The Movement (reggae band)

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The Movement
The Movement (2016)
The Movement (2016)
Background information
OriginColumbia, South Carolina, US
Years active2003–Present
LabelsRootfire Cooperative
Associated acts
  • Joshua Swain (Guitar, Lead Vocals)
  • Jason "Smiles" Schmidt (Bass Guitar)
  • Gary Jackson (Drums)
  • Matt Goodwin (Keys)
Past members
  • DJ Riggles
  • Jordan Miller
  • John Bowling
  • Ross Bogan

The Movement is an American reggae 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. The band has released six studio albums. Their music is commonly described as a fusion of rock, reggae, hip hop and acoustic music.


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]

Set Sail and Subsequent Years[edit]

The band continued to build their following with nonstop touring throughout the US. 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] Swain and Miller relocated to Philadelphia to begin 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. 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. 2008 saw the release of "Set Sail" which proved to be a turning point in their careers and propelled the band into further nonstop touring and acclaim. In 2010 Swain left the band for what would only be a temporary hiatus, returning in 2012 to replace Miller, who quit the band abruptly just hours before a scheduled performance in Spartanburg, SC.[4] In March 2012, The Movement released their third studio album, One More Night, the only album featuring Miller as sole songwriter.

Reformation with Swain[edit]

The reformed trio, with Swain at the helm, relocated to San Diego, California, to record their fourth full-length album Side by Side which was released in August 2013, and entered the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart at number 2.[5][6]

In February 2014 members of the band were arrested for possession of marijuana.[7] Later that year the band released "Beneath The Palms]", a surprise acoustic album on Thanksgiving day as a gift to fans.

In April 2015 the band released a single "Rescue" and announced plans to record another full length album.[8] The band's sixth studio album, Golden, was released in April 2016 on Rootfire Cooperative, and topped the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.[9][10]

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.[11] 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


Studio albums[edit]

  • On Your Feet (2004)
  • Set Sail (2008)
  • One More Night (2012)
  • Side by Side (2013)
  • Beneath the Palms (2014)
  • Golden (2016)
  • Ways of the World (2019)[12]


  • "Cool Me Down" (2018)
  • "Set Sail" (2008)
  • "Mr. Policeman" (2012)
  • "Something to Say" (2012)
  • "Sweet Life" (2013)
  • "Rescue" (2015)
  • "Dancehall" (feat. Mr. Williamz) (2016)
  • "Golden" (feat. Elliot Martin) (2016)
  • "Habit 2016" (feat. Collie Buddz & Bobby Hustle) (2016)
  • "Siren" (feat. Stick Figure) (2017)
  • "Loud Enough" (2018)

Live albums[edit]

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • The Pier Compilation - Volume 1 (2009) - "Care (You Don't Even)"
  • Amplified: An Acoustic Collective (2010) - "Using My Head"
  • Music Unites - Reggae Around the World, Vol. 2 (2013) - "Echo"
  • General Hydroponics, Vol.2 (2015) - "Rescue"


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.[13] They were awarded with over $20,000 in cash and prizes.[14]

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.[15]

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. Archived January 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Official Press Release. Retrieved May 2010.
  4. ^ "The Movement: Moving Forward?…Or Moving On?". May 19, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Movement: A Bold New Look at Making Music". Campus Activities Magazine. January 2010.
  6. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2013) "The Movement hits Billboard", Jamaica Observer, August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013
  7. ^ Suder, Jason (2014) "Reggae band arrested in drug bust", Telton Valley News, February 13, 2014. retrieved February 15, 2014
  8. ^ "The Movement's new single "Rescue"". May 1, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Movement Announces New Album". February 26, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  10. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2016) "The Movement's Golden Moment", Jamaica Observer, April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016
  11. ^ "The Movement to Rock Buffalo's". Connect Statesboro. 03 June 2009.
  12. ^ "Ways of the World by The Movement". Apple Music. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  13. ^ Taylor, Otis (15 December 2006). "Moving Up: The Movement". The State (Columbia, SC).
  14. ^ Wall, Patrick (13 December 2006). "Kudos are in order to our favorite hometown white-boy-reggae stars The Movement". Free Times (Columbia, SC).
  15. ^ Taylor, Otis (08 October 2004). "Listen Up: The kid can throw down with the best". The State (Columbia, SC).

External links[edit]