Members of Sweden’s small Jamaican community turned out at Lappis Beach in Stockholm on August 6 to celebrate their country’s Independence Day.
The crowd, estimated at 1,300, enjoyed a day of cultural fare and live performances from Agent Sasco, Jamaican artiste Stein, British rapper Mettal, local act Gelica, as well as dance groups from Stockholm and Paris.
Music producer Denzil Williams Jr, a Jamaican based in Sweden, is part of the Jamaica Culture Foundation in the country. He helped organise the event which was being held for the third-straight year.
There are just over 1,000 Jamaicans living in Sweden. Most of them call Stockholm, the capital, home.
The largest country in Scandinavia, Sweden is also the region’s most diverse. In the last 20 years, immigrants from Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America have moved there, many of them settling in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.
Sweden has Scandinavia’s most active reggae scene. The Uppsala Reggae Festival is a major event there, attracting major roots-reggae and dancehall acts and thousands of fans.
Williams Jr is a popular figure in Stockholm reggae circles, working with a number of top Jamaican dancehall acts who perform in that city such as Agent Sasco. He has also produced several home-grown reggae artistes including singer Queen Tress.