Make an impression! - Mr Lexx advises emerging acts to practise in the mirror
It might be awkward at first for any artiste to perform to their reflection, but veteran recording artiste Mr Lexx says it could be the practice that helps new, emerging or young reggae-dancehall deejays to make a good impression.
Many have not performed to a live audience over the past year and a half, and have missed opportunities to stand and watch established acts, or even get called on stage by one.
"I can't recall my first time on a stage but I can say that I spent a lot of time mastering crowd control that, by the time I got to music, I was trained or had developed a performance style," said Mr Lexx, who actually gained on-stage experience from acting. "There hasn't been much to do but it helps to practise in front of a mirror. It was different. At the end of the day, first impressions last."
Recently, emerging dancehall act Wahs was literally put on the spot when his brother Intence invited him on stage while performing in the Cayman Islands. There were many criticisms of the performance, from their style of dress to Wahs' stage entrance and need for voice training.
"They have to understand that this is entertainment. Remember, when people come out and pay good money to see and hear you, you have to perform and everything adds to that. The way you dress or carry yourself, engage the audience ... take pride in that. These things are very important," Mr Lexx said. "It would be good if the upcoming or younger acts were willing to listen to the older artistes with the experience, without thinking that we 'bad-mind' them."
Mr Lexx said that each entertainer has a starting point, but, with each generation, it is different and some artistes will find it more challenging.
"We used to have class concerts, the high-school barbeques. So all those events used to be a lot of practice and the audience (teenagers) were not easy to please. Some people had to go through nuff. What matters is that they accept it as a learning mistake and, moving forward, present the music properly," he said.
Wahs told THE STAR that it was a learning experience but that he does not take criticism "too hard" because that is expected.
"You can only leave persons and let them talk. Them ago talk good and them ago talk bad. So, when them talk bad, I take into consideration what they are saying and just try to improve," Wahs said. "That's the first I'm going out in the world to perform. After this, I can only try to build up my performance and on what I have to offer."