Waiting for managers, producers, investors or record labels to keep you busy is not just frustrating it is a career death sentence.
Reggae distributors, artists, managers and promoters need to come together with a team approach to push bigger projects by committee and share in the success. If the egos can be left out of the equation everyone will win big.
The fact that Jamaica is just now formalizing a lot of the agencies needed to support the industry in a meaningful way is simply indefensible. Artists who spent their lives being creative were never educated on the importance of aligning their estates.
Live performances and tours are generally where artists of all genres make a solid living and amass wealth. Reggae artists are no exception to that reality.
Bob Marley for example did not exist by himself in the Reggae music sphere. He had progenitors and contemporaries who recorded an enormous amount of quality music.
The industry of making reggae music videos on a budget but with fair to good quality has on its own become an art form. With the accessibility and ubiquity of recording and editing equipment, the rest of it comes down to creativity.
The reggae industry has figured out on its own how to survive as it’s own standalone industry. There is no other genre of music which does not have its origin in a first world country that is as influential and relevant as Reggae music.
Roots Reggae artists have chanted down Babylon for decades invoking the warrior spirit. This is not surprising when you take into account Jamaica’s rich history from Nanny and Paul Bogle, to the Pan-African movement and Marcus Garvey, to Rastafarianism.
If you have never heard mento, its somewhat similar to bluegrass. Bands like the Jolly Boys are critical to carrying on what could be considered a dying music art form.
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Dancehall is a vibrant Reggae sub-genre and it has existed for decades in its current form through the riddim driven approach. It would be interesting to see another approach being embraced that could deliver more creativity to the music itself.
The influence of the Reggae sound is now just simply music evolving. Reggae itself is a great and entertaining genre that is prevalent across major hits.
With the news that musical legends Sting and Shaggy have teamed up to create a joint album, I started to wonder what other fantastical collaborations I would want to hear.
When Bob Marley says “when music hits you feel no pain”, he was likely referring to the actual sound that comes out of sound system speakers.
The Grammy award is the only measuring tool that has been established to evaluate the creativity and art of Reggae music creatives. It's simply not enough.
We can count the loss of numerous ultra talented musicians across numerous music genres in the dawning years of their lives and careers. Garnett Silk is and was one of Reggae music's brightest and potentially most impactful artists.
While waiting to board my flight the feeling of curiosity as to what first class would be like gave way to excitement when I spotted the the Ranks! Shabba Ranks dressed in the baggy tailored linen suit, shades and cross cut dress shoes with no socks.
Sean Paul's direct appearance in music videos has racked up close to 2 billion cumulative views on Youtube. The first and only Reggae artist to do so.