History of Jamaican sound clash/competition
Jamaican Sound Clash Competition The music industry across the globe is characterized by competition. From dance competitions to lyrical contests and mobile stereo standoffs.
Musicians across different genres compete against each other for various reasons.
Particularly, the Jamaican dancehall and reggae music scene has been defined by competition over the years.
This element led to the conception of an iconic music battle known as sound clash,
which is essentially a competition in which different groups flex their musical muscle.
There are many musical competitions that are held across Jamaica,
but sound clash has particularly been very popular and significant to the music culture, even beyond Jamaica.
Today, it’s the most popular dancehall and reggae competition that has hosted legendary performances across Jamaica.
The sound clash originated in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, in the late 1950s when very few people could afford sound systems.
The people who owned portable sound systems organized street parties in which people had the opportunity to hear new music.
During the 1950s, neighboring communities held parties at the same time and the party that attracted a bigger crowd won the battle of who had better music.
Each side fought to outdo the other with greater sound clarity and deeper bass.
In this battle, the side that had sound systems with deeper bass and better sound clarity attracted a bigger crowd hence winning the battle.
The selection of tracks was another aspect that determined the crowds a particular side attracted.
When it started, the clash was an informal activity, but these competitions developed into organized music battles involving top dancehall and reggae musicians.
This culture got bigger and bigger through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and the 1990s with prominent DJs and selectors playing a role in promoting the culture.
Dancehall DJs such as Burro Banton, Yellowman, Admiral Bailey, and Tenor saw introduced a new phenomenon in the sound clash when they began to pair live vocals with sound system,
making it easier for DJs to address rival sounds.
These events really helped DJs to make a name for themselves.
As the culture became more popular in Jamaica, musicians from other parts of the world embraced it.
Musicians in the U.K particularly adopted sound clash and began merging Caribbean sounds and African sounds.
By 1990, the Jamaican sound clash culture had crossed borders to the U.S, parts of Asia, and Scandinavian countries.
It’s the origin of some of the music genres that are popular today including – dub, hip hop, dancehall, reggaeton, dubstep,
and many more. Some of the figures that pioneered sound clash culture include Count Nick, Duke Reid’s the Trojan, Tom the Great Sebastian.
The sound culture is arguably one of the factors that have contributed to the massive creativity in Jamaican music and great dancehall and reggae artists.
This culture has helped to maintain Jamaican music’s original charisma, with an added dancehall and reggae sound dominating the newer sound systems.
The Jamaican sound clash culture has a rich background, and it’s certainly an integral part of music culture.
The sound clash has had a significant influence on a wide range of music genres around the world.
Without doubt History of Jamaican Sound Clash/Competition will continue to make stride all over the world