'Step up your game' ... European reggae singer wants local producers to improve
European reggae singer-songwriter Patrice Williams believes Jamaican producers ought to step up their production skills in an attempt to compete with foreigners, who are benefiting from the music without giving back to the island.
"Caribbean music, especially live, is very popular in Europe. The influence of Caribbean music in the mainstream music market is quite obvious I would say. Myself and others are working hard to make sure reggae makes it back to its rightful place in Europe and beyond," Williams said.
The singer is not fond of foreign acts who exploit Jamaican genres as culture vultures.
"I personally believe that one should add something to the culture he's inspired by. I feel that many European and American reggae acts don't think that's important.What that means is that you are only relevant as long as you're not standing next to the real thing. It means that you're producing music for people locally without threatening the status quo," he said.
While the lack of label support for Jamaican acts is an obvious issue, Williams does not rule out the poor production quality of some locally produced music.
"In order to be relevant in a world of huge pop and rap acts, you would have to bring things with the same production value to the table. Bob Marley did that during his time, yet kept it real all the way," he said.
Williams' debut album Nile, peaked on charts in Germany, Italy and Austria in 2005. His 2016 single, Burning Bridges, from his latest album Life's Blood, currently has 600,000 views on YouTube.
The artiste recently performed at Timbuktu festival, SXSW in Texas, USA. He is booked to appear on this year's Summerjam Festival in Germany, and Cruilla Barcelona Summer festival.
Williams is a Sierra Leonean-German singer-songwriter, music producer and film-maker. The artiste grew up listening to artistes such as Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Champion Jack Dupree, Max Romeo and Buju Banton.