'Vybz Kartel is dancehall's best seller' ...says Johnny Wonder
Veteran music consultant and distributor at 21st Hapilos, Johnny Wonder, says Vybz Kartel remains one of dancehall's top selling acts for his singles.
According to Wonder, Vybz Kartel's incredible sales are not only based on the popularity of some of his songs, but also on the large body of work he releases which exceeds that of his competitors.
Wonder also listed Spice, Popcaan, Dexta Daps and Alkaline as some of the artistes who are raking in decent numbers for their popular songs.
"The top selling act, I would definitely say is Vybz Kartel, but it depends on the song and of course it fluctuates. But Kartel definitely has a lot of songs out there.
good fan base
So, put it this way, he has more songs out there, plus a good fan base and a following. He puts out his work and they support it, and that is what it's all about. It depends on your fans," he said in an interview with THE STAR recently at King Jammy's Recording Studio in Waterhouse, St Andrew.
The dancehall-reggae music mogul also provided a suitable reason behind dancehall and reggae's failure to climb the Billboard Hot 100 chart consistently. According to Wonder, Jamaican acts need to get their music on to international playlists, instead of channelling their energy into only the Jamaican market. He also believes the visa issues continue to hold back Jamaican music.
"I talk to radio people in foreign all the time. The thing about that is for a song to get added to a Hot 97 or a Power 105, the artiste has to be able to travel to the US and promote the song for the station. They are going to expect you to do jingles and perform at their events, but the artistes cannot travel, so that is one of the reasons some of our top artistes don't get added because they cannot support their songs," Wonder said.
"If you are not being played on these stations, where are they going to chart you from? Because Billboard utilises an airplay chart and of course sales, but our sales aren't like Taylor Swift's sales."
Promoting songs at popular dancehall parties like Weddy Weddy Wednesdays, Uptown Mondays and Gyalis Wednesdays are not fruitful, Wonder also pointed out.
"A lot of people say my song is hot in the dance, but I don't see no sales. I know that everybody wants to promote in Jamaica because it's the core of it, but I don't think you get the return from the consumer," Wonder said.