Music video by RDX performing SummerTime. © 2014 Apt 19 Music Dir: XTREME.ARTs
Music video by Blak Ryno performing #1 Stunna. © 2014 Deadline Recordz – 1st Date Riddim
Borjan Tisma, who is a European-based booking agent, has blasted the state of the Jamaican music industry and said some artistes are killing the business with their unprofessionalism.
The straight-talking agent, who is based in Poland, started his company seven years ago in Serbia for his Serbian friend, a roots dub reggae artiste name Hornsman Coyote.
He has gone on to become a reputable source and is currently doing bookings for the likes of Anthony B, Lady Saw, Konshens, Dubtonic Kru, Gyptian, the No-Maddz, Lutan Fyah, Iba Mahr, Jah Bouks, RDX, Raging Fyah and Kabaka Pyramid.
However Tisma, who employs five full-time workers and three tour managers, said he is very concerned about the state of the Jamaican music industry as there are several artistes whose unprofessionalism and dishonesty is making it bad for their peers throughout Europe.
“There are no professional structure, no good manager. Even when the artistes have managers, I can’t count on them. I have made deals with managers and the artistes don’t respect them,” he said.
Tisma believes that Europe remains an important market to Jamaican artistes, despite them making more money on gigs within the Caribbean and in the US.
“Europe is an important market for reggae. Maybe artistes won’t make lot of money on tours, but Europe buy CDs and download songs from iTunes. Artistes’ logic is; why should I go to Europe on 2-3 week tour to suffer, cause they don’t sleep a lot, travels are not easy and then make the same money in three weeks that they could make from one or two shows in the Caribbean. But those are very short-term plans. I think Europe is very important for long-term purposes,” he said.
Tisma has also singled out artistes who produce hate music towards homosexuals, those who cancel shows at the last minute, and those who make unrealistic requests.
“Artistes who promote violence towards gays will have a problem with bookings because hate music is a thing of the past. When artistes suddenly change his/her mind, it leaves a domino effect – agencies lose reputation cause they must cancel show, promoters lose audience’s trust and then people blame all Jamaican artistes. So then, the good suffer for the bad,” he said.
Tisma has recently agreed to do administrative work with Contractor Music Marketing, which is owned and operated by marketing guru Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards.
The event will be held for the very first time at Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios, St Ann and will feature a number popular reggae and dancehall acts, including George Nooks, Josie Wales, Admiral Tibet, Popcaan, Gem Myers, Peter Metro, Admiral Bailey, Professor Nuts, Nature, Nitty Kutchie, Ghost, Ishawna, Harry Toddler, Specialist, Don Husky and Naazir.
Ninja Man said the event is his way of giving back something to the hard-working taxi drivers of Jamaica.
“I’ve been the dancehall champion for 28 years, and in the early part of my career I used to travel all over the island in taxi cabs all the time. A lot of people don’t realise how valuable the service that taxi drivers and bus drivers provide is. It is because of them why school-children can go to school and adults can go to work. Remember a lot of people are not able to own their own cars so they have to rely on public transport. So I want to show them my appreciation by keeping this event,” he said.
The event will also feature a taxi operators singing and deejaying contest as well as a taxi operator’s raffle.
“The winner of the singing and deejaying competition will get a recording contract with Downsound Records. We are also giving the taxi drivers a chance to win a brand-new car with the raffle,” the deejay said. “This event will be a success, the people of Ocho Rios know that whenever Ninja Man and Downsound put on an event in their town it is always a great event and this one will be no different. There will be lots of rides for the children and lots of great entertainment. I’m confident that the Taxi Drivers’ Appreciation Day, will be well supported.”
Dancehall artiste Stacious has confirmed that unscrupulous persons have been trying to defraud several of her would-be clients.
The artiste, who also doubles as the CEO of Scrumptious Diet Club, which offers meal plans and personal training for a healthy lifestyle, told THE Weekend STAR that at least one woman was contacted by the fraudster via Whatsapp to join the club.
“I’ve been overseas for a couple of weeks and I got a phone call from my colleagues at Gym Plus who stated that a woman was at the gym saying that I told her to meet me there. When they put her on the phone, she told me that she had been speaking to someone who she assumed was me via Whatsapp about becoming a member of the club,” Stacious said.
She added that the fraudster had been checking up on the woman regarding meal plans and payment. The woman however, insisted on paying in person.
“I just want everyone to know that I don’t conduct business via whatsapp. I don’t even use Whatsapp. Persons who want to be a part of the Scrumptious Diet Club can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can come in for a consultation. If persons are contacting you about my diet club, it is not me, I prefer consultations,” she told THE Weekend STAR.
The matter has since been reported to the Constant Spring police who are investigating.
As it relates to her music career, the artiste will be releasing the video for her latest single, Groovin, in the upcoming weeks.
“I’ve stopped trying to fit in. I’m doing music my way and I know my real fans will appreciate it,” she said.
Summertime bodes well for reggae music. The genre’s biggest crossover moves — from Sean Paul to — have been made during the balmier months, when Americans relax enough to stretch the geographical limits of our soundtracks. This year’s case in point: Chronixx, Jamaica’s current it-artist, steadily making strides on international shores. The 21-year-old Rastafarian singer — his sweet, sincere tunes and old-school-yet-not-overly-nostalgic sound are welcome antidotes to an irony-laden culture — released his debut EP, performed on Jimmy Fallon’s show and, this weekend, took the stage before a filled-to-capacity crowd for a free concert at Central Park SummerStage. That venue holds 5,500 people and an estimated 2,000 more stayed outside the gates, listening. It was a LargeUp and Federation Sound event with New York’s iconic Rice and Peas sound system DJing throughout. Backstage, Chronixx reasoned with Baz Dreisinger about music-making, Rasta and the state of reggae.
BAZ DREISINGER: What a show! The crowd hit capacity almost right after the gates opened. Even Mick Jagger came out. What does it mean to you to be at SummerStage — one of few current reggae artists to perform at this venue in recent years?
CHRONIXX: Central Park was definitely, officially one of my most exciting shows ever. New York City is home to a lot of Jamaicans and Caribbean people — I think there are more Jamaicans here than in Jamaica. It’s home. So it feels like getting accepted at home.
And performing on Jimmy Fallon — again as one of few reggae artists to ever do so?
It was wonderful, but frightening, because I knew that everyone in Jamaica was watching, and if you mess up, you mess up in front of your whole family. My mother was watching, my grandmother was watching — it was scary. But other than that, it’s just music — it’s living. The stage becomes insignificant, the setting becomes insignificant, and you fall in love with the music and get in that state of relaxation and from there, the interaction and performance come to be.
How did it, literally, come to be — ?
Jimmy Fallon came to Jamaica and was staying at Goldeneye [the boutique hotel owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell]. He was on vacation, and he heard my music and liked it. So it was that simple: on vacation in Jamaica, hear some reggae, like the reggae — and here I am.
After the Fallon performance you posted about not having to water down one’s Rasta identity in order to achieve crossover success. Explain what you meant.
Rasta is our platform, that’s where we stand. And if you remove that platform, you’re not standing on anything. As a Rasta, as a Jamaican youth, that is my culture, that is who I am. So regardless of the music, the instrumentation, which show I am at — I’m going to be a Jamaican Rasta. When you look at the music charts, there’s reggae there but you don’t see nothing about Rastafari — and that doesn’t matter to me. There are a lot of youths out there who want to hear what I have to say as a Rasta, and I can’t brush those billions of youths under the carpet, just for a mainstream audience.
Is a mainstream audience something you think about? Current reggae has a kind of boom-and-bust history with American audiences: moments of great crossover success, but little lasting presence.
That’s because for us, as Jamaican youth with our morals, we are only willing to go a certain distance to please the mainstream. For me, unless people respect my morals and my culture, I can’t go too far. The industry doesn’t respect our culture; they try to give it a pop image. That’s what the celebrity thing is in America: You’re talented and then they refine it to suit everybody. You can reach to a level but then you’re asked to do and be things that are not acceptable. Dem say America is the land of the free, but except for the Rastaman — the respect is not there. I think that’s it with the mainstream thing: Celebrity life can’t work for a person like me; as Rasta you deal with the earth, you deal with farming, with meditation, health — and a celebrity life doesn’t facilitate any of those.
So how do you plan to navigate that celebrity world, considering?
My plan is just to live and do what I can, until I can’t do it anymore.
Last time Jamaican music was seriously on America’s radar it was dancehall: Sean Paul, Elephant Man, back in the early 2000s. Do you think roots reggae, your music, is more marketable?
Americans are marketing geniuses. They can market fridge to Eskimo people. Dem can market anything. You ever hear some song that’s number one in America and you’re like — this? So they can market dancehall, roots — whatever.
Your album Dread & Terrible is independently released. What made you go that route?
Just how a woman say she want to remain single for a while, you know, and see whaa gwaan? That’s why. You get signed too young and you get signed for less than your potential. It’s actually my EP, but everyone called it an album, which it’s not. It’s a project that captured a vibe I was feeling, not a full album.
You’re identified — along with other young artists like Protoje and Jesse Royal — as ,” which blends old-school roots music with a kind of new-age hipster aesthetic. Does this label annoy you?
Not at all. We are a movement, with a lot of youths — a whole heap o we shouting at the same time, very loud and very vibrant.
Your father was a reggae artist named Chronicle, so you practically grew up in the studio. How old were you when you first started making music?
From ever since.
Who are you listening to these days?
Enya. Her vocal abilities, her elasticity, ability to replicate strings and percussions — amazing.
Your song “” is the perfect replacement for Bob Marley’s “One Love” in all the tourism ads. Would you be up for having that song used in those ads featuring happy tourists?
That song is for the people and if it will ultimately benefit the people of Jamaica, by all means.
What is your songwriting process like? How do you make music?
It can come from a memory, a color, a feeling. From there, it becomes a word or a phrase or a sound. I meditate a lot with my thoughts. I spend half an hour every day just thinking, and that’s really how I make music. Melodies for me are more like a mechanical thing — you know what kind of melodies will drive certain feelings — that’s the technical part. When you meditate so much, the songs are already there, so you go in the studio it flows.
See, I’m not a perfectionist with music. I like it raw; I don’t like to polish it too much. If so God give it to me I’m not going to use my human brain to replace heavenly things with human things. A lot of things that don’t make sense to our brains make sense to our souls. So the grammar not right — the grammar is not correct. Some of the “ares” could be taken out; some of the “is” could be “are”; you didn’t pronounce the “t” properly — but it’s feelings. When you think, you don’t think in complete sentences. And when you feel, you don’t feel in perfect grammar.
YaaDi The Series August 6.Episode 7. Black Promo
Tommy Lee Sparta – Outlaw (Alkaline & Gage Diss) July 2014
The entertainment community was once again thrown into a state of disarray after news broke that another entertainer had been killed. According to preliminary information gathered, upcoming dancehall artiste Propally was killed in the wee hours of Friday morning.
The artiste, whose given name is Samora Grey, was struck by an oncoming motorcycle. He succumbed to his injuries soon after.
Propally’s death comes as a shock to many, especially True Gift Entertainment (TGE) who was on the verge of inking a management deal with the burgeoning star.
Dancehall superstar and president of TGE, Demarco, currently in the United States, says he is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of such a promising and affable entertainer.
“Today is a very sad day for the Jamaican music industry and TGE, as we bemoan the loss of another talented soldier who met his demise in such a tragic manner. It hurts to the core; we recently started working with him and were only days away from signing Propally as an official member to the camp. No one knows what tomorrow brings and, therefore, the Almighty knows best. We would like to extend our deepest condolences and prayers to his family and friends in this their time of grief,” a statement from the camp read.
Despite not achieving his big break, Propally was no stranger to the entertainment scene and has performed at several notable events including Champions In Action, Camp Fire, and Brit Jam.
The young deejay has worked with industry players such as Marlon Samuels, ZJ Sparks, ZJ Dymond, Frenz For Real Production, Armzhouse Records, Jay Crazie Records. He is best known for his collaborative efforts Concrete Jungle with Jah Vinci and Deh Pon Mi Way featuring Demarco.
Much outrage has been coming from fans and associates of Vybz Kartel following the use of one of his songs as the soundtrack for a video showing crossing-dressing and homosexual men in New Kingston.
The four-minute long video surfaced on YouTube on Monday with Kartel’s Beautiful Girl being used as the soundtrack. It showed men dressed as woman modelling dancing and parading along Trafalgar Road in New Kingston and the gully close by. The video was posted by Noisey.com that also did the Snoop Dogg Reincarnated documentary, as well as other documentaries with dancehall artistes like Popcaan, Vawnessa Bling and Konshens.
Since hearing about the video, So Unique producer Elvis Redwood said he is appalled by the actions of Noisey, which is the music channel for a magazine called VICE.
“We disapprove of this. We distance ourselves from it. They didn’t ask for clearance and we have nothing to do with it,” said Redwood, who says he is the man in charge of Adijaheim Records and Short Boss Records.
“We are just disappointed that they used the artiste’s song in a video like that without approval. We are against homosexuality and it is illegal in Jamaica.”
In the video description, Noisey acknowledged that they did not get approval from Vybz Kartel, however, it said, “Kartel was unable to sign off on this video as an official promo, but we licensed the song and are putting it out there to show people a rarely seen side of one of our favourite places in the world.”
They also offered more explanation in the description.
The Gully Queens of New Kingston documentary
“While making a documentary on The Gully Queens of New Kingston, a growing community of gay and transgender youth living in the Jamaican capital’s storm drain system on Trafalgar Road, we met people that had been driven below the depths of the city by desperation. This unique community has found solace in the lyrics of street life and struggle of the recently incarcerated singer Vybz Kartel, a national hero of sorts and considered ‘The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto’ by many,” it said.
But that did not stop fans of Vybz Kartel from voicing their anger.
“There is no way Vybz Kartel would approve of this video. Not saying I agree with his views but it’s nonsensical to pair these visuals with his music,” one viewer said.
Another viewer added, “Kartel would not want this done to his music!!!! This is a big insult to him!”
As the comments flowed, another of the 313 comments that were generated in little over 24 hours said, “This is an insult to Vybz Kartel legacy. Noisey I don’t know if y’all know but Kartel don’t promote homosexuals at all. Dancehall don’t promote homosexuals at all. Keep that in your own circles, don’t try to contaminate dancehall with this.”
“Now you are trying to bring man down when he already down!!! This video will bring out the worst out of Kartel, that is not what he promotes and never has!!!! Stop using BIG artist name on a SMALL concept video to make it popular,” another viewer said.