Speaking at the Sumfest Launch, held at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records on Wednesday, the deejay said Sumfest could have still maintained International Night by showcasing international acts born and bred in Jamaica.
“This year, they say it’s going to be different and difference is good. But they say no International Night, and I want to know why because we are full of international artistes in Jamaica. I don’t have any problem with the foreign artistes not being here, but Joe, Johnny, Robert, we have some great international artistes from Jamaica who can make International Night even more international. So I suggest you go for those international reggae dancehall artistes,” he said.
The tough-talking deejay, who has performed at the event for over 20 years, also encouraged Jamaicans to support their own creation and people.
“We have Steel Pulse, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Jimmy Cliff. We have all these great artistes, so we need an International Reggae/Dancehall Night. Reggae Sumfest is the significant festival in Jamaica … buy local, support local and stick to local,” he said.
“Mi nuh want everybody jump dung and seh because we don’t have foreign artistes on it then it won’t work. It started with us as Jamaican, so mek the money stay a Jamaica. Dat mi like with Joe. So, people, come out and support it as usual.”
The icon also begged the Ministry of Tourism to give Jamaican music more support. According to Bounty Killer, all 14 parishes should be assigned 24-hour entertainment zones to host events.
“Dancehall and reggae music is the heartbeat of the people and it supports the local man. Every parish must have a zone with proper venue so that music can be played morning, noon, and night, same like in Brazil, where football kick even in the church,” he said, noting that zones wouldn’t be created in residential areas.
Bounty Killer’s former rival, Beenie Man, also attended the launch. He told the media that he supported Bounty Killer’s arguments and that he had intended to make a similar point.
The launch was well attended and saw appearances from Ikel Marvelous, Don Andre, Nesbeth, Skatta Burrell, Agent Sasco, Johnny Daley, and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.