Justin Bieber On If He’s Influenced By Reggae/Dancehall, “The Answer Is Yes”

From interviews to award stages, Skrillex laments his fandom of the commonly-sampled genre time and time again. After teaming up with several renowned music producers influenced by reggae and dancehall sounds, he has created a number of similar dancehall flavored records – all of which went unattributed to the originating culture. While one of its members is Jamaican, admitting the influence of dancehall on their records has seemed to be as difficult for them as it is for Justin. “I don’t want to get caught up being too isolated. The popular track had that rhythmic dancehall flavor and bassline, and its accompanying music video featured styles and dances from dancehall culture. What most local dancehall artists and fans took issue with was the fact that the genre was never credited at any opportunity for its obvious influence on the record. The producer behind the No. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” which was one of the biggest records of 2015, broke a number of streaming records in multiple regions, and the visuals currently boast more than 3.5 billion views on YouTube, ranking as the platform’s 13th most viewed video. I am inspired by really all music but in particular I love island music. DJ Khaled asked about “Sorry,” particularly during his recent interview with the pop superstar on his First One with DJ Khaled podcast on Amazon Music. Are you influenced by reggae music/dancehall music?”
In response, Justin told Khaled, “So the answer is yes. They too have faced backlash for cultural appropriation in addition to artists like Drake and Kanye West. Khaled recently had the opportunity to interview Justin Bieber amidst the release of his latest album, Justice, and the hitmaking producer asked the pop superstar about dancehall’s influence on his own music. It makes me want to dance.”
“I wanna make music for the world,” Bieber continues. It wouldn’t be no DJ Khaled if Khaled didn’t break out of dancehall. 1 track regularly dabbles in dancehall and reggae sounds and has often tipped his hat to the culture for influencing his productions. I love Jamaica. As a world advocate for reggae and dancehall music and Jamaica as a whole, DJ Khaled never fails to give credit to dancehall culture, which is not only a part of his roots but has spawned multiple hits for him. It’s part of my story and who I am,” Khaled said. The artists who tend to give dancehall the respect it deserves pretty much grew up on it themselves as Caribbean natives. It unquestionably catalyzed the renewed interest in dancehall-influenced mainstream music and was the start of an onslaught of tracks by various artists that were clearly products of dancehall culture. Justin Bieber sparked some controversy back in 2015 with his monstrous comeback hit “Sorry” from his album Purpose. As for when dancehall will actually be named by some mainstream artists as a major influence and stop being whitewashed by mainstream music media with empty terms like “Island music,” “Tropical House,” and “Caribbean-flavored,” we will have to wait and see. One of the major producers that Justin has worked with in the past who has faced similar criticism is Major Lazer, a group that is undoubtedly the product of an amalgamation of genres like dancehall, Afro-beats, EDM, and more. I love the feel of just the percussion, you know, I’m a drummer so that percussion it moves me. I want to make music that impacts everybody of all cultures, all ethnicities, all shapes and sizes.”
Justin, who is a self-taught musician, has been playing the drums since he was a toddler. Share this:

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Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window) “What inspired you to make that record? Justin Bieber says he is influenced by reggae/dancehall music but failed to meet the low bar in giving Jamaican music its proper credit. “The record ‘Sorry,’ it has that dancehall feel. However, as if prohibited to do so, the word “dancehall” has never publicly escaped artists like Justin Bieber’s lips. I love reggae, I love dancehall music. Namely, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj often highlight the undeniable impact of the genre and raise awareness of its prior existence.