‘A stage show build artiste’ - Industry players say entertainers need more opportunities to showcase talent

November 29, 2019
Patrons taking in a staging of Sting in Portmore.
Patrons taking in a staging of Sting in Portmore.
MC Nuffy
MC Nuffy

The notion that the current crop of dancehall artistes are less than capable of cultivating a long-lasting career in music has been swirling around the entertainment sphere in recent times. Some critics have even pointed to the lack of stage shows as a major reason why the genre of late has only been able to produce 'recording artistes' and not well-rounded, complete entertainers.

MC Nuffy, who has been actively advocating for the return of popular stage show Sting, explained that the stage is where an artiste is built.

He says that without mastering their craft on stage, an artiste has not earned the right to be called an entertainer.

"Artiste a nuh artiste again, dem a Internet sensation and nuh have nothing behind dem. Dem can't maintain the dancehall business and carry it on and dats all because we not having any stage shows. Dats why nuff a dem can record good inna di studio but when dem come pan stage dem boring," he said. "I see nuff young talent out there right now weh nuh have no good sound when dem come fi perform, dem nah no stage craft. But dat a not even fi dem fault and we can't too gwaan like we wah kill dem. We need the industry fi structure itself in such a way weh we can go hear bout da artiste deh and see if him have it fi real."

Agreeing that stage shows play an integral part in an artiste's development, CEO of Whirlwind Entertainment, Michael Dawson, says instead of complaining about what the industry is lacking, key players should be creating platforms that will nurture an artiste's talent.

"There aren't enough stage shows and avenues for live performances and that's why artistes aren't performing at the level they ought to. But what we should do is try to create these stages and it doesn't have to be as massive as a Rebel Salute or a Reggae Sumfest," he said. "Sometimes it's even better to keep those small, well-produced live events. On those stages where it's just the artiste and a small crowd, everybody gain so much more. The audience gets to connect more with their favourite artistes and the artiste gets a true sense of what a crowd is looking for."

He reasoned that when an artiste is performing a 45-minute set, they can look out and see what the audience is feeling and what they aren't, and make adjustments.

"They learn a whole lot more that way and they know how to do it next time," Dawson said. "A nuh every artiste a go make it (on stage) because some artistes just don't have it. But for those who have potential, we need to create opportunities to foster their growth."

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