The Importance Of Reggae In Society

3 February 2016 | 7:48 pm | Shane Pinnegar

“We follow his lead as far as where the music takes us.”

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Calling from Shillong, in North East India, on The Wailers' first-ever tour of the country, Anglin is tired yet passionate and inspirational about the importance of spreading Marley’s message of love, peace and Rastafarianism.

“We follow his lead as far as where the music takes us,” he explains. “His spirit lives on through his music and I think his aim was to spread the message of Rastafari to the four corners of the globe.”

There’s undeniably a lot of unrest in the world at the moment: war, poverty, corruption and unhappiness abound. Songs of peace, love and understanding are needed more than ever, and have a very real power to make a difference.

“Well, let's take, for example, what happens in any environment or any social gathering,” the singer says. “If you are playing love songs in a social gathering and people have a certain feeling of calmness, you might see two couples dancing as you are playing. If they're playing dance music with drums, they might dance a different way. If they're playing music that's talking about killing or talking about negative things, it's only a matter of time before somebody starts fighting.

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"Music is very influential and it gets in your subconscious and it just creates physical movement and physical reactions. We feel like if we keep feeding the people with positive music, then their actions and their reflexes will conform to the same. We can get positive movements and positive interactions with different people. Music is the greatest medium of reaching people, so we want to do it in a positive way.

“It's the vibrations,” he continues, the passion in his voice nothing short of inspirational, “and vibrations is not something that stays still. We want our impact to be global, so we would have to make the loudest noise. We have to continuously be spreading the word and then to let it echo all across the globe. The problem can't be just fixed in one region; it has to be fixed bilaterally and in all regions.”

Reggae music - perhaps more than any other – seems largely independent of demographics. Rock fans like reggae, punks like reggae, hippies like reggae. It seems to cover all the bases. Anglin couldn’t agree more.

“Yes, because it's people music; it's music for humanity,” he insists. “It's not just music for a specific look or a specific language. Everybody loves reggae music, even the ones who don't understand the words.”

Anglin talks about performing almost as if it's an obligation – he even uses the words ‘our mission’ to describe what The Wailers do. Is touring still fun for the band - it's not just a penance, is it?

“Yeah, I mean, that's the whole point. If you have a mission and a purpose, that is life,” he says inspirationally. “Those two things; just life. You should always be involved in your mission and your purpose in your life so that, for me, is fun. It should be fun. If you're truly committed to it, it should be fun, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. It being fun just means that you accept the challenge in its entirety instead of just the parts that you feel the most comfortable with. That is the whole point of being a part of a mission and being committed to a purpose - just understand that not every aspect of it is going to be easy. The challenges are the parts that are most interesting and most rewarding.”

Originally published in X-Press Magazine