If you’re into ska and reggae, you’ll know that both originated in Jamaica. But here’s the question: which form of music came first and why?
The answer is we heard ska before we heard reggae. Ska was a fast, choppy mix of jazz and big band and Dixieland that first started to appear in the late 40s and early 50s. Some say the origins of reggae can be traced to the summer of 1966, which was very, very hot in Kingston. It was just too hot to play and dance at a ska pace, so bands slowed down their tempos and rhythms and vocals to a speed that became known as “rocksteady.” Those who liked the idea–guys like a young Bob Marley–took the idea and ran with it, eventually cranking out something that became known as “reggae.” So there you have it: an entire new form of music that resulted from a heat wave.