Learning a foreign language could further artistes' reach
Japanese acts Rankin Pumpkin and Yard Beat sound recently caused much chatter in the music industry after both acts made it to the finals ahead of Jamaicans in the Magnum King and Queen of Dancehall and Boom Sound Clash competitions, respectively.
While some Jamaicans have drawn the conclusion that the Japanese are taking over locally, the Stone Love crew feels the situation should be seen as an invitation for Jamaican artistes and musicians to saddle to the East.
Stone Love recently returned to the island from Japan, where they embarked on a three-week tour. And based on their recent experience there, they are advising Jamaican acts to brush up on their Nihongo (Japanese language) and try to capitalise on the island's population of more than 120 million people.
"We play music until morning in Japan with no police interference over there and to my understanding, this is the standard there. In Japan, we don't have to pick and choose what to play, they know everything, even our dubplates. I would advise Jamaican artistes to learn some Japanese because they are out here learning our culture and language. Learn the basics like, Thank you, How are you, Excuse me, My name is, and Good morning," Stone Love selector Randy Rich said.
According to the selector, speaking another language is mandatory for certain professions that require travelling, and communicating with foreigners. Music falls in that category.
"We stick to our roots and our culture, but you have to know what you are going into. Music is a universal product and so you have to keep learning because you don't want to go somewhere and somebody threaten you and you don't know what they are saying. So brush up pon yu language. Also the Japanese market is huge. So instead of fighting over Jamaica, go where you are welcomed because trust me, the Japanese are more than welcoming," he said.
Winston 'Wee Pow' Powell also revealed that he knows a few Japanese words.
He told THE STAR that "At one time, our music was dying down in Japan because they copied us and stopped using our acts. But I see the trend changing, like we are going back to where they are using us again. I guess whenever you copy stuff you still have to go back to the original," he said.
In closing, Powell also advised "the artiste dem must stop overprice them brand because the Japanese are complaining about that."