to breaking, or making popular, new music. Reggae music largely does not benefit from any those activities. Artekal Music seeks to rectify that by creating a platform where the curious and enamored can discover and appreciate contemporary and classic reggae music easily.
Artekal Music delivers its reggae music experience through mobile phone apps available on iPhone and Android phones worldwide. The app is free to download and all users receive 30 days of free and full access after which a reasonable $3.99 monthly subscription is required.
Artekal Music as a reggae music platform was built with love, just like the all music in the artform that is was built to support and promote. Even though reggae music is produced all over the world, and is available on our platform. The reggae music romantic in me wants you to know that Artekal Music delivers reggae music from Jamaica to the world.
Download our app today, and discover and experience over 70 years musical creativity from the islands.
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