Abraham, Sara. 2005. “Development and Calypso Culture: Caribbean Roots and Canadian Transformations,” Canadian Journal of Development Studies 26, no. 2: 345-362. 

In this article, the author describes the migration and proliferation of Calypso from the Caribbean to Toronto from the late 1960s through to the 1980s, Abraham refers to concerts and competitions where Calypsonians like Lord Protector, who later moved to Toronto, performed, leading to the eventual formation of the Calypso Association of Canada (CAC) in […]

Cyrus, Karen Anita Eloise. 2015. “Jackie Mittoo At Home and Abroad: The Cultural and Musical Negotiations of a Jamaican Canadian.” PhD diss., York University.

This dissertation sheds light on the significant musical contributions of “Jackie” Mittoo to the genres of rock steady and reggae, a Jamaican musician, producer, and director of Studio One in Jamaica, who migrated to Canada in the late 1960s. Cyrus explains how sound systems and live performances played a crucial role in the dissemination of […]

Hernandez-Ramdwar, Camille. “From TT to T.O.: Second Generation Identities in the Caribbean Diaspora.” PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2006. 

The author investigates different components of identity formation among second generation people of Trinidadian descent, through in-depth interviews and textual analysis of “sites” where identity is performed, examples including Caribana, music consumption, literature, and soca fetes. Link to dissertation

Keefe, Tristram. 2010. “Yardtapes: History, Identity and Diaspora in a Dancehall Style.” PhD diss., Institute for the Study of the Americas.

Keefe examines the social function of sound systems in Jamaica and its diaspora in the Atlantic world by mapping the circulation of session-tapes through a multidisciplinary lens incorporating lyrical analysis of approximately fifty session tapes, interviews, scholarly and journalistic sources, and webpages. The author analyses the content of these tapes from Leeds, Wolverhampton, Connecticut, Montréal, […]

MacLeod, Erin. 2020. “Ring the Alarm: Montréal soundsystems come fi mash it.” Medium.

The author describes the efforts of people in Montréal to keep sound system culture active through events like ‘iPod battles. The article was originally published in the Montréal Mirror in April, 2005 and includes interview excerpts from the author’s conversations with musicians such as Don Ignorance (founder of the Little Thunder crew), and Fatta. The […]

Chamberlain, Joshua and Erin MacLeod. 2016. “Dub Fi Dub – The Most Special Specials: The most important dubplates from the most experienced clashers.” Red Bull Music Academy.

The authors explain the importance of dubs in sound clashes, describing the difference between fillers and dubs that take you into a whole new space. They include statements by various sound clash dons including King Jammy (Jammy’s Super Power), Yaniq Walford (Bass Odyssey), Jack Scorpio (Black Scorpio), Rory (Stone Love), Tony Myers (Jam One Sound/Jamaica […]

McCuaig, Keith. 2012. “Jamaican Canadian Music in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s: A Preliminary History.” PhD diss., Carleton University.

The author documents the history of Jamaican Canadian music during the 1970s and 1980s with a particular focus on biases against this music and Black musicians. In Chapter 2, McCuaig describes the role of the Jamaican sound system culture in promoting and disseminating Jamaican Canadian music, naming pioneering musicians and sound systems like Black Zodiac, […]

Stanley-Niaah, Sonjah N. 2010. “Performing Boundarylessness.” In Dancehall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto, 150-174. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

EN: In the chapter titled ‘Performing Boundarylessness,’ within the subsection titled ‘Stone Love and Tony Matterhorn,’ the author conducts a spatiocentric analysis of the sound system, ‘Stone Love,’ alongside the experiences of selector Tony Matterhorn, by using interviews by the likes of Winston Powell (2002). Stanley-Niaah explains the major influence of Stone Love in popularising […]

Walker, Klive. 2012. “The Journey of Reggae in Canada.” Global Reggae (ed. Carolyn Cooper),185-211. Jamaica: Canoe Press.

In his chapter, Walker discusses the influence of the sound system culture in the dissemination of reggae in the USA, particularly emphasising the sonic sensibility of the Jamaican sound system in popularising the symbiotic relationship between reggae and hip-hop, further contextualising the development of “reggae in the Caribbean diaspora.” Link to chapter

Wilson, John J. C. 2013. “King Alpha’s Song in a Strange Land: Jamaican Migrant and Canadian Host in Toronto’s Transnational Reggae Music Scene, 1973-1990.” PhD diss., University of Guelph.

In this dissertation Wilson explains how sound systems served as outlets of Jamaican musical culture in Canada, charting their history back to when they were used to disseminate and popularise music from the USA in Jamaica, to becoming an avenue through which Jamaicans claimed space in Toronto during occasions like ska or reggae nights and […]

Wilson, Jason. 2020. King Alpha’s Song in a Strange Land: The Roots and Routes of Canadian Reggae. British Columbia: UBC Press.

The author addresses the role of place in the emergence of Toronto’s reggae subculture between 1979 and 1990 by offering spatial readings of venues such as clubs, private events, and urban streetscapes to demonstrate how sound created bridges for cultural exchange between people of different ethnicities, particularly between Jamaican migrants and white, Canadian hosts. The […]

MSDROPPINIT (YouTube Channel)

As a self-taught reggae enthusiast, Debbie has “embarked on an extraordinary journey to convert a never-ending stockpile of reggae recordings into digital formats.” Audio recordings and video footage of international and Canadian sound systems during their time in Canada, Jamaica, and other countries for events like sound clashes and parties. Some examples of featured sound systems include […]

MSDROPPINIT ♫ In Every Aspect ♫ (YouTube Channel)

This second YouTube channel managed by self-taught reggae enthusiast Debbie features digitised recordings and video footage of Jamaican and international deejays, artists, sound systems, and events in Jamaica, Canada, and the USA in genres ranging from reggae, ska, and dancehall to rocksteady, lovers rock, and classics. Some examples of featured content include the 2003 Sound Clash […]

Dancehallarchives (YouTube channel)

This YouTube channel features “footage of current and past footage   of dancehall memorable” from Jamaica, Canada, and the USA. One prominent example of the featured video footage is the sound clash between Little Thunder, Twin Star, and Poison Dart in Montreal, Canada.   Language: English, Patois: Link to YouTube channel   

Platinum Party 2007 ft. Rodigan, Barry G, Rory of Stone Love (YouTube Video)

In this four-part live event short clip, we see Rory from Stone Love, David Rodigan, and Barry (G) Gordon go tune for tune, dubplate for dubplate in Canada. Exclusive dub plate mentioning the clash with Barry G is played by Rodigan at 0:24.  Language: English, Patois. Link to YouTube

DJ Ron Nelson/ ReggaemaniaTV (YouTube Channel) 

Ron Nelson is a well-known Jamaican deejay and radio host based in Toronto, Canada, who has vast knowledge on reggae music and has created an archive of resources on reggae and dancehall both on YouTube and his website Reggaemania.com. Two examples of video footage on sound systems are the 2018 Irish and Chin World Clash […]

Entertainment Report (Podcast)

Entertainment Report Podcast is the evolution of 2Lined Music Hut, a former record store, both operated by the host, Muscle. The podcast, dating back to 2018 has produced more than 300 episodes covering a range of artists in      reggae music and beyond. The episodes exist online via Spotify as well as on YouTube. Canadian sound […]

“Rewind Forward: Honoring the Goodness and Badness of Jamaican Music Culture” by Graeme Mathieson (2020, CA)

Video production of interview recordings featuring the ladies of sound system culture in Toronto for Alanna Stuart’s multimedia exhibit, ‘Rewind/Forward.’ Part 1 introduces Tasha Rosez (‘Gunz and Rozez’ sound), Heather Bubb-Clarke (‘Live Wire Disco’ sound), Bambii (‘Jerk’ party), Ace Dillinger, and Nino Brown (‘Yes Yes Y’all’ party). They address topics such as sound system identification, […]

CBC Music. 2021. “The true story of Canada’s reggae capital” (Canada, 7:46”)

There is a neighbourhood in Toronto that stretches along Eglinton Ave, just north of the downtown core. For years, it has been buried under construction as the city builds the Crosstown LRT, but under all that is a rich musical history which is under threat. Little Jamaica, as the neighbourhood is known, was one of […]

More Music Shows, “Canadian Reggae of the 70s & 80s” (2009, 6”)

Canadian Reggae of the 70s & 80s featuring 20th Century Rebels, Truths & Rights, Messenjah, Sattalites, Leroy Sibbles and Bruce Cockburn. Material edited and compiled from “This Beat Goes On” and “Rise Up”, the CBC produced documentary series that chronicles the rise of the Canadian music business in the 70s and 80s, respectively.   Link to […]

McDonald, Michael. 2011. “The Decentralized Dance Party Manifesto: Boomboxes, Anarchy and the Commons” (Seminar, 103”)

This video is the documentation of a seminar talk focused on Decentralized Dance Parties and their sociopolitical implications. Documentation of various parties in Canada exist online, such as Saskatoon, Vancouver, and Victoria, from participants’ cellular phones. Dr. Michael McDonald is the presenter of an essay on the decentralized dance parties in British Columbia.  Link to […]

ReggaeXclusive Entertainment News (ReggaeXclusive Magazine)

This resource offers insight into the Canadian Reggae music scene,  covering the scene since Reggae artist Donna Makeda and her partner Prince Everald founded the magazine in 2002. The magazine is currently online in digital form with years of back issues available in hard copy.   Link to website

“Word: The Soul of Urban Culture.” WordMag, 2015.

Present in the streets of Toronto in the 1990s and early 2000s, Word  Magazine was a free street zine that covered multiple black music scenes and provided an outlet for many artists overlooked in the mainstream, and now an urban/ black music portal. Articles in their back catalogue are available at this link.

Dacks, David. “Montreal Reggae Festival: Montreal, QC June 26-28.” Exclaim. Ontario Creates, June 30, 2009.

https://exclaim.ca/music/article/montreal_reggae_festival-montreal_qc_june_26-28.   Exclaim is a free newspaper covering music scenes across Canada and will infrequently discuss sound systems. Event coverage of the 2009 Montreal Reggae Festival by David Dacks is one occasion in which writing on sound systems will surface.   Link to article 

North, Reggae. “Rose ‘Rosa’ Green The Grandmaster Of Canadian Sound System Culture.” ReggaeNorth.com, July 15, 2022.

EN: Reggae North is a portal covering multiple aspects of reggae music in Canada. It will infrequently feature a full-length article dedicated to a sound system. One example is this detailed portray of Jamaican Canadian sound system pioneer Emperor Rosa of Soul to Soul sound system.  Link to Article