Known as rocksteady, it became popularized with a slower dance style following ska and leading up to the birth of reggae. Soul singers like, Alton Ellis, Bob Andy and groups such as The Heptones, The Techniques and The Gaylads cemented its dominance for a few short years. Bolstering this new genre was the growing influence on popular culture from those paragons of Kingston ghetto style: rude boys.
Growing up with one foot in the jazz, R&B, Cuban and African music scenes, many of ska’s producers slid over to rocksteady and later, to reggae because it was a natural progression of the music. With an offbeat rhythm, and instruments like piano and guitar contributing fragmented chords on offbeats of the measure, the perceived tempo became slower, while still maintaining an addictive forward drive.
With a nod to the first wave of ska in the mid-sixties, and the rise of rocksteady, we present our latest Spotify playlist for your end-of-summer enjoyment.