Arts and Entertainment consultant Lloyd Stanbury is of the opinion that Jamaica has lost its status as the capital of reggae music. According to Stanbury, there are many countries performing better than Jamaica where reggae music is concerned.
"Jamaica is not the capital of reggae … various places have claimed to be and they have various reasons to state their claim," Stanbury told the Sunday Gleaner.
Abidjan, the former capital of Cte d'Ivoire in West Africa, is one of the places the consultant mentions. According to Stanbury, he was conducting a music workshop in the Ivory Coast when he was enlightened by the locals that they were the new capital. "I was there for a couple weeks to conduct a music workshop and I was invited to go to a live reggae club. During my stay, they told me about some of their artistes who are successful reggae artists internationally, and because of the success of such artists they believe they are the capital of reggae," he said.
Bob Marley of Africa. Two of those artists, Stanbury says who have developed a huge following in the Ivory Coast are Alpha Blondy, hailed as the 'Bob Marley of Africa', and Tiken Jah Fakoly. Stanbury also took a jab at the local Reggae Sumfest Festival, saying it was neither the biggest nor the greatest reggae show in the world. "Sumfest is not the biggest reggae show in the world and it is not the greatest in the world either by any means. The greatest reggae shows in the world are in Cologne, Germany, called Reggae Summer Jam, and in Spain, which is Rototom Sunsplash," he said. According to the consultant, at present Jamaica only satisfies one indication of what could make the area the reggae capital.