Message to Canadian Reggae Artists
Each of you and I have had nuff conversation in the past about the state of reggae music and how difficult it is and has been to break through to the mainstream market place or the ability of inability to effectively grow the genre in the over 50 years that we have been doing it in Canada.
Why make music? Why bother? There is zero airplay on radio and the bits we receive on community radio does what exactly?
Well, I believe that live performances are where it is at. This is the “why” we make music. When we perform, we sell our wares! Now we get to the “show”. Who actually makes a living performing at shows or makes a living from the revenue generated from all of the shows that we do? I can answer that real quick and the correct answer is no one!
All of you are aware of my work over the years and I am a HUGE fan of live reggae and have support or promoted your works, jams, flyers or careers over the past couple of decades.
What I see is that it has not changed much with folks attending live shows much basically because most of us do not have the proper marketing budgets to go find and to go get those 2 million or so reggae fans in Toronto. Yes I said 2 million! They are out there! And they wish to come to live shows and to be properly entertained, which many of you are capable of doing.
Based on either ignorance (meaning lack of knowledge) or a proper infrastructure, we are still chasing our own tails as it pertains to promoting successfully. For me, it is fairly simple as in everything, it is a numbers game. The more people we tell, the more people will know. If a person hears about a show from 2, 3, 5, 10 or 20 people, they are more likely to be intrigued by it and possibly attend when trusted friends and companions talk it loud and proud. This is NOT a solution to our larger problem but it is a necessary step as if the average fan feels that we have pride enough to support our own music as well as that of our peers, they will share the same pride in the work.
We speak of unity or lack thereof constantly and point to it as the reason for our ‘downfall’ yet we are still subscribe to the ‘lone ranger’ approach. My song, my career, my gig, my performance…my, my, my, my… Well, I am reaching out to all of you to make some change in our approach which takes no skin off no guys nose.
PROMOTE EACH OTHER!
What you mean “promote each other”?
Simple mates… If Jason Wilson has a show, tell all of your friends. When Kidd Rasta has a gig, you and Jason, or Blessed, or IBADAN, or Mountain Edge, or Donna Makeda OR ANYONE has a show, WE ALL PROMOTE IT TO OUR PERSONAL NETWORKS! That is what I am talking about the numbers game. The more folks speak, the more folks will know. Yes we will have crossover and similar friends but we all know a TON of people that the other guy or girl does not know. It is that simple! What can I tell you massive? I man will not stop doing this, but I do need more help and truthfully, we only have each other. We are becoming dinosaur as it pertains to live! The players of instruments in reggae music have dwindled on a worldwide basis as well here in Canada. If we do not make this stand now, we will soon be extinct. In which case that is the Father’s will and we all move out to pasture. I for one am making a stand! I am hoping that some here will ‘see the light’!
This is not some utopian idea. It is about cooperation in order to succeed. It is called ‘business’! Many of us say that we are in the music business and do nothing about the ‘business’ aspect of things.
I am asking us all to step up!
Pass this on to others if you agree and believe as I do...
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