Echoes (formerly Black Echoes) celebrated its 40th Anniversary in January 2016. When I joined in 1990 it was a weekly newspaper and a mainstay of the UK reggae industry, although it’s always covered other forms of black music and especially soul. I was soon writing two features a week, as well as singles and album reviews, and making regular trips to Jamaica. This was during the early nineties when artists like Sizzla, Buju Banton and Luciano were on top, and the flood of roots and dancehall releases – from the UK, as well as Jamaica, surpassed anything I’d heard in years.
In 2000 Echoes underwent a change of ownership and was transformed into a glossy monthly magazine. The look of it had changed but it was business as usual inside the covers as Echoes continued to provide first-class coverage of key genres, and live up to its billing of "the UK's essential black music monthly." It’s been an adventure writing for them all these years – just ask editor Chris Wells.