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Caribbean dance music

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Caribbean dance music (CDM) is a hybrid music genre that fuses electronic dance music (EDM) or what is referred to as electronic music in Europe with Caribbean music such as dancehall, reggae and soca. The fusion originated in the 1980’s following the emergence of house music, however, the term Caribbean Dance Music wasn’t coined until 2014 by Trinidadian music enthusiast Karrilee Fifi.[1]


Identifying characteristics of Caribbean Dance Music is strong vocal execution over beats with drums that take on typical Caribbean music patterns and syncopations. Songs are usually created between 100bpm - 160bpm.


Notable pioneers in the genre emerged in the early 2000s. However, in 1988, Trinidadian musicians Carl & Carol Jacobs fused electro with Calypso on their song "Santimanitay" and in 1995, Machel Montano fused house and soca music on his track "Come Dig It".

South Rakkas Crew have been putting out what they have called "electro dancehall" since 2003.

Although numerous tracks between the late 80s - early 2000s could be classified as CDM, it wasn’t until 2007 that the genre saw its initial mainstream success. French DJ/Producer, Bob Sinclar, produced an album titled Soundz of Freedom featuring Trinidad artist, Fireball and Grenadian artist Dollarman. The album was featured on several European charts.

CDM officially made its mark in the global music industry through Caribbean-American electronic trio, Major Lazer. The group’s first CDM hit “Pon De Floor” was released in 2009 which set the trend for a slew of billboard charting hits including “Lean On” “Cold Water” “Run Up” and more.

The infiltration of Major Lazer’s CDM hits into the electronic music festival scene in 2013 spurred a movement of mainstream electronic DJs infusing their tracks with Caribbean music elements.

By 2014 upcoming DJs and producers were fueling this hybrid genre through movements like the CDM Generation, Basshall movement and Flex up crew, a collective of future dancehall DJs and producers


Ragga Jungle[edit]

Ragga Jungle is a reggae influenced sub genre of Jungle electronic music that developed in England in the early 1990s as part of UK rave scenes. It often features an MC who recites dancehall-style lyrics over rapid breakbeats (often 150 to 200 bpm).


Traphall, pioneered by Chuckie in 2016[2] is a sub genre of CDM that combines elements of reggae, dancehall, EDM, Trap and Hip Hop.

Future Dancehall[edit]

Future Dancehall is a Dancehall influenced sub genre of Caribbean Dance Music that is a fusion of Electronic Dance Music, Dancehall, Reggae and Techno.[3]

Notable Artists[edit]

Notable CDM artists include:

  • Major Lazer
  • Walshy Fire
  • Jillionaire
  • Bad Royale
  • Henry Fong
  • Chuckie
  • Ape Drums
  • Devolve
  • Kybba
  • Richie Loop
  • Leftside
  • Braveboy (Mark Hardy)
  • Banx n Ranx
  • Childsplay
  • DJ Snake
  • Johnny Roxx
  • Jus Now
  • Noise Cans
  • Sean Paul
  • Ultimate Rejects
  • Razorshop

See also[edit]


  1. Lindo, Paula. "Defining Caribbean dance music". www.guardian.co.tt. Retrieved 2020-04-17. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. https://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX- (2016-08-17). "DJ Chuckie Blends Trap & Dancehall To Create "Traphall"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  3. Weinstein, Norman (1995-04-01). "Reggae Goes Techno: A Look at Two of the Best". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-04-16.

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