9 Unique Caribbean Music Styles You Have To Hear

9 Caribbean Music Styles You Have to Hear

9 Uniques Caribbean Music Styles You Have To Hear

Caribbean music is more unique and diverse than any other music genre in the world. There is almost as many music styles as there are countries in the Caribbean. Caribbean people create this diversity partially because of their roots coming from Spain, Netherlands, Africa and India. This mixup of background cultures vibrates into the music the Caribbean people create. Some Caribbean music styles have made it big internationally such as Bob Marley and a few other singers.

The US music industry has realized that the music of the Caribbean is smooth and popular among all types of people. They have tried to copy it and failed, so they now include it in a lot of their albums. This has helped make this music some of the most popular in the world! So popular in fact, that other cultures like latin American have adopted a form of reggae into their music style called reggaeton

Caribbean music is a representation of island life, it is as smooth a cool as the ocean breeze. And it puts the listeners in a happy positive state of consciouness. Sometimes there is a political part to the music, and if you listen hard enough it can help you understand the struggles of living in the Caribbean. We hope you enjoy this article and if there is anything you can add to it please comment below. Here is a sample of reggae music

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9 Unique Caribbean Music Styles / Genres

  1. Reggae

    Reggae music became popular in Jamaica by Toots and Maytals song reggay that named the popular music genre. It is a mixture of Jazz, blues and Jamaican Patois language. Reggae represents the smooth vybe’s of the Caribbean, and can be directed in many ways. There are several forms of reggae music ranging from love music, street life music, dance music and political music. Reggae was made most popular by Bob Marley and the wailers in the 1970’s and 80’s.

    Reggae Music

    Reggae Music

  2. Ska/Roots

    Ska is the origins of all reggae music that started in Jamaica in the 1950’s. It is cool beat of jazz and blues mixed with the Jamaican culture and vybe.

  3. Dancehall

    Dancehall is faced paced reggae music that is made for rave like dance clubs. It is more hardcore than regular smooth reggae music. Nowadays dancehall is very popular and has been adopted by famous singers like Drake and Chris Brown. This is hyper sexualized or aggressive music. Some of the most popular dancehall singers right now are Beenie man, Sean Paul, Alkaline, Vybz Kartel, and Popcaan. Dancehalls roots are from Kingston Jamaica.



  4. Lovers Rock

    Lovers rock is soft, smooth reggae music usually directed to a loved one. This is music you would listen to while relaxing on a beach or dancing with a loved one tunes so that you can chill. Also known as Rockaway, this music has been adopted by Hawaiians because of its smooth nature.

    Lover Rock

    Lover Rock

  5. Chutney

    Chutney music comes from Trinidad and Tobago as well as Guyana. It is Indian music with a Caribbean twist. Most chutney music is sung in south Indian dialect with a lot of Caribbean slang added to it. It is music made for dancing and Indian people from all over the world enjoy this music including all of the Caribbeans and Fijian people. You would normally hear chutney music at weddings, birthdays and celebrations. The DJ does not usually play it until people are ready to dance.Some popular chutney singers of today are Ravi B, Ricki Jai an Drupatti.

  6. Soca

    Is a type of music originally from Trinidad and Tobago, it has been adopted all over the Caribbean. Soca music is high paced dance music, it is played at all of the Carnivals and it is also played in aerobics classes all over the world. Some popular soca singers are bunie garland, Machel Montana and Destra Garcia. This is also very popular in Barbados.


  7. Hindi

    Hindi music or bollywood music is played in West Indian homes all over the Caribbean. Although this is not “Caribbean” Music, it is music played all over the Caribbean by people with Indian Descent. 

  8. Calypso

    Is a form of Afro Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad in the early 1900’s. It is usually mixed with the steel pan, and you can often hear this music on a beach, on a cruise ship or at a carnival.

  9. Steel Pan

    The steel pan is an instrument played by people, called panners. It originated in Trinidad, and is a steel drum with indents in it for different musical chords. This is usually played with multiple people playing separate steel pans and the medley is musical genius. Calypso singers often sing along to the steel pan. 

    Steel Pan

    Steel Pan

  10. Bachata

    Bachata is an Afro Latino type of music that started in the Dominican Republic. It is love dance music

  11. Reggaeton

    Reggaeton is the Latino spinoff of Reggae. It is a mixture of reggae and Bachata or reggae and rap. This Caribbean music style is now a popular mainstream sound and has been adopted into American culture, because of the number of Latino’s that live in the US. Some popular Reggaeton singers are Bad Bunny, Assuna, Daddy Yankee and Nicky Jam.



  12. Merenque

    This is another Dominican Republic dance style where you have a partner normally man and woman and dance to fast paced jazz beats. It’s the sexy dance you see on tv that almost looks acrobatic in style.

  13. Mombo

    Mombo is the Cuban version of Merenque, where you have a dance partner. This dance almost looks coordinated.

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Common Questions About Caribbean Music

  • Why are Caribbean people such good dancers?

    Caribbean music and dance derived from a mixture of Spanish, Indian and African dance styles. These countries often dance very fast, coordinated and with a lot of body contortion. Meaning gyrating hips and fast leg movements. Children grow up seeing this and add to it with American influence. The Caribbean dance styles are always evolving and changing making the people better and better at dancing. It is simply part of the culture.

  • What is the best music in the Caribbean?

    The most popular music in the Caribbean is reggae music. It has an international following and it is the most common Caribbean music you will hear on the radio, on TV or at the gym!

    Reggae Beach party

    Reggae Beach party

  • Is reggae from Jamaica?

    Yes reggae originated in Jamaica.

  • Is Bob Marley the first reggae singer?

    Bob Marley is not the first reggae singer, however he did make reggae music accepted by the mainstream and turned the reggae into a genre of music because of his popularity.

  • Where does Caribbean music come from?

    Caribbean music comes from the mix of Spanish, French,Netherland, African and Indian influence on the Caribbean. These people mixed their music together along with the local culture, therefor it has created many unique forms of music such as reggae, Soca and Calypso.


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Hi! My name is Sean Rampersaud, I am a family travel writer and photographer with a focus on adventure travel. My kids are Rayden and Natasha and my beautiful wife is Radika.We have been travelling for the last 25 years and have some really cool ideas to share with you.Thanks for visiting our page, I hope we can help you to get the most out of your next big adventure.