Tainy, Taiko, and Kat Dahlia on the origins of reggaeton

“Reggaeton has an incredible history,” singer-songwriter Kat Dahlia tells us.

“It was started in Panama in the Canal Zone, by a bunch of West Indian Black Panamanians. It originated as Spanish reggae, and became a way to combat racism and oppression. From there, it turned into Spanish dancehall, and then eventually what we know as reggaeton today.”

“If you look at it compared to hip hop, I think it has a similar story,” Tainy adds. “It comes from the underground—people who are living the struggles. A lot of people started to say it was a phase, that it would last one or two years, and then disappear; [it was] neglected by a lot of people.”

Taiko also reflects, “The truth is, I feel that the genre is in a constant refresh. It’s refreshing itself every now and then, with producers like Tainy and Sky, and even artists like Rauw Alejandro, who has now released a lot of different music—he mixes in house, or something like synthwave.”

In the video above, the three veteran musicians dive further into the origins of reggaeton, where it stands today as one of the most genres in the world, and where it’s headed tomorrow. Check it out for more insights and stories, and see below to incorporate their favorite sounds into your own music.

Explore the world of reggaeton and beyond in your own productions:

October 10, 2021