Reggae Resurgence Stalls… Artistes Abandon Jamaica After Success In Europe?

According to the Gleaner “between 2012 and 2014, there was a strong resurgence of reggae music on local airwaves and even on the hardcore dancehall scene. However, fast forward to 2016, the presence of the genre has again dipped locally, with no major hits coming from reggae acts.”

Conversely, dancehall have been dominating the local air waves and parties while reggae seems to bear more lasting fruits in the overseas market.

Selector Boom Boom told The Sunday Gleaner the reason for this is that “some of the reggae artistes do not even bother to visit Jamaica once dem get a foot inna Europe. They tend to change, and nuff a dem not even a get show over there. They should realise that it’s the streets put them where they are, because reggae and dancehall are products of the streets,” he said.

He went further to add that the “reggae artistes need fi come out and promote dem music inna di streets like the dancehall artiste dem. Some of them like Busy Signal, Beres Hammond, Chris Martin and Jah Cure will reach out to you, and the Marleys will attend events from time to time, but the majority of the reggae artiste dem feel like di music is bigger than the streets. They are the ones slowing down their own music because a song cannot become a hit if you don’t promote it among the people,” he said.

On the other hand producer Andrew Pennicott of Young Veterans Records believes that “as a reggae act, you have to become an international brand so as to tour and have a sustainable career. You have to tour and make yourself known in other markets outside of Jamaica. Dancehall acts mostly perform to Jamaicans and Jamaicans in the diaspora, but reggae acts have to develop markets out of the ethnic group or race. It takes time to promote good music or albums… you can’t be in Jamaica promoting all the time and saturating the music because you will make it turn into fast food,” he said.

Cultural icon Fantan Mojah believes, however, that local D.Js are biased against reggae. He Said “Dem seh wi nah promote music, yet they find all the time to go on the Internet and download negative music with mix-up and controversy. So how dem can’t find the same time to download some conscious reggae music from the Internet and play it?” he questioned



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