English needed in the music for growth - Bingi Banga

April 25, 2017
Bingi Banga

Recording artiste Bingi Banga, who recently released songs 'Boring' and 'Too Much', is advising Jamaican artistes to release more music utilising the English language.

He points to recording artistes like Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, who have been recognised for their writing globally through the release of English-driven reggae.

"We want to have Marley's success and Jimmy Cliff's success ,but we are not looking at the formula. None of those artistes were patios-chanting lyricists. They used the language in a way to tell their story, keep the music authentic, and in the process, they broke into new markets," he said, while clarifying that he wasn't against using patois in songs.

"But think on a global scale. While we have had relative success using patios and we have tapped into the Japanese, French and German markets, the fact is that several dancehall records can't pass Norman Manley Airport, and one of the reasons is the language," the artiste, born Shawn Taylor, said.

He said that since Jamaica is an English-speaking country, there is no need to shy away from the language.

"English is the language we are taught in school. It's the language we use for interviews and almost every formal thing. So use it, and quit acting like being a real authentic Jamaican means you don't speak English because that is far from the truth," he said.


Miss Lou's work


While throwing in some patios, Bingi made it clear that he was not undermining Ms Lou's work.

"Ms Lou defended the local patois, performing in the local dialect, so mi nah lef it out entirely because foreigners love the slang and accent, but the music has evolved where we have to change things up to compete. This is

a testament to dancehall's resilience as a tool for self-building and force in the global marketplace," he said.

In an attempt to tap into the international audience, he has recorded pop-influenced songs like Miss World, Touch Up Yu Feelings, and Mi Like You.

"My most popular song so far is Miss World, and that is because of the language. We are about to shoot videos and expand promotion. I am also working with Jones Avenue Productions and Mineral Boss Records. They, too, see the vision," he said.

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