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DESPITE strides made by reggae musicians over the years, Reggae still struggles to gain acceptance in some markets.

A recent article in The New Times, a publication out of the African state of Rwanda, highlights the struggles by reggae acts in that country.

The article quotes local artiste Jean-Chrysostome Tuyishime aka Krizzo, who is said to be one of the music’s heavyweights in Rwanda. He said the society is still hostile to reggae music because of its perceived link to the Rastafari movement.

For Krizzo, reggae musicians and fans must fight this perception by being positive role models through their music and social life.

“Society still associates reggae with unwanted elements in society. They see reggae musicians and fans as rebels who take drugs. The Rastafarians are mistaken for people who cannot do important things in society,” the dreadlocked Krizzo is quoted as saying.

“As reggae artistes, it’s vital that we pass the message that we also have passion for what we do… You can be a Rastafarian without doing drugs or sporting dreadlocks. I just want to be a role model by being on the right side of society and spreading my message of love and inclusiveness through reggae music,” he continued.

As part of his efforts to improve the lot of reggae in Rwanda, Krizzo is organising the Rwanda Reggae Festival, a two-day event from May 10 to 11 — the final day being the 33rd anniversary of the passing of the King of Reggae Bob Marley.

“I have linked with a number of Rwandan reggae artistes like Clispin, Ben Nganji and Ras Love and we are preparing something that will change the face of reggae music here. Reggae fans should prepare themselves for a great treat, and they are also going to listen to some of my songs that I’m going to launch on that occasion,” said Krizzo.

Two young entrepreneurs from Kingston, Jamaica bring their “Reggae Application” project to Kickstarter

Trendy Reggae connects musicians, djs, music promoters, producers and major brands through an online platform. Users will be able to engage new fans, discover new music and find gigs with Trendy Reggae. This web application is the creation of two young Computer Science graduates from University of Technology (UTECH), Tarique Smith and Calvin Brown. “We have both built wonderful applications and have worked with several Artistes, Djs, Producers and top brands in the past, however we were dissatisfied with the tradeoffs that we had to make between the available options and divide in the industry,” says Tarique. So one day they decided that there had to be a better solution for bridging the gap in the music industry. This led to the creation of the Trendy Reggae. Read more

Reggae Sound Systems on Display at Sonos Space (Exclusive Video)

Sound systems belonging to dub reggae pioneers such as King Tubby are part of the Hometown HiFi Exhibition at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, an installation designed to pay homage to communal listening.

“The sound system is the great invention to come out of reggae,” says exhibit curator Seb Carayol. “It’s a tiny niche within the history of reggae but what it did for other music styles – hip-hop, electronic dance music – is impossible to measure.” Read more