Beenie Man’s US fans ‘will see him soon’ - Artiste’s new management expresses confidence
One of the first tasks on the to-do list of Beenie Man's new management team is getting back his US visa, according to popular St Croix businessman, event promoter and owner of Ciga Records, Shawn Baptiste.
According to Baptiste, who is more popularly known as Ciga, there were only two things holding back Beenie Man, "the level of communication with management, that is sorted out, and the fact that he has not been travelling to America".
"I recognised that he has not been able to travel to the US, which has limited the opportunities," he said. "Running a business without communication, you end up lose. The communication part was a big downfall because a man with a career like Beenie Man needs a team of persons who not only manage his music, but understand the business, and handle the travel arrangements."
The cancellation of the veteran dancehall entertainer's US visa has significantly impacted his earning potential, as the US market remains one of the major consumers of reggae and dancehall music. It has been more than 10 years since Beenie Man had his visa revoked by the US Embassy. Bounty Killer, Mavado, Aidonia, and selector Ricky Trooper also shared the same fate. The Who Am I deejay-songwriter reportedly had his US visitor's visa restored but he has not been able to resolve issues surrounding a work visa which would allow him to perform in the country.
Several calls have been made on the Jamaican Government, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the US Embassy to have Beenie Man, given name Moses Davis, have work and travel privileges restored. But Baptiste said that while all that is appreciated, "it's a no-brainer," and Ciga Records is following certain protocols in working towards achieving this for their newly signed client.
"He's already out the door and it's through the roof [at a high level] in getting this sorted soon. I guarantee it, and this is our goal. When I researched everything, it's really as I said, a no-brainer," he stressed. "The visa legalities are just a matter of putting the right people, specifically the right attorneys who know what they do ... in the right place. US fans will see him soon."
Ciga Records along with the attorneys have been having back-to-back meetings about the steps in regaining the veteran artiste's visa. Though tight-lipped on the matter, Beenie Man is elated and optimistic, after all, he has landed bookings for two US events slated for the summer and he has high hopes he will be headlining sold-out shows in the near future.
The first show to confirm Beenie Man on its line-up was the ESSENCE Festival of Culture, a three-day music festival in New Orleans from June 30 to July 3. Machel Montano is another Caribbean artiste who will perform on July 1. Beenie Man is also listed on the LetsGetFr.ee: Conscious Carnival in Queens, New York, on August 21.