Canadian reggae gets a voice

Fans of roots and culture reggae now have an online radio station dedicated to the genre.  The brainchild of filmmaker, trans-media independent producer, director and screenwriter, Shana McCalla, the digital broadcaster and interative online radio station, which has been operating for more than a year, is gaining popularity.

McCalla started the station to help boost the Canadian reggae industry, by providing a face and voice for the artistes and producers.

According to McCalla, born to Jamaican-born parents, the audience is growing not only in Canada but as far as Japan and Australia.  “We’ve been in the test phase for a year and a half and have already more than doubled our listenership since last year.”

She adds that the 24/7 radio station, located in Toronto, is committed to bringing positive vibrations through the airwaves in the form of conscious reggae music – ska, lovers rock and rocksteady which are major influences of Roots Reggae Radio.  It will not be an all music station, she says but it will include talk shows and live broadcast once its popularly increases and sponsorships are acquired.

Video streaming also forms part of the content, she adds

Currently, there are some 20 Djs and Vjs that are providing their expertise.  In its effort to appeal to young people, MaCalla says, they currently air a program every Saturday that is being hosted by a teenaged DJ who caters for the 13-21 age group, their second largest audience demographic.

Roots Reggae Radioʼs mission is to connect artists with the international fan base of reggae music, and to expand the possibility for cross-genre collaborations.

“We are bringing forward a positive movement in reggae music to the masses, by highlighting today’s new artists and honoring the veterans,” McCalla said.

She told The Camera that she has a technical director and a general manager, who is responsible for the day-today operations.

“Our loyal listeners world wide are growing daily.  They have been reaching out to us, following us on Twitter @rootsreggaeradi, Facebook Roots Reggae Radio page, recently launched Youtube and Ustream channels Rootsreggaeradio1 and Google + Roots Reggae Radio page,” she said in a press release.

The direct link to the radio stream is