This time around, though, in addition to the customary sponsorship support by companies which are not directly involved in music, the Sting promoters are looking for support from within the business of Jamaican popular music, though not with its headquarters on the island.
“I am looking at a direction for sponsorship this year, from record labels, like a VP. I am pointing a finger at VP this year, them need to do something,” Supreme Promotions’ Isaiah Laing said, adding that when Jamaican artistes get a break, most of them end up at VP Records.
“VP needs to do something this year for Sting.”
It is more a statement of intention, though, as no approach has yet been made to the US-based record label, which grew out of Randy’s at North Parade in Kingston.
There is the idea of ‘support for support’, as Laing said “most of the artistes who Sting send on out there in the wider world, is VP sign them. A so it go. ‘Cause me now, here so, doing my best to send the artiste out there, me no get anything else from them … . Them must help us here, and the other labels, too, but VP in particular.”
Couching it in business terms, DiMario McDowell of Supreme Promotions said there is need for a special-purpose vehicle.
“The relationship between the two of us … because we incubate something that, when it buss, it drop inna fi dem hand,” McDowell said. In that light, they believe that some spending on Sting is in order.
Two years ago, there was high-profile support from a Jamaican-based record label owned by Josef Bogdanovich. It was a short-lived alliance, which Laing does not see returning. “No, Downsound wasn’t there last year, and I don’t see him coming back this year,” Laing said.
McDowell also sees Sting being a part of giving a boost to the careers of individuals.
“I challenge any other businessman or business entity to prove that they have made, from raw material, more multi-millionaires than we have made in 30 years,” McDowell said about Sting. He gives the example of Buju Banton doing Browning at Sting, called on by Wayne Wonder, and taking off after that.
The promotion team also talks about Vybz Kartel from the early 2000s.
“This is an entrepreneurial department, right here so,” McDowell said, indicating the Supreme Promotions’ Burlington Avenue, St Andrew, office.