Bounty Killer’s visa a plus for dancehall
Professor Donna Hope says the United Kingdom's (UK) issuance of a visa to dancehall superstar Bounty Killer represents another opportunity for the genre to shine on the global stage.
Bounty Killer was recently issued a UK creative worker (CW) visa. A creative worker is someone who works in the creative industries, for example, an actor, dancer, musician or film crew member.
"Mi nuh stuck again," he posted to Instagram, adding, "New album, new visa, it's a new arising like the phoenix".
The deejay, whose given name is Rodney Price, has been unable to perform in major overseas markets for more than a decade. His United States visa was cancelled in 2010. He has also been without a UK CW visa that would allow him to work in the UK for up to 12 months within the creative sector.
Hope, asked to comment on the development, noted that there is a strong Jamaican diaspora in the UK. She said that there is a strong desire for dancehall music and other related music there and opined that "the fans can't wait to see him".
In an interview with this newspaper in 2018, Bounty Killer said the absence of a United States visa had restricted his ability to earn and for him to share his talent with a wider audience.
"When an artiste cannot go to and fro to spread the word, earn a money, and greet his fans, it naturally a guh slow up his career. A star cannot shine in his house, and Jamaica is like my house, and I need to go outside in the world," he said.
Following news that the Poor People's Governor is now able to travel to the UK and perform, Hope has sought to encourage other dancehall acts without visas to stay positive and believe their time will come.
"To the other artistes waiting, just keep on doing your craft and keep your head above water. Avoid anything that can pull negativity to you. Just continue to dedicate yourself, there is a lot of work to be done," Hope said.
Members of the industry, including Shaggy and Gramps Morgan, congratulated Bounty Killer on Instagram.
"Congratulations mi general! Was only a matter of time," commented Shaggy. "Who God bless no man curse!"
"All praise, the world awaits you King Price," said Gramps Morgan.