Jamaica’s global image and national brand value would not be the same without its cultural and creative industries. Although the main exports are bauxite for aluminum production, ethanol, cane sugar, alcoholic beverages, coffee and more, Jamaica is known by almost everyone, everywhere for reggae music and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, the Jamaican Bob Marley.
The country is endowed with more talent and creativity than most, from mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall and dub music to film production, animation, dance, fashion, culinary arts and more. For decades Jamaica has demonstrated high levels of creative expertise on the global stage and creativity has become a driving force of the Jamaican economy. But more than simply pushing economic progress, it is also inspiring Jamaicans to develop human potential and enjoy increasing levels of happiness!
This blog introduces you to the originality and inventiveness of our island nation, exploring why Jamaica is justified in both claiming and wearing the global creativity crown. To my mind, there are three key reasons.
1. Jamaican people
Jamaica produces the most music per capita in the world and the island nation is birthplace to at least six distinctive music genres.
The most famous of these genres is of course reggae, one of the world’s few living examples of folk music. It is tricky to analyze the popularity of this music, but probably much is due to the fact reggae is spontaneously generated by people’s experiences, emotions and traditions. The music provides an emotional outlet for Jamaican people to express their thoughts and feelings about life, love and religion. With powerful messages that are relevant to people around the world, reggae has influenced societies far and wide, contributing to the development of new counterculture movements especially in Africa, Europe and the USA.
Considering this expressive example of Jamaican musical culture, it is easy to be enchanted by its people and captivated by their ways of processing and navigating the world. Jamaicans are naturals at creative expression.
2. This beautiful island
Jamaica offers scenes of extraordinary beauty, from mountains to sea shores, rainforests to deep caverns, all combined with a tropical climate that provides year-round sunshine and warmth. No wonder some of the movie industry’s most spectacular scenes have been shot in Jamaica. From Hollywood blockbusters to smaller independent movies, numerous films have been created in Jamaica over the years, including ‘No Time to Die’ in 2021, starring Daniel Craig in his final portrayal of the fictional British MI6 agent James Bond.
The agent is very familiar with the island – over the past 60 years the James Bond series has also shot iconic scenes in Jamaica for ‘Dr. No’ and ‘Live and Let Die.’ Speaking with entertainment business news source Variety, the Film Commissioner of Jamaica, Renee Robinson said “Jamaican culture is very important to James Bond. Bond was conceived here by Ian Fleming, and the characters and the country are deeply intertwined. Noting that Bond is a larger-than-life figure, she adds “Jamaica also plays that type of role globally. We’re a small country with a small population, but our global brand has a strong impact on people around the world, and that works in tandem with the Bond franchise.”
The beautiful backdrop of Jamaica is ideal for what film director Jean-Luc Godard describes as “the most beautiful fraud in the world.”
Less well-known but still, I believe, a significant contributor to Jamaica’s creativity credentials is technological commitment. The country embraced digitalization early and now leads the way in several key fields including digital animation.
Animation means creating moving graphics from visual files using a lot of animation software to achieve effects and animated visuals. This process is highly intensive – it takes 24 drawings to make just one second of animated content. Creative output includes illusion, transition 3D computer animation, motion graphics and much more.
Across Jamaica, many young people are currently being drawn to the animation industry, attracted by creativity that is challenging but also rewarding. Animation allows creative people to exercise their imagination and expand their creative horizons, and the emergence of virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies across the globe is generating new opportunities for invention and originality.
The animation industry is dynamic and constantly evolving and its future is bright – this competitive and fast-growing industry is predicted to reach a global market size of over US$ 587 billion by 2030. Jamaicans are ready!
Find out more
Jamaica has developed a unique Upsource services model, encouraging creative industries to utilize upscale outsourcing in Jamaica, particularly high-quality, high-value services delivered by a growing pool of talent with global expertise.
If you’d like to know more about these services for film, animation and music in Jamaica, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch today and you’ll find further information on our website. We’d be happy to share our global creativity crown with you!