But where did this genre come from and why is it so popular today? Dancehall music first originated in the Caribbean during the 1970s. Unlike other types of music, the word Dancehall refers to a type of music as well as a dance. The genre gets its name from the dance halls where Jamaican music was played by local sound systems.
Dancehall really took off in the 80s when digital instrumentation took prevalence and replaced the reggae-based roots style of the 1970s. By using digital instruments DJs were able to create faster and more complex rhythms, and modern Dancehall as we know it today was born.
Another factor in the development of Dancehall was the evolution of sound systems. These enormous sound systems attracted large crowds and gave people (Who might not ordinarily be able to buy records) the chance to hear diverse types of music. In time the Dancehall genre became synonymous with DJs and sound systems, with some of these DJs becoming more famous than the artists who’s records they played.
Today Dancehall music is popular all over the world and has had a considerable influence on Western artists and producers, with artists like Drake stating that they owe an enormous debt to Dancehall music. This influence has only helped Dancehall music to continue spreading across the world.