The New School – 10 New Artistes Making an Impact on Reggae Music in Jamaica
by Kay Grant | Associate Writer
Photo: Rising Reggae Star Koffee Celebrating Her Grammy Win in 2020
Reggae has been transcending borders for decades as flagbearers such as the iconic Bob Marley
, Peter Tosh, as well as Luciano and many others, have kept the genre alive with their many timeless and profound hits.
These icons have inspired a new generation to carry the torch for reggae, running with the tradition of the genre to advocate for the less fortunate, highlight injustices, and most of all, giving us the ‘good vibes’ that reggae is so known for.
Here are some of the reggae artistes causing a stir in the industry today.
- Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley – Yes, we know Damian is not new to this, he is true to this, however, he is still technically among the new school. Winning Grammy awards left, right, and centre, and garnering millions of fans all over the world, Damian’s mission to keep his father’s legacy of amazing and impactful music alive is succeeding. Damian’s Grammy-winning ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ album is an iconic body of work, which produced several hits and continues to be impactful, and sparks many conversations.
Damian’s collaborative effort with iconic rapper, Nas, on the critically acclaimed full-length album Distant Relatives is just one of the many collaborations he has had with several international artistes. Trust us, if (by some weird happenstance) you have not listened to anything by this lyrical juggernaut, run to YouTube as fast as you can and do so!
- Chronixx – LISTEN! Chronixx’s music is life, it is that good! Every song that that man has put out so far in his career are hits. From the moment he dropped his first single, ‘Behind Curtain’, he has been dropping non-stop hits, from the ever-popular ‘Likes’ to ‘Here Comes Trouble’, ‘Skankin’ Sweet’, ‘Warrior’ and so many others, this icon-in-the-making has been putting in the work and it shows.
In addition to that, Chronixx is known to rock some of the biggest venues in the world, and they are always jam-packed with fans, regardless of their backgrounds, singing his hits at the top of their lungs. The self-proclaimed ‘young veteran’ has also rocked late-night television in the United States, as he gave a notable performance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2017. This young man is well on his way to being one of the most notable Reggae flag bearers in the genre.
- Koffee - YESSS! We love us some Koffee! To say this young star is making waves is an understatement. Her mega-hit single ‘Toast’ catapulted her into superstardom. She has been dropping hit after hit and recently became the youngest and first female Reggae Grammy album winner EVER. Koffee also has several international endorsement deals including Calvin Klein and Mastercard (this one she is doing with her mom!). Her list of achievements at just 21 years old is way too long to share.
- Protoje – His lyrics are profound, and all-around conscious and thought-provoking. Protoje is well on his way to international stardom. His hits such as ‘Blood Money’, ‘Who Knows’ a collaboration with Chronixx and ‘Switch Up’ which is performed alongside fellow reggae star, Koffee, among others. Now, don’t get it twisted, Protoje has a low-key demeanour, but when it comes to that stage, he is not to be played with. Don’t believe us? Go watch videos of his live shows.
- Lila Ike – Her voice is like an angel, her lyrics are relatable and potent, her look is that of a contemporary reggae goddess and her star, RISING! Lila is one to watch, with her hits ‘Second Chance’, ‘Thy Will’, ‘Where I’m Coming From’, ‘Biggest Fan’ among others, the protégé of fellow reggae artiste Protoje is taking no prisoners as her catalogue is growing into a potent one. An activist, an artist and a dynamo on stage, Lila is shaping up to be one of reggae’s biggest stars. She, as well as other members of the Dancehall/Reggae space, were featured in an ad campaign by shoe brand Clarks.
- Yaksta – His song ‘Ambition’ about making wise financial decisions, has the radio waves in a chokehold, and his other hits are making an impact and getting lots of spins. This young man is a breath of fresh air, and we are excited to see much more from him.
- Naomi Cowan – From a musical background, (her mom is gospel singer Carlene Davis, and her dad is Tommy Cowan), Naomi has struck out on her own and is making quite the impact with her music career. With her hits such as ‘Peace of Mind’, ‘One True Love’, ‘You’re Gonna Loose’ and ‘Gold’, its clear to see that she is a serious talent one to watch.
- Sevana – Yet another protégé of artiste Protoje, the reggae songstress is well on her way to stardom. Her singles ‘Mango’ and ‘Nobody Man’ continue to be in heavy rotation and her career continues to be on the upswing.
- Skip Marley – An even younger Marley has made the list, Damian’s nephew and of course the great Bob Marley’s grandson, has been enjoying steady growth in his career. An international reggae star in his own right, Skip has done collaborations with pop star Katy Perry on their hit single ‘Chained to the Rythm’, R&B star H.E.R on ‘Slow Down’, among others. His most recent collaboration to date is with fellow Jamaican musical artiste Popcaan on the song Vibe. His granddad would be proud!
- Jesse Royal – His stage presence is undeniable, lyrics on point and songs very impactful. Jesse Royal takes his craft seriously and it shows in his performances, his lyrics and how well he interviews. With songs like Modern Day Judas and Rich Forever we are excited for what he will do next.
Those are just some of the up and comers in reggae, and being the factory for talent that Jamaica is, you know we have many more representatives from the new school coming up.
We want to know, who is your favourite on the list? Who would you add?
I also recommend you read, Which Jamaican artist won the Grammy Award?
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