Reggae Month App Launched By Jamaican Entertainment Ministry

Buju Banton and Babsy Grange
Buju Banton, Babsy Grange

Jamaica’s Minister of Entertainment, Olivia’ Babsy’ Grange, has announced that her Ministry has collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism to develop a Reggae Month App.

The app allows interested event promoters of all genres of Jamaican music, whether Mento, Ska, Dub, Rocksteady, Reggae or Dancehall to add their own events, and will also enable music lovers to keep abreast of all the respective shows, conferences and other events that will be taking place during Reggae Month 2020, which will be observed throughout February.

According to Grange, who is a former manager for Patra, Bounty Killer, and Shabba Ranks, the app will list all the events which are either being organized by the Jamaican Government or are endorsed by the Reggae Month Secretariat. She said the app will be active for much longer than one month and will solve a major information problem within the music industry.

“For Reggae Month, we are encouraging those promoters who have not yet registered their events with the Reggae Month Secretariat to do so and get featured on the app, once the event is of a suitable standard,” Grange said, adding that while the app has been developed specifically for Reggae Month, there is great potential for it to be a portal for “all things Reggae, all throughout the year.”

Grange, who is a former Shang music executive, said the app will pull stakeholders together on a common platform, which will enable each to know what the other is doing, and as a consequence, channel their efforts and resources in a more efficient manner. She also told The Star newspaper that by centralizing all the music information in the app, Reggae Month would, therefore, assume the form of one massive Reggae festival across the country for the entire month”.

In the meantime, President of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Ewan Simpson, said the app might very well be useful for entertainment events in Jamaica, in general since it serves all of Jamaica’s indigenous music forms.

“One of the things that people have not understood is, in us using the term reggae, both in the context of JaRIA and Reggae Month, ‘Reggae’ is an umbrella term for the indigenous music forms,” he explained.

“Wherever you go across the world and people say ‘Reggae,’ they don’t only mean Roots, Rocking Reggae or Lovers’ Rock. But they are also speaking about Dancehall, Ska and Rocksteady,” Simpson told The Star tabloid.