Words by Emily Shapiro—
It’s no secret that tourists flock to Jamaica not just for its beautiful beaches but also to absorb some of the sounds that Jamaica is so famous for. It turns out, though, they are only really down with the positive vibrations until about 2 AM. In a story published this week by BBC, Colin Grant writes that the government has stepped up enforcement, particularly in and around resort areas, of laws banning music from being played publicly after 2 AM, due to complaints from tourists about sleep deprivation.
Grant, who has written extensively on Jamaica’s musical history and is the director of the documentary, Wheel and Come Again, points out that Jamaica may be the loudest island in the world. Waiters are singing, taxi drivers are blasting chunes, and, outside of the studio at least, no one uses headphones. He also notes that, while official Jamaica has come to embrace its musical treasure, this isn’t the first time the government has intervened in matters of music: colonial authorities banned the drum on plantations, fearing slaves could use it to send coded messages calling for insurrection. Read the full story here.