J-FLAG eyeing mainstream artistes - Believe more will be receptive to the organisation
Suelle Anglin, associate director of marketing, communications and engagement of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), is anticipating that the reception from mainstream artistes will improve for J-FLAG events.
The organisation hosted Pride Week, 13 events between July 31 to August 6, and Anglin noted the performance of artistes like Jada Kingdom and D'Angel.
Among the events were the Pride JA Breakfast Party on Monday August 6, Independence Day, and a concert last Friday, August 3, at the Courtleigh Hotel.
“Jada Kingdom performed and was well received (at the concert) along with trap music recording artiste, Laty Kim and other acts from the LGBT community that did poetry recitals, sign language and gospel performances,” said Anglin. “The 'First Lady of Dancehall', D’Angel, also did well (at the breakfast party) with capturing the attention of the patrons. After the conversation with her it was even more clear that artistes are becoming aware.”
Approximately 300 patrons showed up at Hope Gardens to show support to the local LGBT community at the breakfast party.
According to Anglin, the crowd was a mixture of persons from the US and Jamaican residents.
Although the concert only had less than a third of the breakfast party's attendance (70 persons to be exact), Anglin said J-FLAG was thankful for the turnout.
LOVE OF MUSIC
“I think we are on the right path,” said Anglin. “The events showed that we are Jamaican regardless of sexual orientation, brought together by the love of music, specifically dancehall.”
She said that J-FLAG wanted to tap into mainstream entertainment for Pride Week with artistes like Jada Kingdom, Ishawna, Koffee and Shenseea "but the timing was off”.
She explained that the artistes were contacted too late in the summer and three out of four of the females had prior bookings.
But she noted that recording artistes have also attended the events in the past, just not specific to doing performances, so in her opinion, it’s not difficult to get them booked.
Anglin believes artistes will be more receptive with a change in J-FLAG's method of approach and timing.
D’Angel told THE STAR that the event and the organisers that put it together did not dictate how she performed.
“I made a mature decision and did what I had to do; the audience at the Pride JA Breakfast Party was treated equally like my other fans,” said D’Angel.
The 'Break Free' artiste was even called back on stage for an encore performance.
“From I entered the venue the love was in the air, on and off stage, the fans were singing along to my songs word for word like a choir,” she said.
D’Angel has expressed an interest in doing events in the future because the atmosphere is different from the social scene of dancehall.
"It’s people minding their own business," she said. “People’s business should not be anybody else business; all the judgment is up to God the Father.”