Sunday, 19 February 2017

Swedish Reggae

I watched a great programme on SVT about Swedish reggae. Here are the points I found interesting!

Swedish reggae started when a man called Peps Persson heard Bob Marley's music and was inspired to start singing reggae in his own Skånska Swedish dialect. Peps and his band released an album called "Hög Standard", recognised as one of the first Swedish reggae albums.

In 1981 Bob Marley died of cancer. To honor him, a band called "Kalle Baah" put on a remembrance festival in the tiny town of Skärblacka. Skärblacka is now known as the 'the Kingston of Sweden', and the festival continues to this day. The band went on to begin the studio and production company "Blacka Music", which is known for the special 'Skärblacka' reggae sound. According to one of a group of Skärblacka youths interviewed for the documentary, people in Skärblacka "live, breathe and shit reggae". Skärblacka is only known for two things: reggae and its stinking paper factory. 

One of the biggest reggae festivals in Sweden is currently the "Öland Roots" festival, which is known for it's nice, community-friendly atmosphere. "Öland Roots" stole the title of biggest reggae fest from "Uppsala Reggae Festival", after it was driven to folding due to (according to the documentary) an undue amount of attention from police and authorities concerning drugs. But according to their website "Uppsala Reggae Festival" will return to Uppsala later this year!

Another 'reggae base' in Sweden is apparently Göteborg, where there is something of a homegrown reggae scene (although I'm having trouble finding it!).

Keep skanking!

No comments:

Post a Comment