Debbie ford has a dream inspired by her love of Reggae music to open a school dedicated to the music
Debbie Forbes, who is a resident in Bedford, said her passion for reggae started as a child through her father, Kenneth Lloyd, who came moved to England in 1944 to make a better life for himself. In talking about her father’s love of Reggae music, Forbes said, “He used to play the drums, and as a child, he took me to some of the places he played in London, and I was so proud as he sounded amazing.”
Like most people, it’s hard to resist the infectious vibes of Reggae once you hear it and so the seed for her passion for the music was planted. The passion only further grew when she had the opportunity as a teenager to visit the country of her father’s birth and had the “Reggae Sunsplash experience” watching Third World perform.
Based on her experiences with the music, she sees the need to keep the love of Reggae music alive and well in the young people of today as she feels they should have the opportunity to connect with the beauty of the music learn how to play it.
“It’s important that it’s open to children but also somewhere musicians can meet up and play. Reggae is a lifestyle and I want the school to help bring the reggae community together,” she said.
“The many masters of reggae, like Bob Marley, for instance, I am sure would want that to be the case.”
Debbie has now taken a break from her job as a marketing executive, to focus on making the school a reality. However, right now, she says it’s the early stages of the project and is currently seeking to get the right people on board to have things up and running by the end of next year.
“I am speaking to the local council to involve the schools and to get funding as I would like to have a five-room premises with two private teaching rooms, a band rehearsal room, and a recording studio. We would also need a variety of instruments to teach the pupils on.”
Looking ahead, Forbes said she would like some original Jamaican musicians on board to make up the majority of the teaching staff. Of course anyone in the world can have a love of Reggae music, but getting taught b the originators would be a nice touch.
“Later, when we are up and running, we will need some famous reggae icons to visit the school with tips to pass on, which would be amazing.”
Forbes, herself, is no novice to the reggae beat as she has played in bands and on keyboards, among other gigs.
Once the project takes off, Debbie hopes to utilise the services of a studio nearby to record some of the music coming out of the school. “There is the Millinium studio nearby. It would amazing to record music there,” she added.
Anyone who is interested in getting involved should email firstname.lastname@example.org