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SummerJam 2016 – Reggae Festival Review

Christopher Martin at SummerJam 2016

Review of the 31st edition of European Reggae festival SummerJam 2016

Written by Oli & D’Julz on the behalf of Jamworld876
Photo credits: D’Julz

The annual three-day Reggae Festival, Summerjam 2016, was at the rendezvous in Köln This City at the beginning of the month for their 31st anniversary. The well-renowned event took place at Fühlingersee, as usual, which is located only 20 minutes away from the world famous Leverkusen Mitte. Almost all European countries and the world in general were represented at this event.

Nowhere else in Europe is the live music scene as vibrant as it is in Germany. It is arguably one of the biggest entertainment hubs of Europe. There’s a big concert almost every month and weekly live shows are countless. There are countless events and performances that go unnoticed all over the country. A quick browse through any of the local daily newspapers will reveal an artist or a band is performing somewhere.

For Reggae lovers, the annual Summerjam hosts a large panorama of performances, from Sound Systems to live concerts, in order to introduce the rich Caribbean culture to the European audience. Featuring genres ranging from Calypso to Dubstep and anything in between. The objective is to free people’s perceptions and show that reggae music can be inclusive, forward thinking and enjoyed by all.

A few big names of the Reggae Scene like Chronixx and Morgan Heritage performed at the festival. The line-up also featured some international Reggae/Dancehall artists, such as Grammy Award-winning artist Sean Paul and Ky-mani Marley! Everything from Roots, Rub-a-Dub, Dancehall, One Drop, Lovers’ Rock and Digital to Dub was represented on both stages.

Interview of Christopher Martin at SummerJam 2016

At the VIP Area, where artists, crew members, guests, promoters and the media converge after the shows, was the place to be. This is where we had the opportunity to meet Reggae artist Christopher Martin. The comfy but earthly general of Lovers’ Rock who hails from Kingston Jamaica set the stage on fire keeping the fans wanting more and more. This happened to be his fourth appearance at Summerjam.

He wisely depicts family and social issues the youths have to cope with in Jamaica and globally as well as love situations like in the songs “Cheater’s Prayer”, “Let Her Go” and “Chill Spot”. Christopher Martin is currently on tour in Europe and admitted that he has never been to Germany on holiday. His last tour was in Zimbabwe where he was received with much love. And Kenya was the first African country he went to for a tour. He said it reminded him of his home country. His strongest sentiment was on youth empowerment through education, arts and entrepreneurship.

Interview of Alborosie at SummerJam 2016

Alborosie is one of Reggae artists whom we interviewed at the festival this year. Originally from Italy, Alborosie curved out his music career from scratch. He started out with nothing in Jamaica and later on succeeding. He now inspires generations of avid Reggae music fans. He is proud to be from the 70’s, old school. He told us he would have definitely been a vintage keyboard if he had to be a retro object. Otherwise, he remains a tremendous voice and sounds fully committed to a mission that clearly means the world to him.

Alborosie is the real deal when it comes to boom drop Reggae music. Never compromising and never relenting, we could say that he is a rebel in the Reggae music industry. The title of his delightful new album Freedom on Fire” is yet another testimony, in which he points his finger at his critics, corporate greed and expresses support for the youths. As a producer and songwriter Alborosie encompasses different personas. Again he proves how versatile and multitalented he really is, promising his fans hit after hit.

During the interview Alborosie hinted on how difficult it has become for Reggae artists to secure Visas for both themselves and their crew. This Rebel general surprisingly draws his strength and the will to trod on from his family. He proudly credits his wife and family with being the best of him. His message to the youth simply is: “If I could do it, then anyone could do it”.

In general, Summerjam 2016 was a success as it always is. We hope you enjoyed it. Hopefully we will be there again next year, on the 1st weekend of July at the same venue.

For more pictures of the festival, check out our Facebook page:

Jah Bless.


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