Featuring Konshens x Afro B, Mr. Vegas, Stylo G, Sean Paul and more.
Back in the vinyl era, it was said that Jamaica produced more records per capita than any other nation in the world. In 2020, dancehall artists seem determined to uphold that reputation for prolific musicality, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
Undoubtedly, Jamaican artists are driving Caribbean music at the moment, a dominance only partly explained by the recent proliferation of home studio setups and desktop production in dancehall (making it easier to keep the musical vibes flowing without touching road). It also has to do with simple timing, as music production and release calendars elsewhere in the Caribbean are often focused on the yearly crescendo of Carnival.
Trinidad, of course, pulled off a massive turnout at the end of February, just before recording their first confirmed case of COVID-19. But if Trini soca artists have already put in their work for 2020, many other West Indian Carnivals were or presumably will be cancelled. It remains to be seen whether scenes and styles associated with the big summer Carnivals (St. Lucian dennery, Bajan crop over and Grenadian jab-jab, to name a few) will take the risk of allowing large gatherings or attempt to recreate the festival experience virtually in an effort to support ongoing quarantine initiatives.
It's a strange new world...but we can all be thankful it still has room for a good old fashioned soundclash now and then. In that spirit, get all the Caribbean heat for this May below.