Lutan Fyah sounds alarm on the Reggae evolution

March 01, 2024
Reggae artiste, Lutan Fyah.
Reggae artiste, Lutan Fyah.

Reggae artiste Lutan Fyah is concerned that the continued co-mingling of reggae music with other genres could lead to a watering down the music's authentic 'Jamaican sound'.

The Rasta Still Deh Bout singer said that Bob Marley's established legacy for reggae is gradually evolving into a sound that alters its fundamental roots, a shift he feels does not enhance the quality of the genre.

"Everybody a mix and melt the genres and it naah guh nuh weh, nobody naah buy it," Lutan Fyah told THE WEEKEND STAR.

"It only have a following and a clout, but no real fanbase. Suh a just we the Jamaican music fraternity must know and understand what's happening with our music and the direction it's going and try fi safeguard it in a way weh keep it afloat."

The reggae artiste pointed to the emergence of several reggae bands worldwide, few of which have Jamaican connection as evidence of reggae's endangerment.

"Reggae music is inherently universal. Why try to change it? The genre's essence is what makes it universally appealing," he added.

Fyah said that the evolution of the music has led to people changing aspects of reggae. He said that this has resulted in the creation of a music sound that is "not like reggae". He said that he would rather the music remains the way it was when giants like Bob Marley were popularising the music.

The Stick to Culture artiste argued that once reggae's sound is altered, that newly created genre should no longer be classified as reggae.

"The evolution of reggae music is with the vocals - the artiste who comes with a new sound or a new style. But yuh see the reggae genre itself, there's a rudiment that keep it one way and make that particular music reggae and sometime with the evolution, that rudiment get shift up and change up, and man seh dem a try improvise and mek it more universal. But I would ask 'What's more universal than the reggae itself?" Lutan questioned.

The entertainer expressed the desire for Jamaicans to continue embracing the message of love and unity that reggae has taught the masses.

"Reggae music is a unifying force and if we can mek dat unity be our strength throughout the year, it would be great for Jamaica because that's the only direction nowadays," he said.

Lutan Fyah recently touched down on the island, following his performances at the Cali Vibes festival and several other shows in California. He was also among the headliners for the Reggae Gold Award and 2024 Jamaica Music Museum Hall of Fame Inductions held in Kingston on Thursday evening. He is slated to perform at Jo Mersa Marley's birthday celebration on March 9 and has upcoming shows in Africa, the US, and Europe. Additionally, the reggae icon is expected to release a new album in August this year.

- N.W.

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