It’s said that Ireland produces a surfeit of authors given its size. That said, we conclude Jamaica (which has a similarly sized population) produces musicians at ridiculous ratios, making it, per capita, one of the most musically influential nations in the world. The sound of Jamaica comes from many places, although it lacks much of the Spanish influence that is so prominent in other Caribbean nations: African folk rhythms, gospel harmonies, 20th century brass, all brought together through the application of limited production means and a hell of a lot of guts. It’s the unstoppable urge to create that gives Jamaican music such an incredible vitality. From the sound-system parties of Kingston to festivals that both bring in international talent and show off local skills, some beats are always in the background here.