There are several reasons Caribbean music has become so popular and its artists highly recognized in the music industry. The music of the Caribbean offers a broad range of versatility based on individual Caribbean countries’ cultures. It is joyful, inspires individuals to dance and is easy for everyone to identify differences in each type of Caribbean cultural rhythm and lyrics.
The Rise in Caribbean Music Artists Popularity
Historically, when recently deceased Irving Louis Burgie first wrote Day O for singer Harry Belafonte in the 1950s, the tune was based on a traditional Jamaican folk song, the Banana Boat Song. Later another Caribbean group, the Tarriers, released another Jamaican song, Hill and Gully Rider and these artists inspired greater travel to the Caribbean Islands. Nikki Minaj, Rihanna, and Pitbull may have been dominating the radio for the last decade. However, there are many more Caribbean artists that are having their own time in the spotlight.
Camila Cabello began her career as a member of Fifth Harmony, a female group formed on the television music competition, the X Factor. Her musical style is Hispanic in nature and based on Mexican and Cuban rhythms. She has risen in the music world as a singer and is also an actress that will be starring in Sony’s upcoming modern Cinderella movie adaptation with Billy Porter as her Fairygodparent.
Camila’s debut album was nominated for several grammys and she recently won a Latin Grammy for her duet with Alejandro Sans. Her sophomore album titled “Romance” drops later this week. It will be followed up with an international tour.
The Soca genre of music originates from Trinidad and Tobago and has a strong musical beat punctuated by loud baselines and Caribbean drums. The top Soca artists are the Kes Band comprised of the Dieffenthaller Brothers. Their music and electric blends calypso and reggae into the Caribbean musical style.
When you blend Caribbean rhythms with African beats, the result is an artist like Juls, a Ghanaian born musician based in London. Juls created his own unique Afro-Caribbean sound that has the music industry on thirsting for more of his dance hall styled lyrics.
Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, aka Bad Bunny to the music world, incorporates a variety of music genres like rock, soul, bachata and reggae to create his signature sound. They are a proud ally to the LGBT+ community and has music that code switches in English and in Spanish. They’re an icon for those bicultural Latinx who don’t fit into binaries. It also helps that their music is great to dance to.
One of the most significant of Caribbean artists who took the music industry by storm was the late Bob Marley. His music and lyrics blended reggae, rocksteady and ska into his signature sound that continues to elevate Jamaican pride.
Now his son, Julian Marley, has taken over the music industry as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer who carries on his father’s humanitarian legacy. Julian Marley is a grammy award winner. The iconic dreadlocks and rasta zip up hoodie not withstanding, Julian Marley echoes the poignant style of music most linked to Jamaica.
One visit to the Caribbean proves island life throughout diverse Caribbean cultures soothes away stress the moment visitors hear the sound of steel drums, maracas, bongos, palitos, guiros and guitars, played by artists taking over the music industry today.
About the author:
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara is the youngest of four. She has two hilarious brothers and one beautiful sister. She also is the aunt of 5 crazy little girls that she loves more than anything!! Kara is not yet able to be a mom, but she loves being around kids and being like a second mom to her nieces. She dreams of the day that she can start her own little family.