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Head of the National Transformation Unit, and pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle Church, Rev. Dr. Al Miller, has challenged the reggae music industry to act with responsibility and embrace the fact that music is a powerful tool that can affect people in negative and positive ways.
Rev. Miller made the challenge during the February 1 service at the Fellowship Tabernacle, which was used to officially launch Reggae Month 2009.
“Music has a powerful effect on our lives because it affects us at the very emotional level, which then moves into the thinking realm and then enters our thought processes that begin to affect our belief systems. Music is powerful and therefore those who are entrusted with music, must act with great responsibility, the writers, producers, engineers, Disc Jockeys you must be responsible because there is a powerful tool that is in your hand and you don’t give children razor blade to play with,” he emphasised.
“Music can be used for good or for evil; it can produce beneficial results or harmful results. It can inform, teach, uplift or it can drive to negative behaviour,” he continued, adding thatt all will be held accountable by God.
“Understand that the God of the Universe who has given this gift expects a responsible response to the utility of this gift, and consequently he is going to hold us accountable for what we do with this gift whether you are managers of the music, producers, writers, singers,” he told the congregation.
Reflecting on the theme ‘Reggae to di worl’, Rev. Miller requested that the music industry answer the fundamental question of what kind of reggae it wants to take to the world.
“As we take this product to the world we must ask what is it that we want to take to the world, what do we want to give to the world…do we want to give to the world trash, that which destroys, denigrates…we must give to the world that which gives value to the world, that which inspires and builds up the world,” he asserted.
Continuing he urged the music industry players to harness the power of reggae in order to set Jamaica on a path of positive transformation.
“We need a lyrical transformation to use this powerful transformative tool called reggae to influence the positive transformational process of our nation. I charge you by the grace of God, today, to give our people songs to inform, teach, and build up, to inspire hope and confidence in themselves, songs that speak of our journey as a people, songs that will guide us to the destination that we want to reach. You have the most powerful transformational tool called music,” he stated.
Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange and members of the Reggae Month Committee including Chairman, Howard McIntosh and Isaiah Laing were in attendance at the church service.
Reggae Month, which will be celebrated throughout the month of February ends on March 1, with the Reggae Industry Awards and Dinner at Jamaica House.