Childhood Cassettes looks at the tapes we listened to as young rapscallions. Here’s the lowdown on my childhood defined by reggae music before all that hip hop stuff kicked in. I’ve never shied away from admitting that I jumped into music very late, both as a practitioner and a serious listener. Sure, I had my own cheesy pop cassettes but I was never the type to…

Monty Alexander’s rendition of jazz standard On Green Dolphin Street is our Song for Sunday. Of all the genres you could associate with Jamaica, jazz isn’t one of them and perhaps that would do a disservice to the nation and its musicians. An unsung hero from the Caribbean island is Monty Alexander, a jazz pianist born in Kingston. Having taken classical lessons at six years…

Guest writer Ashton James Brown aka Ashterisk the Beat Reaper addresses black music representation on British radio and asks whether we have more choice. When I happened upon the news that Choice FM had been rebranded as Capital XTRA, my thoughts on the matter were initially geared towards disgust. Choice FM was more than just a name; it was a brand that resonated with many Black…

Our resident reggae lover Bee discusses its sound system culture in the UK and how it has blossomed over the years. Keeping things seasonal here at Sampleface, I want to pay homage to the seminal sound of the summer carnival; Reggae, and the people who carried this glorious music to our shores like warm Caribbean sea breezes. Reggae came to the UK with the “Windrush…

Jamaica, the birthplace of musical legends such as Bob Marley, King Tubby, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Desmond Dekker, Peter Tosh and many more (listing them all would probably be another post for another day). For many people, it’s synonymous with reggae thanks to Marley and co. and with it, the nucleus of this well-deserved fame is its capital, Kingston. On Orange Street (known as Beat Street…