Estonia Reggae Global Report Image

by Jane Langemets

Reggae music is reaching everywhere. In Estonia, it was possible to listen to reggae-influenced music from as early as the 70s. A strong reggae community emerged in the 90s when Estonia got its independence back. Then, people started to use and wear symbols that were coming from Rasta culture

Reggae music is reaching everywhere. In Estonia, it was possible to listen to reggae-influenced music from as early as the 70s. A strong reggae community emerged in the 90s when Estonia got its independence back. Then, people started to use and wear symbols that were coming from Rasta culture, - dreadlocks, Lion of Judah, etc., listen to Jamaican music and pay more attention to the lyrics of the songs. Surely, everybody here knows who Bob Marley is, especially since The Wailers band visited Estonia three times! In 2006 for instance, www.reggae.ee was created to promote Afro-Caribbean music and culture in Estonia.

There has been many different party series, live concerts and events that Reggae.ee has been organizing, like Version, Afrikulcha and Mama Africa. The purpose of Reggae.ee is not to make everybody love reggae music but to bring different cultures closer to the local community, to

give everybody a chance to experience something new/different and let them decide for themselves what they want to do with it. Handicraft and cultural workshops (dancehall lessons, African dance workshops) are also featured. There are a few radio shows that currently play Afro-Caribbean music in Estonia. Reggae Power is a weekly reggae show which is run by Bashment Kingz Sound selectors, one of the first active sound systems in Estonia. On Sundays, there is Etnokonservid, which airs African-rooted music from time to time. Sure, it is possible

to hear Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Shaggy in every mainstream radio show but that doesn't satisfy the hunger of those who deeply love reggae music.

Bashment Kingz also runs a monthly reggae party called Bashment, which is based in Von Krahl, Tallinn. Every month, all reggae

music lovers in Tallinn can go to this party, which sometimes offers live shows as well. Bashment Kingz has been really active in bringing new riddims and artistes to Estonia. Artistes that have visited include David Rodigan, Rory from Stone Love sound system, Macka B, Tippa Irie, General Levy, Lone Ranger and so many others.

Luckily, Estonian reggae music lovers can travel anywhere when they really want to see some bigger artistes from Jamaica. There are many fulfilling reggae festivals all across Europe, such as Uppsala Reggae Festival in Sweden, Summer Jam in Germany, Rototom Sunsplash in Spain and many others. Finland is the closest destination for reggae music travellers. There are many talented musicians, producers and promoters of reggae in Estonia as well. We have our own dancehall queen, Listonia (http://www.myspace.com/listonia), whose hit song with Mr. Lexx is getting a lot of attention now. There are also a few active reggae bands like Plookie with Fire Pon Ice band, Maikameikers, Ska Factor and Bombillaz. Estonian producers of reggae and dancehall riddims include Def R??du, Gee and Madou.

Yes, we have snow and it is cold from time to time, but fire is always blazin!

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