Barrington Levy pleads for better lyrics
Barrington Levy's signature sound has cemented the artiste's status as a pioneering figure in the development of Jamaican music on the international scene.
The accomplished singer expressed concern that young artistes' failure to achieve similar longevity is because of declining lyrical content.
"These young people are making disposable music. I'm not talking about all of it, but some of them get up and say anything," Levy told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Levy admits he listens to other genres for inspiration, but argues that other artistes take on too much direct influence.
"Everybody is following, is like a uniform. Nobody is creating our own culture and style anymore, or I should say some of them. They listen to BET and they watch MTV and they watering down their culture. As they see a song going on the Billboard, everybody is copying or doing a remix," he said.
Despite the stampede at the Magnum New Rules concert last weekend, the Living Dangerously singer does not align such fracas with the degradation of dancehall.
"What happened at the show, it's nothing new. I faced that too in the '80s, where you go and shots are fired and the venue lose their licence. That's not going to stop performances from happening," he said.
Levy believes that young artistes aspire for potential chart-toppers instead of mastering songwriting, performing and securing profitable publishing deals.
"In these days when records not selling, what we have is the publishing and live performance. That's the only tension in the business. It's very important for them to write their lyrics, music and melody.
"The lyrical content sucks and that's why you find so much violence. I have to say it to myself, was I wasting time writing lyrics that right now is playing and it sound like it just release? I love the beat and all of that. But they don't say anything. They don't set trend, they follow trend. Dancehall can go places if they fix their lyrics," he continued.
He said the white people doing reggae music are using conscious lyrics.
"How about we sing some nice songs? If these yutes can just change their lyrics, it would be a wonderful world. With the beat and the right lyrics, they will go far," he said.