Whether it’s Bob Marley, Richie Spice, Jah Cure or Tarrus Riley, reggae fans can now listen to their sound of choice.

Bermuda’s newest radio station was launched this week to give listeners “non-stop reggae”.

Irie 98.3 FM is reaching out to a broad audience in the 25-54 age group, with the motto ‘where reggae lives’.

International

Ben Fairn, Irie’s owner and managing director, said the new station would offer high quality music programming, including both local and international artists.

He said: “We’ve got the whole gamut of reggae. It’s a genre that crosses all ages and backgrounds.

“It’s easy to listen to reggae, it’s nothing too hard or rash. We are appealing to the young and the old, so there’s something for all ages.”

Irie has been on the air since the beginning of the month — undergoing sound tests — but was officially launched on Monday under LLT Broadcasting.

The radio station is said to be “all about the music” rather than chat.

It will however include a “broader selection of news” including community, local, international and reggae news.

Mr. Fairn said: “Our news is going to be a little broader, we include international news as we think that’s what our listeners want. The only talk will be about reggae, about the music, not about other stuff.

“But when artists like Beres Hammond come to Bermuda, they can come on air and talk as much as they want.”

Irie broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week from a studio in Happy Valley.

Mr. Magic, who is a well-known magician and DJ, is the morning host, beginning at 6am Mondays to Fridays.

He is best known for his former Sunday show on HOTT 107.5 and will be joined by newsman John Dale, providing the bulletins at 25 and 55 minutes past each hour.

The station formerly operated as KJAZ on 98.1 but Mr. Fairn decided to “turn things around” as his research found people wanted to listen to reggae.

He relocated transmitters, the radio studio and upgraded the equipment and software.

Audience

Mr. Fairn, who also owns Aardvark Communications, said: “We’ve already got a lot of listeners.

“As I was testing out the signal and frequency, I heard the station blaring out of trucks, cars and buildings.

 “I think it will be a large success, it’s specific to a genre of music that is really well liked on the island.

“We expect the station to quickly find itself in the top tier position in the market with the largest overall audience.”

Irie is Bermuda’s only dedicated reggae radio station. It is not linked to plans to launch VIBE 103 FM by reggae star Collie Buddz and his music producer brother Matthew Harper. The VIBE 103 estimated it will launch its website on January 1, 2011 with the radio station on the air some time after that.