Isaiah Laing: from cop to promoter
Though his first love was being a cop, renowned promoter and 'Sting' boss Isaiah Laing says his career in event planning has been a roller-coaster ride.
Laing told THE STAR: "Sometimes it's up and sometimes it's down. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad ... when it's bad it's really bad, you lose houses and other assets and that will put you in a very bad light."
He said his career as a promoter began while he was employed to the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
His first event was in 1980, a party called Hit the Road Jack, In 1984, he created Sting, which is held annually on Boxing Day.
The event grew in spectrum and was held outside of Jamaica on numerous occasions.
When asked how a promoter deals with losses, Laing said: "It's very hard to bounce back, it takes five to six years to get back on track. People on the outside will not know, but we ban our belly and make things happen."
He said the general sentiment among the populace is that Sting is a part of the national landscape.
"This is the main reason the show continues, however, at this stage where there is no major sponsor, honestly, I don't know what the future holds," Laing said.
Other than Sting, he is also the engine behind events such as Lime Skool Aid, while he has partnered with other promoters for their parties.
Laing said being a promoter has allowed him to dabble in other facets of promotion like production.
He said: "I have helped to guide a lot of artistes and we have produced songs for Frankie Paul, Pinchers, Papa San, Gregory Isaacs and Brigadier Jerry to name a few".
His advice for upcoming promoters is to secure corporate support. "Having corporate support has been a limitation - maybe the sponsors want to do events on their own. We cannot do what we want to, and ensure that everything goes well," he said.
Laing and his Supreme Promotions team will host Sting on December 26 at Jamworld Entertainment Complex, Portmore.