PATIENCE AND BRANDING REQUIRED FOR REGGAE TO REGAIN GROUND—01/11/15
Billboard magazine discovered that Jamaican reggae acts did not do well in 2014 when compared with non-Jamaican acts. This has become a matter of serious concern for local industry representatives. Copeland Forbes, the former manager of John Holt, said that reggae is uniquely Jamaican and that non-Jamaicans only make a “replica” of the real thing. He did agree that non-Jamaican acts were better than Jamaicans at capitalizing on marketing principles to make themselves known, however.
FIRST COLLABORATION BETWEEN JAMAICAN REGGAE ICONS CREATED—01/12/15
Dancehall legend Beenieman and Richie Stephens, Jamaican Music Ambassador, have partnered to create a music video called “Madness.” Stephens noted that Beenieman is a “true professional” who gave his all to the project. The video was shot in November 2014 in Portmore in St. Catherine, and some lucky music fans had the chance to participate in the event. The release of the video is slated to occur just before Stephens’ performance at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at the end of January 2015 in Falmouth.
REGGAE MONTH FINDS HOME—01/13/15
February is Reggae Month, and the celebration has found a home at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Center in St. Andrew. After a period of uncertainty, the staging of reggae events has a permanent venue. The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) is prepared for the month-long staging in 2015. According to Charles Campbell, the executive director of the association, the group is more prepared than it has ever been because of being able to use the Reggae Village. This has allowed for much more planning than in previous years.
JAMAICAN THEATER GETS OWN VENUE—01/15/15
On January 23, 2015, The Ashe Performing Arts Company will open at the Vibes Theater in St. Andrew. This will be the first theater for the company, and it represents a welcome addition to Jamaica’s overall theater community. Conroy Wilson, creative director at Ashe, said that the goal has always been to establish its own space for performances. Funding for the development of the theater was obtained through performances over the years, with assistance from the Jamaica Public Service Company.