J'can music needs diversity, professionalism

March 06, 2017
Sean Paul
Devin Di Dakta
Devin Di Dakta
Nicki Minaj

As his STAR of the Month activities for February wind down, Devin Di Dakta speaks about making and supporting music created outside the box.

Is there a written rule that says Jamaicans can only create their indigenous forms of music?

We all saw what Drake did with One Dance. The song is an amalgamation of dancehall and music coming out of Africa, labelled Afrobeat. We saw what Rihanna did with Work, a Billboard hit heavily influenced by dancehall sound. And there is Justin Beiber's Sorry, even the video's dance choreography screaming Jamaican. If these stars utilise our art forms to build on their already huge success stories, why can't we adapt their business model?

In his classic book The End of Marketing as We Now Know It, Sergio Zyman says marketing is the act of getting more people to buy more of your product for more money, more often. We need to start marketing our brand music more and record songs at the highest quality in sync with that coming out of North America & Europe.




We need to allow young, innovative acts to explore genres other than reggae and dancehall. Rihanna is from Barbados and Nicki Minaj from Trinidad. We've witnessed what they've done with music genres not synonymous with their respective Caribbean cultures. Our music industry's gatekeepers should not castigate and criticise youth for being unconventional, non-traditional, innovative, dynamic and just simply different.

Why is Sean Paul not being more respected in our country? Is our industry ready to embrace people like a Devin Di Dakta, Joseph 'Joey Lyric' Dyke and Treviq, who are into country, alternative rock, pop and so on.

A plethora of 'hurry come up' hustlers call themselves managers, but all they do is update the artiste's booking itinerary. We need quintessential managers like Shelly Ann Curran, Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon, Copeland Forbes, Robert Livingston and Jeremy Harding. We need managers who are adept at marketing and branding the artiste, who will direct the artiste's career and give them jobs. We need managers who will search for new opportunities, find out the capacity for shows and not just rely on the promoter to do the security research. It is incumbent on the manager to ensure the safety of the artiste.

Jamaican musicians are superbly talented but, without professionalism and acceptance of creativity, irrespective of music genre, we will forever stay on the sideline watching the game being played.

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