“We don’t have to talk about them, ‘low some people, man. That is why the sponsor dem a deal wid wi suh; have some behaviour, man, unno a big man”
MC Nuffy cautioning Jigsy King, Ninja Kid and General B about their anti-homosexual lyrics
It’s three (3) days until the New Year 2016 and Sting 2015 has flopped (Loop News, 2015, December 27), if the word on the street is to be believed.
By now, everybody in Jamaica knows that Sting 2015, who had no title sponsor this year, was closed prematurely (Cooke, 2015, December 28) by the Jamaican Police before 6am due to violent and discriminatory lyrics directed against homosexuals.
This occurred even before Beenie Man and Elephant Man had performed. Worse, Merciless, Gully Bop, Ninja Man, Tanto Blacks and Vershon had not yet even touched the stage when MC Nuffy came on stage to deliver the bad news!
Sting 2015 premature end – Dancehall music is dying because of Discrimination
Sting 2015 is the 32nd incarnation of the Reggae and Dancehall festival that’s billed as the greatest one night Festival in the world, had no title sponsor this year, a common problem (Grizzle, 2015, December 20) among Dancehall Shows.
The reason is becoming obvious; misbehaving Dancehall artiste!
Despite attempts to reign in artists and the removal of violent lyrics and clashes (Deer, 2011, June 7), the problem just cannot go away as many Dancehall artiste haven’t yet awoken to the reality; Dancehall music is dying globally because of their discriminatory stance against homosexuals.
Many Dancehall artiste fail to recognize the fact that Government of countries will not welcome them if they produce music that is disruptive to their society’s culture. Discrimination and inciting violence is not tolerated.
It’s for this reason many of them are no longer being granted VISA’s and work permits, as the Government of many of these countries are not tolerant of what they consider to be hate speech.
With many Americans and Europeans attending Sting 2015, this was the worst side of Jamaica on display.
Joss Stone, top Reggae Artiste 2015 and Reggae Album 2015 – It’s all about Album sales for Billboard
Reggae temperament may also be a reason why Billboard magazine was eager to crown Joss Stone as the Reggae Artiste of the Year (The Jamaica Observer, 2015, December 22) for her album Water For Your Soul.
Her album beat Bob Marley & the Wailers (Loop News, 2015, December 21) who are 2nd in terms of album sales to receive the top Reggae Artiste 2015 and also top Reggae Album 2015.
Bob Marley & the Wailers is a really long time ago; Americans wanted something fresh and genre-hopping Joss Stone delivered. Wouldn’t be surprised to see her win the Grammy for best Reggae Album!
Not surprising to me personally, as Billboard based their assessment purely on sales (Grizzle, 2015, December 27), despite the sentiments expressed by many Jamaicans online. Colour was not a factor (Campbell, 2015, December 27) as the truth be told, Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall is poorly marketed by the Jamaican Government.
Evidence of this can be seen from how long it took OMI’s hit song Cheerleader (McIntyre, 2015, July 24) to become a hit in the US of A after being a hit elsewhere for several years. The Felix Jaehn remix added some Deep House (Messitte, 2015, July 30) character and made the difference, introducing this budding artiste to the American market.
Dancehall artiste Bounti Killa was quite spot on in his assessment, pointing to a lack of promotional assistance for Dancehall and Reggae music (Loop News, 2015, December 26) from the Government of Jamaica, quote: “What measures are implemented for a genre birthed on the island which is widely celebrated elsewhere, giving others the chance to benefit more than us?
How many more Matisyahus, Eddy Murphys and Joss Stones will there be to benefit more than our people who do not fall short on talent?”
Dancehall Music’s marketing Problem – Sponsors favor Family-oriented fare
The Jamaican Government, it seems, rather than seeing Dancehall as an asset to be expanded upon, is instead choosing to lavish taxpayers’ money on Tourism ads using, ironically, Bob Marley’s music.
This probably made Dancehall artiste Bounti Killa even more cross, angry and miserable (The Jamaica Observer, 2015, December 25) as he further went on to bash the Marley’s on Social Media for their support of Joss Stone, quote: “The Marley boys, as internationally recognized as they are, have a voice that they don’t use to assist Reggae/Dancehall except for their own family’s personal gain”.
Despite this lack of assistance, many Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall artiste, aside from their image problem, also have a marketing problem. Many of them are not marketing their music properly or even seeking other sources of income, such as YouTube videos (Deer, 2015, July 1), corporate sponsorships as well as products and businesses venture and investments, such as real estate.
This as other Genres are attracting sponsorship, such as the Family oriented Lasco Family Extravaganza (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2015, December 23) that took place on Saturday December 26th 2015. This trend of lack of marketing and sponsorship will continue into 2016 as Dancehall and Reggae Music has to clear up its image problem as it relates to violent, homophobic lyrics.
Jamaica losing interest in Dancehall Music – Sponsors seek other Music shows and Genres to sponsor
But clearly Jamaicans have lost interest, as evidence by the low turnout of patrons (Campbell, 2015, December 28). Many were irate at the sudden end and still getting their money’s worth.
Locally, Jamaicans are looking for more variety in their entertainment, even gravitating to the Uptown sounds like EDM (Electronic Dancehall Music), recently crowned by Billboard Magazine (Deer, 2015, November 22) as being Jamaican in origin.
Major Laser did a great set at their Major Laser and Friends Concert (Campbell, 2015, December 24) on Friday December 18th 2015 (Daley, 2015, December 21) at Mas Camp. With Paradise Lost coming up in March 2016 (Deer, 2015, November 22), just in time for Carnival 2016, Jamaican will by then have forgotten about the flop that was Sting 2015.
Oh yes, back to Sting 2015.
Patrons at least got to sample Reggae artiste such as artistes like Pinchers, Terror Fabulous, Professor Nuts, Major Mackerel, Junior Cat and Burro Banton with Turbulence, Maestro Don, Jahmeil, Raine Seville and Stylish filling in the gaps for the younger crowd.
They also got introduced to a new artiste, Starface (Bonito, 2015, December 29), who has a very bright future ahead of her for 2016.
Despite signing no contract to perform at Sting 2015, this show will push her to stratospheric heights. This even as Sting 2015 looks to be on its deathbed due to the lack of sponsors, making Sting 2016 look uncertain.
Here’s the link:
Joss Stone’s album Water For Your Soul on Amazon
Joss Stone’s album Water For Your Soul on Apple
- Deer, L. (2011, June 7). Jamaican Music Industry 2 Years post-Ban – How Artiste and Booking Agents Launder Money. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2011/06/jamaican-music-industry-2-years-post.html
- Deer, L. (2015, July 1). US$750,000 for Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae Artiste on YouTube Streaming – How to drive Traffic to your YouTube Page and make money from Advertising. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/07/Jamaican-Dancehall-Reggae-Artiste-YouTube-Streaming.html
- McIntyre, H. (2015, July 24). How Did OMI Go From Obscurity To Having The Number One Song In The World?. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2015/07/24/how-did-omi-go-from-obscurity-to-having-the-number-one-in-the-world/
- Messitte, N. (2015, July 30). Did OMI’s Cheerleader Just Bring Deep House To The Pop Charts?. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmessitte/2015/07/30/did-omis-cheerleader-just-bring-deep-house-to-the-pop-charts/
- Deer, L. (2015, November 22). Why Quiet Clubbing and EDM rise in Jamaica a solution to the Noise Abatement Act. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/why-quiet-clubbing-and-edm-rise-in-jamaica-a-solution-to-the-noise-abatement-act/
- Grizzle, S. (2015, December 20). Artistes Do Christmas Shows For Little Or Nothing – But Naughty Or Nice, They Demand Big Money For Sting. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20151220/artistes-do-christmas-shows-little-or-nothing-naughty-or-nice-they
- Daley, R. (2015, December 21). Lazer sharp performance at Mas Camp. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Lazer-sharp-performance-at-Mas-Camp_46404
- Loop News. (2015, December 21). Joss Stone is Billboard’s top Reggae artiste for 2015. Retrieved from http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/joss-stone-billboards-top-Reggae-artiste-2015
- The Jamaica Observer. (2015, December 22). Billboard names Joss Stone Reggae artist for 2015. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Roots–stone–Reggae_46531
- The Jamaica Gleaner. (2015, December 23). Lasco Family Extravaganza Set For Boxing Day. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20151223/lasco-family-extravaganza-set-boxing-day
- Campbell, C. (2015, December 24). Major Lazer a hit at Mas Camp. Retrieved from http://jamaica-star.com/article/entertainment/20151224/major-lazer-hit-mas-camp
- The Jamaica Observer. (2015, December 25). Bounty blasts Billboard. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Bounty-blasts-Billboard_46926
- Loop News. (2015, December 26). Bounty Killer slams Government, Marley family after Joss Stone accolades. Retrieved from http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/bounty-killer-slams-government-marley-family-after-joss-stone-accolades
- Grizzle. S. (2015, December 27). OUTRAGE! – Local Fans Upset, Industry Insiders Agree With Billboard Reggae Artiste Of The Year. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20151227/outrage-local-fans-upset-industry-insiders-agree-billboard-Reggae
- Campbell, H. (2015, December 27). Did Colour help Joss?. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Did-Colour-help-Joss-_47022
- Loop News. (2015, December 27). Sting 2015 flops, ends prematurely. Retrieved from http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/sting-2015-flops-ends-prematurely
- Cooke, M. (2015, December 28). Abrupt End To Overloaded Sting 2015. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20151228/abrupt-end-overloaded-sting-2015
- Campbell, C. (2015, December 28). Good Sting, low turnout. Retrieved from http://jamaica-star.com/article/entertainment/20151228/good-sting-low-turnout
- Bonito, B. (2015, December 29). Unmasking Starface. Retrieved from http://jamaica-star.com/article/entertainment/20151228/good-sting-low-turnout