Jamaican Music

Vice Magazine Explores “Why Jamaicans and Reggae Artists Love Celine Dion”

Celine Dion

Online magazine, Vice.com, explores Jamaicans love for Celine Dion in an article titled “The Reggae Community’s Heart Will Always Go On for Celine Dion“. ” The French-Canadian pop music star  performed in a concert in Jamaica in 2012 that broke attendance records and the caused traffic congestion around the concert venue as fans expressed their enthusiasm for the singer. Dion has sold more than 200 million albums, with her new album “Encore un Soir” ready for release. All of the tracks are sung in French, and fans predict it will be a hit throughout Jamaica and the Caribbean. Dion has been a constant in dancehall clubs for years, as many Jamaican dancehall artistes listen to and cover her songs, also remixing her ballads into anthems of dancehall. Per the article, the reason for the popularity of Dion’s music among Jamaicans can be found in its “laid-back” tempo, rich harmony and its expression of the spirits of unity and love. Her music has been described as perfect for the dancehall setting because much of its music programming involves slow jams played in contrast to heavier dance beats. According to Bobby Konders, Hot 97 DJ and member of Massive B sound system which includes several dancehall DJs and MCs, Dion’s tunes like “Mama” and “If Walls Could Talk” were played often during the 1990s. Hardcore Jamaican crowds were into the music, he said. Pam Hall covered Dion in the 1990s, and even hardcore dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel sampled “I’m Alive.” According to Jamaican-born photography Stephen Chin, 55, who currently lives in New York, dancehall so often discusses gun violence and crime, so Dion provides an “antidote” to that. “Jamaicans love them sappy songs,” Chin said. Several current dancehall musicians continue to use utilize Dion’s tunes with the addition of upbeat guitars, pan flutes, and backbeat shuffles that transform the music for consumption by dancehall fans.

Source: Vice.com

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Stephanie Korney