Radio DJs in favour of boosting local music

February 23, 2017
ZJ Sparks
Lydia Rose,general manager, JACAP.
DJ Tropical

Following the revelation by The Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP) that the agency is paying more royalties to foreigners than local creators due to the saturation of foreign music on Jamaican radio, local DJs have decided to switch gear with choice of selections.

JACAP's general manager, Lydia Rose, said radio play is not geared towards local members.

"In 2015, 82 per cent of the royalties went overseas, in 2013, 85 per cent went overseas, and in former years, such as 2006, 63 per cent went overseas," she said.

Hitz Fm's DJ Tropical said he has never bombarded the airwaves with foreign music. He said he supports JACAP's call for more local content.

"Big up JACAP for highlighting the issue, but, from day one, mi never too follow up hip hop and dem thing deh. I focus on reggae and dancehall," he said, noting he believes other radio stations should be playing more Jamaican content.

"There can even be segments dedicated to our new talents because we are also lacking where talent development is concerned," he said.




Tropical also said the decline in record sales has affected the Jamaican music industry more than foreigners, which should be reason enough for local radio to support Jamaican music.

"Keep the money in the country. If you are not trying to appeal to foreign listeners, why play so much foreign music? Reggae is huge overseas, so what we need to do is start giving the genre its due respect here," he said.

ZJ Sparks shared that playing more local content would greatly benefit the Jamaican music industry. However, she thinks a balance between local and foreign content is good enough.

Sparks said she would like to see local music played because that's good for the industry.

"But we have to play foreign music because there is an audience for that as well," she said.

Veteran reggae artiste Phillip Frazer believes local musicians should produce better music before seeking airplay.

"JACAP dem, I don't even know where dem come from inna music, everybody wah claim. But I don't disagree with their stance. The Jamaicans must make better music because some don't deserve no airplay ... play more local music, yes. But play the good ones," he said.

DJ Jimmy Q admitted that radio is playing too much foreign content. However, he also pointed out that artistes are releasing songs without being registered to the relevant collection agencies.

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