The word Fan is defined as “a person who has a interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing” and is synonymous with enthusiast, supporter, admirer and even zealot. This admiration or zeal is the fuel that powers every entertainers earnings. And the shelf life of a fan, length of time fan stays enthused, is the key component to the longevity of any entertainer. A great performance or charismatic interview can still win fans but today with all the access fans have entertainers must be more engaged with their fans to maintain their “shelf life”.
Gary Vee and several millennials discussing the importance of fan engagement
The great news for Reggae artists is the shelf life of a Reggae fan is pretty much forever. That may sound like a bold or subjective statement if you have never been to a Reggae festival or listened to a Reggae band play trough skyscraper sized speakers while sipping a Red Stripe on a Caribbean beach. For those I say it’s never too late to be great, don’t cheat yourself treat yourself. Everyone else deep down else holds this truth self-evident. Most music lovers are either into Reggae or not. But it’s rare you hear “I don’t like Reggae” it’s like saying I don’t like vacation. The question is the degree of fandom once they are correctly introduced. Like when your non Caribbean friend got introduced to their first dancehall session or took a ride with you while you cruised playing a heavy Studio One bass vibrating the trunk.
Caribbean cultures are big on food and music so when they migrate and find themselves among new cultures their food and music become even more important. There are countless Reggae festivals with incredible food and music all over the world and the support is overwhelming. The community is established and bringing in new converts all the time but artists should be careful not to mistake the fans love for the genre as their love. Engaging fans in creative ways is a must in this real-time information era. This is how artists can assure they will maximize the shelf life of their current fans and gain new ones. The new generation of music fans do not remember a world without social media or everyone not having a smart phone.
I urge all reggae artists and producers to communicate with their fans more via social media, do more meet and greets, find a cause you believe in and bring attention to it, engage as much as possible because you are campaigning at all times for your brand and exposure is great but remember the quality of engagement and a connection is becoming more and more important to fans. The shelf life of a Reggae fan is forever, the shelf life of your fans depend on you.