Local Radio Personality Speaks With Forum Organizers About the Use of Anti-Gay Lyrics in Reggae Music
February 1, 2008 – ZYNC TV is set to welcome its panelists and audience members for the forum on anti-gay lyrics in reggae music to be held at the Grand Army Plaza branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Thursday, February 7, 2008 starting at 5:30pm. In a recent radio interview on IRIE JAM 93.5FM, panelist Roy Walters (DJ Roy) discussed his take on addressing this sensitive topic.
“There’s a certain responsibility that comes when you sit in this chair,” said DJ Roy during his radio program. “The sad thing about this “Boom Bye Bye” tune is that it was never ever played on any radio station in Jamaica or any true Caribbean program station here in America. IRIE JAM never played it. The problem is the lack of understanding of the culture. That was made for the dancehall and the dancehall only.”
Walters is one of the seven panelists who will address the effects of anti-gay lyrics in reggae music such as the blatant discrimination against the LGBT community, the banning of certain reggae artists throughout the world, lack of response from the artists and record labels that reap the benefits of album sales, and the financial ramifications of canceled concerts.
While Walters stated that he is not speaking on behalf of the artists, he believes that unity amongst them is important as it will help defray the scapegoating they are experiencing.
“The artists need to attack this like GLAAD has attacked this,” said DJ Roy. “They attacked this as a unit. We need some type of organization that can speak for all of them, not just for Buju or Beenie. We need somebody to speak for the music.”
In addition to Walters, panelists include : poet and activist Staceyann Chin, Sirius Satellite radio personality and programmer Pat McKay, professor of Caribbean literature Dr. Kelly Baker Josephs, Director of Anti-Stigma Interventions at Gay Men of African Descent Donald Powell, staff writer for WestIndianTimes.com Stan Evan Smith, and Reggae Carifest promoter and record producer D’Niscio Brooks.
The upcoming forum has received favorable response from local and international media like The Daily News (NY), Caribbean Billboard, JamRock Magazine, The Jamaican Star, Street Hype, R5 Radio, Link-up Media, The Jamaica Information Service, www.freemuse.org, www.caribworldnews.com, and www.jamaicans.com, to name a few.
The forum will be hosted and moderated by Carlyle McKetty, of Kuji Magazine and TSO Productions, and Djenny Passé-Rodriguez and Eion Saunders of ZYNC TV.
It will be videotaped by ZYNC TV and broadcast on Caribbean International Network (CIN) over four weeks as a special series.
Local media are strongly encouraged to arrange pre-interviews with the organizers of the forum. During the reception, there will be a press area for television media to interview the panelists and organizers using video cameras. As producers of the forum, ZYNC TV reserves the right to deny any form of videotaping by media during the forum. The only exception will be granted to those reporters who are reporting for radio stations. They may use audio tape recorders during the entire forum.