Plan for the future! - Young entertainers encouraged to join music groups
Calls for assistance from the public to help bury the late Edi Fitzroy rehashed arguments surrounding the need for artistes and other industry professionals to contribute to the music societies that have been set up for their benefit.
Junior Lincoln, financial director of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), is urging artistes, particularly the younger ones, to join local music unions to assist them should they fall on hard times.
Lincoln said that in recent times, too many families of veteran entertainers have come forward seeking assistance. He explained that if they (the artistes) had been planning for any eventuality, the embarrassment that comes with begging for financial assistance from the public could have been avoided.
“We don’t like when it’s written in the papers that an artiste or a musician has died and no money is there to bury them. It hurts me. As a people we still don’t understand the advantage of having organisations. That’s our problem,” he said, pointing out that many of the organisations set up to help industry professionals are still struggling to get persons to become members.
“Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA) was formed specifically to deal with things like this (offering financial assistance to artistes who have fallen on hard times). JAVAA has a solid insurance policy, but persons can only benefit if they pay their dues as members,” he said.
Lincoln also explained that despite having rules in place on how assistance is offered and to whom, JAVAA sometimes still offer assistance to persons who are not members of the organisation, sometimes to save the face of the music industry.
He explained that like JAVAA, the JaRIA was also formed to focus on offering assistance to industry persons. He said explained, however, that JaRIA seeks to assist all music professionals, not just artistes.
Lincoln said JaRIA is hoping to specifically target young professionals, highlighting that while they may seem to be invincible at the early stages of their careers, they should always plan ahead to ensure they do not suffer the same fate as those before them.
When THE STAR spoke to a few entertainers, despite hearing of all the benefits that JAVAA and JaRIA could offer in the event they should fall on hard times, they were hesitant in pledging their support.
Many of them admitted to not knowing much about the organisations, and therefore explained that trusting them with their monies however small the contribution, could be an issue.
Artiste-turned-producer Esco told THE STAR that while he appreciates the work of these organisations, he would not be contributing monetarily anytime soon.
“It’s sounds wonderful, but I guess it’s something that needs to be tried and proven because when have we ever seen the benefits of contributing to certain organisations,” he said. “It has to start with some more faith building. Anything can happen to anybody at anytime, so I support the work of these organisations. It’s just that more trust needs to be developed within the industry.”
Razor B agreed to some extent. The entertainer expressed support for the work these organisations set out to do and encouraged fellow entertainers to support if they can. He also said that if pledging their support with these organisation should be an issue, it should not deter music professionals from securing their futures elsewhere with other companies that offer life insurance.
Like Esco, he believes life can take a turn for the worse for any artiste at any point, and they should be prepared for the fallout.