IRIE JAMZ – A musical Oasis on Facebook

IRIE JAMZ PROFILE PIC  - FULLIrie vibes, Irie people, GREAT MUSIC????????????¸¸.•¨¯`??

GLOBAL  – Irie Jamz provides musical entertainment on Facebook for almost 5,000 fans.  The Facebook Group, which was started in August 2009 by Andrea Downer, [known on Facebook as Jolie Jamz] and Sophia Samuels [known on the music page as Sophee Dee], is a musical oasis on the social site which has millions of users. Andrea shares her thoughts on creating the fan page and making a global musical movement.

by Andrea “Jolie Jamz” Downer

JOLIE 1The group was formed out of the need to provide an entertainment alternative to Farmville, Yoville and Mafia Wars which are game applications provided by Face book.  While some people have embraced Facebook games such as Farmville, there are some hardcore music lovers on Facebook for whom music is their respite. I am one of them.  So much so that Facebook has twice deleted my personal Facebook profile for over posting of music videos, with the explanation that my frequent posts were viewed as spamming!

Frustrated with repeatedly losing contact with my friends and losing valuable posts such as notes and a Level 30 position in Mob Wars! LOL I decided to create the music page. Response to the page was tremendous and I began recruiting first from among my Facebook friends then gradually widened my target to include their friends and beyond.

I was on vacation in New York in August 2009 when I started the group. I actually launched the page during a quick dash to the Dominica Republic, in the middle of my vacation to make a presentation at a conference on behalf of the company where I hold down a ‘day’ job. I must admit that it wasn’t much of a vacation, as I spent the entire month glued to my laptop, networking and building the page. But it has been worth it. 100 fans after the first week and an average of 50 fans added per week for the next immediate months. When the page hit the first 1,000 fans the feeling was euphoric! Over the moon! LOL.

Sophee Dee

SOPHIE 1 - CROPPED SLIGHTYHowever, IRIE JAMZ would not have been able to get to its current level of success and popularity if it wasn’t for the dedication and support from my close friend and partner in this venture; Sophee Dee. She is my right hand person and the synergy between us is awesome! We just get along so well and our association actually dates back beyond Facebook.  Sophee has a wicked sense of humour and a penchant for mischief. Those two tendencies coupled with her unassuming, wide-eyed innocence demeanour makes for an explosive mix and whenever we hit the page, we just have fun! And the fans enjoy it!

I also have a biting sense of humour which I like to call ‘suicidal” lol. I am amazed that I have managed to live this long, given the amount of fun I have poked at people and myself, most times spontaneously. I even find and share unlikely jokes in the lyrics of some of the songs I post, which the fans find hilarious. Whenever I hit the page I pour myself into it. I like to say I go hard or go home.

Irie Jamz gives Jolie Jamz and Sophee Dee the space to experience our passion of music on a social site where we spend a good chunk of our time. It also gives us the opportunity to share our knowledge of music with the fans. LOL, many times and even now, fans have expressed disbelief that it is two women who are at the helm of the music page because of some of the songs we throw down. We post from all genres, from foundation music, to contemporary, Reggae to Pop & R&B, a bit of Rap, a liberal dose of Jazz and some world music especially African.

Our fan base is global and we have significant activity on the page from fans in Europe, especially France and the UK, Spain. We also have a large core following from parts of Africa who are really enthused about our reggae selections. Our fan base in the United States is huge and mainly comprises Jamaicans living in the US. Activity from the fan base in Jamaica is low,  but the fans from the rest of the Caribbean, represents on the page credibly.

In analyzing the trend of participation on the page, we have realized that the page is more widely embraced by people in countries where reggae music is still a novelty. And it appears that Irie Jamz is seen by many Jamaicans who live outside of Jamaica as a kind of home coming, a way of touching back base with ‘Yaad.’

AS our tagline suggest, we aim to provide an IRIE JAMMIN’ MUSICAL EXPERIEINCE: “Irie vibez, Irie people, GREAT MUSIC????????????¸¸.•¨¯`??

Join the jamz here…

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