Reggae King Bob Marley was a musician known for his skills on the football pitch, did he start a trend or is there a correlation between Reggae Music and Football?
Many people are surprised to hear Bob Marley was a fanatic soccer player and fan. That doesn’t seem to fit their image of world’s most legendary reggae star: The lazy reggae beats, the dreadlock Rastafari easy going attitude, the political activism. But Bob Marley simply loved kicking a ball, about every single day when on tour or in the recording studio. He also loved watching soccer on TV.
“I love music before I love football. If I love football first, maybe that a bit dangerous, because the football very violent. If a man tackle you hard, it brings feelings o’ war!” — Bob Marley
But it isn’t just in Jamaica that Reggae and Football go hand in hand. At the Digicel Caribbean Championships’ Group E games in Martinique, French Dancehall / Reggae artistes Sael and Pleen Pyroman were seen participating in the tournament festivities.
A footballer since the age of eight, 30-year-old Sael is an exciting young singer from Martinique whose debut Sael & Friends has burst onto the international reggae scene with a splash that has sent out ripples like few other French-language reggae releases have done. Sael also played professionally for the Martinique league side Codst. Sael explains the correlation between Music and Football: “To sing you need to be in good physical condition. Football helps you free your mind and is a good way to express yourself, just like music.”
Fellow French Dancehall artiste, 33-year-old Pleen Pyroman, played for the Martinique National youth team until the age of 16 and has been in the music business for 20 years. Pleen gives another reason Football helps him with his music: “Football is a way to release stress. You can take out your frustrations on the ball. After playing I feel relaxed and have a clear mind to work on my music.”
Sael, who names Bob Marley, Garnet Silk and Jah Cure as his musical inspirations, has high hopes for Martinique for the Digicel Caribbean Championships: “Martinique will easily get to the second round. Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad are the only countries I feel may stop us from winning at the finals.
Pleen also commented on the tournament: “The Digicel Championships is a way of exchanging with other Caribbean people, just like music is. It gives us solidarity with our Caribbean neighbours.”
So is there a correlation between Reggae Music and Football? Well just note: Bob Marley was buried with his guitar and a soccer ball.