David Rodigan has been awarded an Order Of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for his global promotion of Jamaican music.
Announcing the news via Twitter, the longstanding British DJ, who has championed reggae and dancehall music since beginning his career in London in the '70s, said he was "overwhelmed that the Jamaican government have seen fit to award me with such a highly distinguished honor. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine this happening, and the fact that I’m not Jamaican resonates with me even more."
Speaking with Jamaican news outlet The Sunday Gleaner about his award Rodigan said: “I was absolutely surprised. Totally blown away. I had no idea. I was phoned by a friend yesterday. It transpires that my manager knew about it but didn’t tell me”.
Rodigan's DJ career has taken him around the world over the years, and he has heald radio residencies on stations including Capital Radio, Kiss FM and, most recently, BBC 1Xtra. He also curated the in-game station, RamJam FM in Grand Theft Auto IV.
When asked by The Sunday Gleaner about his stance on the subject of cultural appropriation when it comes to music, something the paper acknowledges Rodigan could be perceived as being guilty of, Rodigan said: "I do have issues with that term [cultural appropriation] because I fail to see why someone’s genuine love and appreciation of a particular culture, art, or music should be seen as an appropriation of it simply because they are not from the culture that originated the art form."
He added: "I strongly object to individuals and organisations that misuse a culture by hijacking for monetary gain and then discarding it. That’s totally unacceptable, but it has always pervaded the world of business and commerce. The arts, in all their truest forms, from music to dance, etc, are created by artists, and it’s morally wrong for the world not to be allowed to appreciate it.”
When the annual National Honours and Awards ceremony takes place on National Heroes’ Day on the 19th October, David Rodigan will be honoured with an Order of Distinction (OD) for his global promotion of Jamaican music.
I have been awarded the Order Of Distinction! I’m overwhelmed that the Jamaican government have seen fit to award me with such a highly distinguished honor. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine this happening, and the fact that I’m not Jamaican resonates with me even more. pic.twitter.com/4OG2SWvp1w
— David Rodigan (@DavidRodigan) August 10, 2020