In the past I have opined about several aspects of this reggae genre of mine, pointing out the reasons as I saw them, for the failure /s that may allow a band or artist from achieving stardom, or selling music or most importantly, making a living from their talent.
I pointed out our issues with “the System”! What system are you referring to? It is well chronicled and way too deep to go over once again but what is significant to note is the series of hurdles, deliberately placed in our collective paths, we have yet to find a solution to go over, through, around or even to dig under, barring our path to product sales. The ‘system’ is relentless! It NEVER stops!
It is my contention that true talent, hard work as well as creativity along with a huge dose of tenacity could break any blockade! We also cannot afford to stop!
No infrastructure! We have found no way to collectively create an infrastructure capable of earning royalties from airplay or performances, radio airplay nationally in ALL provinces, product distribution across the country or around the world, a venue / s in our possession to showcase reggae year round, a Canadian reggae tour for performing acts. Fifty years of reggae and no infrastructure! Who’s to blame but ourselves?
The stigma that Canadian reggae artists are not of a proper quality or even close to those that perform in Jamaica. Who’s to blame for this one? Well, instead of casting blame, I will tell you of instances where I have been to live performances where folks in the audience ask me if the band or artist performing is actually from Canada! Greatest compliment, yet the greatest insult I always say! Yes, they are from Canada, yet, why have you never heard about them? Back to the lack of an infrastructure!
Another of our issues is some of the crap artists inundating the internet, especially Facebook with crap tunes that NO ONE wants to hear! Crap tunes that only they post over and over and over and over again that NO ONE else will re-post for them! They become the standard for Canadian reggae so I implore the better artists to upload more of their tunes so Canadians as well as the rest of the world can hear the great songs that I get to hear!
This one I call the “second place mentality”! Many of my peers, artists, promoters and counterparts in the genre have reconciled themselves to the fact that since this is all that there is, well, this is all that there is! We have never really risen, so why bother trying? I mean, really, why bother trying? Well I’ll tell you! The Scotia and the TD Banks have investments in what used to be The Caribana Celebration, The Irie Festival and the Jambana Festivals. Banks do not invest unless there is profit! Cudos to the organizers of all of these events for getting corporate interest and monies but that ought to tell the rest of us that our events, our cultures are worth something to ourselves and for us to invest in our own talent!
I told you that this had a happy ending didn’t I?
Here it is:- Work together, apart! Huh?
When a band or artist has a show, every other performer and entertainer in the genre MUST take the time to promote that artist’s show! No matter whether you like the person or not! If no one promotes your shows, it may that you are one of the ‘crap’ artists so STOP! For the rest of the good ones, promote each other! It is a numbers game! The more people that know, is the more people that will know! It is that simple! Grow all audiences!
I have seen it work!