Behind the music: From Box to Bass Image

by Biko Kennedy

"Jamaicans' music is probably the only music that the entire world knows" and is in fact one of the most captivating genres there is. But if the sound isn't right…no one wants to hear it.

Feeling that driving bass pulsate through your body as the disc jockey glides and blends songs together smoothly; part 3 of Jamaicansmusic's original series 'Behind the music' takes a look into the beginnings of one of the most prominent elements in our culture…the Sound System.

Sitting with legendary sound system operator and producer Winston 'Merritone' Blake (Merritone Music), Leighton 'Walshy Fire' Walsh (Black Chiney/ Major Lazer), and Makonnen Blake-Hannah we set forth on a journey of learning more about the original vehicle of Jamaicans' music.

"First of all when we started playing music, which was the later of the 1950's, there was no Jamaican music," recalls Winston Blake. "It was strictly American Rhythm and Blues and Mento and the music that we danced to a lot also was in the form of swing which was like Jazz – Jazz in those days was swing music which was dance music," Blake continued before giving an in-depth recollection of the very first sound system to play on the island.

Watch as Winston Blake speaks more on the jukebox's evolution to the sound system

Check out Episode 1 here

Check out Episode 2 here

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