JIS News

Former Managing Director of Synergy Production, Ronnie Burke, is urging Jamaica’s recording artistes to create more sustainable music that will be accepted in the global marketplace, and thus contribute to the economic development of the country.
In an interview with JIS News, at a Reggae Music Symposium, held at the Girl Guides Headquarters in Kingston, on February 24, Mr. Burke said that the dominant dancehall music is not totally accepted in the traditional marketplace and as such, artistes are losing out on a number of opportunities.
“We have lost out a lot on marketing and overseas tours, because our dominant music is dancehall, which is not accepted in the traditional European festivals. What we have found out in Europe, North America and the United Kingdom (UK), is that they simply don’t understand what the DJs are saying and we find that its not marketable. Thus tours have fallen off, because there is just not enough melody in what we call popular music today,” he pointed out.
“Even when people understand, they do not like it, and the homophobic lyrics are not accepted in Europe, especially in places like Germany. We have also found out that in Germany and Japan their own DJs are taking over the scenes, using lyrics that they can identify with,” Mr. Burke added.
He pointed out that in addition to Reggae artistes being pushed from the scene, the industry has not been able to generate revenues, as it relates to publishing.
While not bashing the dancehall genre, Mr. Burke believes that such artistes should return to the drawing board and compose songs that strike a balance between artistic expression and maintaining societal values.
“Dancehall has its place, it is great. However, we need to restore some balance between the writing of songs versus the writing of lyrics, because what we are doing is creating hit rhythms and not hit songs,” he said, and encouraged the media, particularly to show a balance when playing the music.
The symposium was aimed at fostering an understanding of the ways in which Reggae music has contributed to the social and economic well-being of Jamaica and Jamaicans, at home and abroad.