While local and international news sources tend to highlight some of the worst aspects of Jamaican culture, the youths of today are generating much more positivity on the ground level. Promising movement is happening right now. This is the Reggae Revival. It is the spirit of our times. It has been brewing for years and now it is undeniable.
Whether or not it was given a name it would have happened anyway. It will continue to happen for some time and will not be stopped as long as love and unity reign. What we see happening in the local creative industries is that the conscious, Afrocentric, often Rastafari reggae aesthetic is making a powerful comeback in various art forms and cultural expressions. Music unsurprisingly leads the way with a new crop of singers and musicians who are emerging to give expression to this awakening. They are literally speaking on our behalf.
Whereas we have had previous waves of truly uplifting music, the Reggae Revival is unique. This wave is coming with a simultaneous surge of powerful visual art and a high level of collaboration occurring between the two art forms. Meanwhile, the wider community extends to all types of artists and non-artists: poets, authors, film-makers, chefs, dancers, fashion designers, yoga instructors and other spiritual teachers, managers, administrators, public relations writers, communication specialists, DJs and other radio personalities and more.
At this point, there is no formal organization, nobody paying dues or doing secret handshakes. We are all Revivalists simply because we are alive in this era of human history, endorsing and ushering in this new consciousness. The true ambassadors of the movement are not selected by any individual or committee. They are obvious to everyone simply because their strengths are on display. They humbly and dutifully fulfill their roles in the collectively acknowledged mission to fill the moral void manufactured by the babylonian system that has prevailed to this day. Look around and figure out who is who, and who is true. If you are honest with yourself, your spirit will tell you that you too are a Revivalist, and you will know how to identify the fellow Revivalists among us.
When the term "Reggae Revival" was first suggested by author Dutty Bookman in November 2011, he intended for it to be a catalyst and reference for national discussion. In less than two years it has become more than just that. There is now an international spotlight on this term. With global reggae enthusiasts now reexamining Jamaica's musical output, we are seeing that the Reggae Revival is a genuine and divine opportunity for us to properly document and promote our own common, collective, authentic culture. It is more than just the music. It is a cultural revolution in progress. Give it some time, observe it and contribute your strengths to it with open minds and hearts. You will inevitably see what we are capable of together.
Soon the world will have to face this Conquering Lion, look HIM in the eye, and listen to the real story of the hunt.