Babsy wants more local music on radio

December 20, 2016
Culture minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange (left) in an exchange with Chris Blackwell at the Rebel Salute launch on Monday night.

Following the revelation from the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers Limited (JACAP) that foreigners have been collecting the bulk of royalties paid over by local radio stations for playing music, culture minister Olivia Grange has urged radio stations to play more Jamaican music.

“I am very disappointed about JACAP having to pay out more money for foreign music played on the radio than it has for Jamaican music," Grange said at the launch of Rebel Salute 2017 at the Pegasus Hotel on Monday.

JACAP's general manager Lydia Rose said the entity collected $94.6 million in royalties in 2015.

She said that after deducting a $32 million administrative and other costs, a total of $39 million remained for distribution among rights holders.

Of this sum, a mere $7 million was paid to JACAP members while $32 million was paid to overseas societies.

Grange said that if there was not such a huge disparity, more money would be distributed to local creators of music and spent right here in the local economy.
 
It is against this background that she appealed to disc jockeys and radio librarians to include more locally-created music in their programming.

“Appreciate what is ours and promote what is ours,” the minister said.

The system utilised by JACAP to monitor music played by all 31 radio stations also showed that overseas acts dominated the first 20 slots of the top 100 most listened artistes and tracks.