Mediocrity, complacency, lack of talent, lack of viable outlets, poor organization, lack of unity locally, provincially / federally… What best describes reggae music as it pertains to the artist performing within Canada?
As artists / performers I wonder if one has ever explored why in fifty years or so that no reggae music produced by an artist residing in Canada does not make top ten charts or even played in any kind of rotation on radio stations across the provinces? Outside of the blatant racism by the CRTC or record labels that control the airwaves there is also the fact that ’they’ support NOTHING Canadian! I am aware that this isn’t news to anyone but I do feel the need to repeat it constantly in the hope that someone / anyone finds us a path or solution to break this trend. This writer hasn’t figured it out yet so that is my challenge to this genre.
Yet, at some point, I do need to stop the pity party. I must at some point take on the mentality of a true champion! Overcome all obstacles and barriers and just go for the gold!
Michael Phelps has over twenty Olympic medals, eighteen of them gold! Usain Bolt has eight gold medals, winning every single Olympic race that he has run in! No excuses! No complaints! Just results! Winners always seem to find a way. So I am going to adopt their combative, winning spirits and attitudes!
As the proclaimed “Canadian Reggae Defender” my focus must be to the top. I see that we must first create the sale of reggae music in Canada along with the profitable export of reggae to foreign shores. So in continuation of my last article, taking responsibility for a part of infrastructure creation, Canadian Reggae World (CRW) has taken over the booking of the Waterfall Indian Tapas Bar & Grill where we will bring reggae performances weekly. What can our collective talents do in order to maintain and grow said audiences?
So in doing the bookings, I challenge the acts to create massive interest in their collective talents. My take is, if one is to perform and audiences aren’t clamoring to see your next show, one may need to elevate if talent allows or take up a new profession / hobby. It isn’t like the audience does not know and an artist needs to accept that not all have the same talents or skill sets. If an artist cannot sell their music or tickets to a show, why be angry about it and blame everyone or everything else? Who or what could one be angry at?
Who is to blame?
I put it down to the fact that I am not good enough! I believe that I can do better so I will work a little harder! A little smarter! I will continue with even greater creativity. If I demand and expect more form myself, I will do the same for the acts that I book! The act / artist / bands that bring in the fans and entertain consistently will be booked more often and given precedence over those that don’t do as well. Just like in professional sport or even top level amateur competition, one must EARN their spot!
As I have stated previously, music is easy! It either moves you or it doesn’t. There is no gray area! I ask the musicians and artist to bring their best and no less. Every time!
I will not support crap just because you happen to perform in Canada! Bring the good stuff or don’t bother coming. As a reggae music fan, I want to be moved! I believe this to be a necessary shift in how reggae music is presented to our audiences as I feel that the genre must be “fan driven” as opposed to “artist led” as it seems to have been in the past. The artist led style has its participants support crap music from each other, refraining to say negatives of fellow artists (to their faces) hence perpetuating mediocrity! Fan driven means that people (reggae fans) are clamoring to see artists, be entertained, and purchase your work! They tell two friends and so on… If our venues are consistently packed we will have covered a small part of, “the sale of reggae music in Canada”.
I’m choosing a model that has worked time and again and it is time to do so now. Motown, Trench Town, Studio One are places where the collective talents of artists drove music forward! Time to try a thing here in Canada!
What I /we seek is the next world wide reggae star coming out of Canada!