Use social media to your advantage

February 08, 2019
Lionel Rookwood/ photographer
Lionel Rookwood/ photographer Koffee

Aspiring artistes are being encouraged to use social media platforms to their advantage as they enter the competitive entertainment industry.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Bob Marley Museum on Wednesday, a group of music professionals said that with the advancements made in technology, today's artistes have all the resources they need at their fingertips to fast-track their careers, literally.

Speaking on the theme 'Igniting Your Career in Music', TV producer and recording artiste Sanjay Ramanand said that today's artistes can simply post a one-minute video that goes viral and they will have a platform to jump-start their professional careers.

"I remember when I moved back to Jamaica to pursue music, one of the first things I did was literally walk to every studio that I knew. some of them you can't get into, some a dem you wait until somebody else a go in and yuh try squeeze in behind dem," he said. "But that was a generation ago. Nowadays, through the advent of technology and with social media (Twitter, Instagram and to a lesser extent Facebook), the avenues are so open. Artistes today just need to learn how to be innovative and use these platforms to their advantage. You have to also look at what other people are doing and try to take the next steps."

Caniggia Palmer, who manages all-female band Adahzeh, as well as break-out reggae star Koffee, said that social media, if used right, can be the break most aspiring entertainers are looking for.

"That's what Koffee did. Social media was the medium we used to introduce her as an artiste. We used Instagram, and the person we went for was Usain Bolt. He came third in the 100-metre race and pulled up in the 4x100 (at the World Championships in 2017), so it was a down time in the country. She used that and wrote a song to uplift Bolt, the nation, and the diaspora. Three hundred of her friends shared it, tagged him, he saw it, reposted it, and that's how we got started," he recalled. "You have to be specific about it (how you use social media), figure out what you want to achieve, what you want your image to be, what you want your content to be, and then just go after your career. You also have to look at what is relevant in the social media space."

Talent manager Carleene Samuels encouraged artistes to form a bond with their followers that is so strong that they would not just 'follow' the artiste's page, but become so invested that they support their careers away from the computer screens.

"If you're a new artiste, it's really important that you get some fans because whenever you get that acknowledgement from a bigger audience, they are who will keep things going in this digital age," she said.

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