The Movement (reggae band)

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The Movement
Josh Swain of The Movement.
Josh Swain of The Movement, 2009 at Music Farm in Charleston, South Carolina.
Background information
Origin Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Genres Reggae rock,[1] hip hop, acoustic
Years active 2003-Present
Labels Onebaldegg Productions
Associated acts G. Love & Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid, McRad
Members Jay Schmidt
Gary Jackson
Joshua Swain
Past members DJ Riggles
Jordan Miller
John Bowling

The Movement is an American band originally formed in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2004. The two founding members, Josh Swain and Jordan Miller, then relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they acquired a live rhythm section in the form of local Philadelphia musicians Jay Schmidt and Gary Jackson. Jorden left the band in 2012 leading to a temporary hiatius until Josh took over as frontman later that year. Their music is commonly described as a fusion of rock, reggae, hip hop and acoustic. In March 2012, The Movement released their third studio album, One More Night which achieved critical acclaim. In 2013 "Side By Side" was released as the bands first album featuring the new line-up without Jordan Miller.


Formation and trio years[edit]

The Movement began in 2004 when childhood friends Josh Swain and Jordan Miller reconnected in their hometown to write songs as a duo. With Swain on guitar and Miller on congas, the two utilized a drum machine to complete their sound. Soon after, Jon Ruff, known as DJ Riggles, joined the group and the trio gained a loyal regional following. In March 2004 they released their first studio album, On Your Feet, which was recorded and mixed in 24 studio hours at Pat Casey's Modern Music Studios in Columbia, South Carolina. On Your Feet has proved a mainstay of the reggae/rock genre and is listed at No. 9 on The Pier's 10 Essential Reggae Rock Albums.[2]

Current lineup as a quartet[edit]

The band continued to build their following with nonstop touring throughout the United States. They enjoyed success in opening for national acts such as Steel Pulse, Blues Traveler, Slightly Stoopid, The Wailers, Ludacris, G. Love & Special Sauce, Common, Long Beach Shortbus, The Wu Tang Clan, SOJA, and 311.[3] Their fanbase was growing steadily but the band was not breaking any new ground and the trio began losing interest, even though they were recording what would be become their second studio album, 2008's Set Sail at Philadelphonic Studios with producer Chris DiBeneditto, who had worked with G. Love & Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid and The Expendables. DJ Riggles contributed heavily to the album, but left the band before it was released. After DJ Riggles left the band, the remaining duo found themselves at a crossroads and made the move to Philadelphia to regroup. To solidify the band's lineup, DiBeneditto contacted local drummer Gary Jackson to sit in with Swain and Miller. The three hit it off immediately and Jackson brought in his friend, guitarist Jay Schmidt, to play bass. On April 20, 2012, the band broke up. It was announced on their Facebook fan page that Jordan Miller was taking a break. However, on Jay's Twitter, it was announced that Jordan was leaving them to have a solo career. However, In May 2012, it was revealed that former lead singer Josh Swain would be returning to front the band. They also have relocated to San Diego, California to record their fourth full-length album. The Movement's fourth album Side by Side was released in August 2013, and entered the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart at number 2.[4][5]

Jordan Miller has recently released a new album called Public Consumption. He currently resides in Myrtle Beach, SC and is engaged to Stephania Schmidt a TV personality on TLC's reality series Trailer Park Welcome to Myrtle Manor.

In February 2014 members of the band were arrested for possession of marijuana.[6]

Musical style[edit]

Swain and Miller assumed equal roles in leading the band as dual frontmen while showcasing their individual songwriting styles. They are often noted for their use of two-part harmonies while singing backing vocals for one another's songs.

"I’ve always thought of it as what I like to call alternative reggae,” Swain said of the band’s music. “We don’t feel really roots reggae. We’re not rasta. It comes out a little more hip-hop, a little more rock."

—Josh Swain, The Reggae News Agency

Musical influences[edit]

Swain and Miller have cited artists of all genres, ranging from The Pixies to Sublime to Outkast to Norah Jones, as having influenced their own songwriting.[7] In an interview with The Pier, Miller is asked where the reggae influence of their music originated:

"Through Josh. Growing up, he really developed an eclectic musical taste and is a big fan of UB40 and Sublime. I listen to a lot of different things, too, like The Pixies and a lot of underground alternative stuff. When we got together and started playing, it was the reggae that started coming out first. We really latched onto that feeling from reggae music and how it felt right to us. We love everyone from Beres Hammond to Dennis Brown to Steel Pulse. We try to take our own personal non-reggae interests and put that spin on the reggae music."

—Jordan Miller, The Pier

Band members[edit]

Current Members Josh Swain - guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals (2003 - 2010, 2012 - Present)
Jay Schmidt - bass guitar (2008 - Present)
Gary Jackson - drums (2008 - Present)
Former Members Jordan Miller - guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals (2003–2012)
Jon Ruff/DJ Riggles - turntables (2004–2007)John Bowling - Keyboards (2010 - 2012)


Sample of the title track to On Your Feet

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Sample of the title track to Set Sail

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Sample of the track from Alive at Home

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Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


East Coast Showcase[edit]

In December 2006, The Movement, in their original lineup as a trio, beat out 215 other bands in the final round of the annual East Coast Showcase in Rock Hill, SC.[8] They were awarded with over $20,000 in cash and prizes.[9]

Non-Stop Hip-Hop Live[edit]

In September 2004, Jordan Miller won the Non-Stop Hip-Hop Live freestyle semifinal at New Brookland Tavern in Columbia, SC.[10]

Band member nicknames[edit]

  • Josh Swain - "Captain Hook" - in reference to his ability to write strong hooks.
  • Jordan Miller - "Jwadi Jwad (the Wordsmither)" - in reference to his hip hop freestyling.
  • Jay Schmidt - "Smiles" - in reference to his jovial demeanor.


  1. ^ Jeffries, David. "The Movement – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Artist Interview: The Movement". The Pier. October 2008.[dead link]
  3. ^ Official Press Release. Retrieved May 2010.
  4. ^ "The Movement: A Bold New Look at Making Music". Campus Activities Magazine. January 2010.
  5. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2013) "The Movement hits Billboard", Jamaica Observer, August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013
  6. ^ Suder, Jason (2014) "Reggae band arrested in drug bust", Telton Valley News, February 13, 2014. retrieved February 15, 2014
  7. ^ "The Movement to Rock Buffalo's". Connect Statesboro. 03 June 2009.
  8. ^ Taylor, Otis (15 December 2006). "Moving Up: The Movement". The State (Columbia, SC).
  9. ^ Wall, Patrick (13 December 2006). "Kudos are in order to our favorite hometown white-boy-reggae stars The Movement". Free Times (Columbia, SC).
  10. ^ Taylor, Otis (08 October 2004). "Listen Up: The kid can throw down with the best". The State (Columbia, SC).

External links[edit]