Selectors call for unity
Selectors are today calling for unity within the dancehall industry. The selectors with whom THE STAR spoke say they are being gravely affected by alliances being forged in the music industry, pointing out that showing loyalty to a particular artiste has become more important than the music.
The latter, they say, has been affecting their craft as they are forced to put a lid on their creativity by sticking to songs done by certain artistes at specific events.
The concerns follow viral footage of entertainer Alkaline calling out selector Tony Matterhorn for playing Vybz Kartel songs at his birthday party last week. Matterhorn was called a 'a p...y' by Alkaline, who felt violated by the selector's choice in music.
Speaking with THE STAR on the general issue of selectors being violated by artistes for playing songs they deem disrespectful to their character, selector Boom Boom says it is high time the issue became a distant memory.
"This thing need fi fix because it's been going on for a good while now, and me nuh support artistes a disrespect selectors. Me a selector and me get violated already, and at the end of the day, we all a work because of the love for the music," he said.
"Every artiste have dem fans anyweh yuh go, so artistes can't violate a selector fi play another man song because that is not how music go. Music come wid joy, love, unity and happiness. At the end of the day music bigger than me and dem who a try control it."
Boom Boom pointed out that the situation has evolved to a level where selectors have to now refuse from playing at certain events that are affiliated with a specific artiste.
"As selectors nowadays we haffi know how we a handle wiself in certain situations. Meaning, if we get booked for an event weh we know we can't go play certain artistes, we just leave da bookings deh alone," he said.
"There's no way me a go play a one party and me can't play how me wah fi play or wah me wah fi play."
He added that the lack of unity among selectors has caused artistes to feel like they have the upper hand, pointing out that some selectors have forged alliances with certain entertainers and are adding fuel to the fire.
"Some a dem DJ yah all right wid wah a take place because a nuff a dem glad when a next DJ get violated because dem a work wid a particular artiste. Dem nuh have no unity, and a dat a kill the music," he said.
Fellow selector Kurt Riley agreed.
"I don't know what kind of deal a selector signs when they get contracted for a specific event, but it is unfair to patrons when they go to an event and are only hearing certain artistes' songs," he said.
"Maybe what we as selectors need fi do is stand in unity against an artiste if him violate a selector and stop play him music. But we as Jamaicans nuh supportive so we nuh expect a disc jockey fi get diss by an artiste and expect other selectors fi stop play that artiste music because it nah go happen. The only way that will happen is when it come to dem door as individuals. Every artiste need selectors because if a selector nuh play artiste song, him song nuh reach road. We fi do better man cause all a we a do dis fi di music."