In amongst the glamorous frontages of all-inclusive hotels, the studios of Irie FM are marked by a colourful billboard opposite the Coconut Grove shopping centre. Irie was Jamaica’s first reggae-only station and remains the island’s most popular – airwaves were previously dominated by American soul, gospel and country. Since its first transmission in 1990, Irie has championed the cultural legitimacy of a musical genre branded subversive until the early 1970s. Today, the station provides the soundtrack for the nation. Wherever you go, you’ll hear the music, the popular talk shows and the patois jingles: “Irie FM – a fi wi station” or “My radio dial stuck pon Irie FM, and guess what – me nah bother fix it”. Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Aswad and Third World, among many others, have recorded at Irie’s Grove Studios, and the station has brought a bit of Kingston-style culture to Ochi.

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