Give the Grammys credit - Industry insiders say J'cans should be grateful for a reggae category

January 30, 2018
Donovan Germain
Mr Vegas

The Grammys are over, but it’s still the hot topic, especially in Jamaica, for multiple reasons. Today, some are upset that Chronixx did not walk away with the Grammy for the Best Reggae Album, while others are upset that Complex Magazine threw shade at Shaggy’s performance, and even more are upset that the reggae category was not announced during the televised programme of music’s biggest night.

The latter has been one of the most talked-about issue on social media since Sunday night. Many social media users have expressed disappointment with the Recording Academy’s decision to have the reggae Grammy announced during the pre-ceremony. They pointed out that with reggae’s contribution to the world, it’s musicians deserve to be awarded on a stage with the best of the from the other genres.

That, however, is not a sentiment shared by some industry insiders.

Speaking on the issue recently, veteran producer Donovan Germaine said that as a people who have not done enough to award their own, we really do not have the grounds to point out the flaws in other people’s award shows.

“We as an industry cannot have a respectable award show here in Jamaica, so how can we be complaining about other people’s award show and how it’s done?,” he said. “There are three countries in the world that has a year round music industry; USA, UK and Jamaica. We have an accepted music yet we cannot respectfully acknowledge the players' contribution in an elegant function that we can look forward to attend so how dare us complain?”

US and UK have their own award shows, and a reggae category is included on both.

Mr Vegas agreed, noting that there are many categories to be awarded in one night and not every award can be televised.

“There are many categories that do not come on live. I did not know this until I met with a team from the committee. It is a four-hour show, and lots of awards to give,” he said, pointing out that the Recording Academy respects the genre enough to have it included as a category in music’s biggest award.

“Give the Grammy credit. We have no reggae category in the other major award shows that happen yearly. The Grammys started in 1958, and added the reggae category in 1985. To date it is the only major music award in the USA that acknowledges reggae artistes.”

Other US shows like BET Awards, VMA and Billboard Music Awards have no category highlighting reggae and dancehall. 

Vegas then added that the Grammy Awards is an American show to honour American musicians with American sponsors.

“It’s an American music award show. Let’s be grateful that our artistes get the recognition that can boost sales, tours, etc. Look at Morgan Heritage. It (Grammy nomination) has surely helped boost their profile worldwide and Devin Di Dakta, who knew him outside of Jamaica before his nomination? Now he can add Grammy nominee to his bio, and that’s massive,” Mr Vegas said. 

He also said that artistes should keep working hard to boost sales and encourage Jamaicans to support their music.

“We just need to keep working hard and our audiences needs to support the music. Selling 1,000 or 2,000 albums will not get us on prime time,” Mr Vegas told THE STAR


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