Stop marketing controversy - lecturer warns artistes

June 20, 2016
Dr Dennis Howard

Veteran journalist/lecturer Dr Dennis Howard is warning local recording artistes to abandon the practice of using controversy to sell their brands.

According to Howard, popularity gained by controversy is not sustainable. He also pointed to Alkaline's recent show cancellations in the United Kingdom as a result of marketing based on controversy.

"We see this action now where people feel like the only way to be relevant is to be controversial. Cut out the nonsense and let your talent speak for itself! Make your personality speak for itself instead of relying on some outrageous stunts or clashing, destroying your bodies, saying something outrageous or creating pseudo-beefs. Those won't sustain you because at the end of the day, people want to know what you have to offer, and if you are not offering anything, they will move on to somebody else," he said.


worthy material


Howard, who has spent several years tutoring entertainment managers, writing cultural books and studying the music industry, believes the majority of Jamaican acts are focused on the wrong things. He also encouraged the music industry, including the media, to endorse and cover more worthy material.

"As an artiste and as a manager, focus on what we now call the superfan. They are usually 20 per cent of your fan base but they will provide 70 per cent of your income. Give them something in return for their loyalty and stop this controversy, because you won't win. Dem a cancel Alkaline concert already; that is not good. Then how him a guh mek money? The unfortunate thing is that a lot of the artistes think it's the only way. The music industry, including radio, television, print media and the clubs, have to understand that you must give attention to a broader spectrum of voices. It can't just be pure drama and excitement, while artistes like Duane Stephenson are blessed with talent but cannot get an interview in Jamaica," he said.

The seasoned lecturer also plans to put a renewed effort into socialising practitioners in the music industry.

"With all the training I have done over the years, I thought that my job would have been easier, but now, it looks like I will have to be educating more people. What I taught before will have to take a different turn right now because the industry has become so dynamic and the business model has changed," he said.

Dancehall maestro Vybz Kartel is known to have used shock value to promote his brand. However, prior to his incarceration, he was banned from several venues and could not travel to some countries.

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