'Take back reggae' - producer says genre must also evolve
Record producer Andre 'Drizzy' Lofters says this Reggae Month is about reclaiming reggae music from foreigners.
Lofters, a musician, artiste manager, and godson of iconic producer King Jammy, has a label High Altitude Music.
He is promoting reggae songs like See Them Coming by Artiste Hebrew and Great I Am, featuring both Clarence Joseph and Artiste Hebrew, Drizzy told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"We do mostly culture and that is why we say Great I Am because we are here for a purpose. I want Jamaica to take back reggae music because a some white bwoy tek it over. We are trying to get our label out as a reggae label and not to run dung dancehall," Drizzy said.
Drizzy worked with Anju Black's UIM Records for several years, but is now embarking on a solo career.
He commended Raging Fyah and Morgan Heritage for the work that they have been doing overseas for reggae music, but was quick to highlight that he wanted Joseph and Hebrew to exceed all expectations and projections.
"A lot of our reggae bands who perform and tour overseas are opening up for white bands. So High Altitude music wants to break that barrier by getting the youths more involved into reggae and creating trendy reggae," he said.
As it relates to purists who feel that the sound of reggae should remain the same, Drizzy feels that the genre should be allowed to grow.
He also highlighted that he is not opposed to working on dancehall-infused rhythms, as long as the message is conscious.
"We try to make our reggae music so that it is not dated. Reggae is our foundation and right now foreigners are running with it ... I don't know if the older heads in reggae are stubborn, but there are different types of beats. You might get a techno beat and you put some conscious lyrics on it and still reach the people. Music has evolved, and reggae needs to evolve too," Drizzy said.