A trip to Spain’s Reggaeland
MARC Sanchez was only eight years old in 1980 when he heard Bob Marley's Three Little Birds for the first time. The song was part of a television advertising campaign in his native Spain.
Sanchez' love for reggae has never wavered. For the past 13 years, he has operated the Reggaeland music label in his hometown Barcelona.
The company produces albums and songs by Spanish and Jamaican artistes. Its recent projects include the albums
We I Open by Jahmali and Hailelujah Song by Mikey General.
While most of Reggaeland's growing catalogue is dominated by roots-reggae acts, Sanchez says the company's
tastes are indiscriminate.
"The label favours quality music and content, delivered by professional and talented artistes, many of whom haven't found a proper channel to work at their best in the reggae industry," he explained.
"Reggaeland's music production is eclectic, it feeds from many musical sources, reaching out to all ages and ears who appreciate an original flair. All music genres are covered, from ska to dancehall, but you may definitely find a larger portion of roots-reggae with a positive uplifting message, because that is what I grew up with and it's what makes me vibe the most," Sanchez added.
Singer Jah and Anthony Q are two of the little-known Jamaican roots performers Reggaeland has worked
with since they started producing music in 2004.
Spanish artiste Jah Nattoh's En Buenas Manos (In Good Hands) was the label's debut album, released in March 2009. Their catalogue has expanded to 17 albums (10 artistes, seven compilations).
Sanchez says his company is committed to producing music with
wide appeal which helps it break into diverse markets.
"I strongly believe in the values and message that put reggae in the international spotlight, so we produce music for an international reggae audience, and our goal is to try to involve those who aren't reggae listeners yet," he said. "In any case our biggest markets are for sure the United States, Europe and Latin America."
Spain is one of reggae's emerging markets. The Rototom Festival, the biggest reggae show in the world, takes place in August in the city of Benicassim.
The week-long festival attracts the music's top acts and includes seminars educating fans about the music's history as well as Jamaican culture.