Last month I spoke over Skype with Roifield Brown, a British-Jamaican producer working on a series of podcasts and a short film devoted to the international influence of Jamaica’s distinctive shapes and forms, or in his words: How Jamaica Conquered the World. It’s no doubt one of many many tributes to the likkle but tallawah nation in this 50th anniversary of independence from direct colonial rule.
The series will devote attention to sports and style and other dimensions of Jamaican culture inna outernational sphere, but obviously music — namely, reggae and its roots and routes — exerts irresistible force over such a project. With a promising list of shows planned, Roifield’s already spoken to some great commentators (including, I’m told, a two-hour conversation with Clevie just last week), and he’s in the midst of finishing the first few, including a segment on ska and rocksteady featuring yours truly, doing my best to tell the story of the emergence of Jamaican pop:
Wait for the mini-megamix of Dawn Penn re-rubs at the end!
I love that Roifield is putting this together himself and using everyday tech like Skype to make it possible. Sure, there’s already nuff documentation out there on Jamaican music and culture, but as long as there’s too much to know, we may as well keep asking questions, telling stories, making media, and filtering the best forward (while maintaining the richest archive we can). I’m sure Roifield’s series will offer some crucial contributions to the wider set of stories about Jamaica’s powerful presence in the world.
It helps, to be sure, in putting together these little radio-like shorts, that Roifield also happens to be a demonstrably wicked producer of tracks himself (sometimes under the name Daddys Boy). When he first got in touch I followed a few links to the garridgey roller below and proceeded to hound him for a hi-bit version, though I started rocking an ol 128k right away just because I had to — and to a strong response here in Boston! Not bad contemporary resonance for a track cooked up years ago –
Big up, Roifield. Large up, Jamaica! Gwaan gwaan–