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Reggae artistes need to ‘pull up’

John Sealy

Reggae artistes need to ‘pull up’

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THE?BAJANS came out late to the show, but by 12:30 a.m. the Plantation Garden Theatre had a good enough and growing crowd that should give producers FAS Entertainment encouragement to make Digicel Bajan Reggae Night an annual affair – with a few adjustments, however.
It was good to see organizers draw on different levels of talent, but some of the production has to be taken back to the drawing board and be refined if Barbados’ reggae is to show movement. 
It is not a case of “dissing” any act, but ensuring that the crème de la crème is what patrons would be getting as the eyes of the region and the world focus on Barbados’ product.
A downside during the night’s show was a propensity of the Bajan acts to overindulge in imitating the Jamaican accent, which was hardly successful but clearly very annoying. There was no lack of charisma and stagecraft from the Bajans but what came out of “the mouth of the reggae babes” sounded more like babbling than singing. Remember that Jamaica is reggae, but our reggae is not Jamaica!
In spite of the above, Bajan reggae seems in good hands, based on what is coming from Buggy Nhakente, Melody Man, Albert Olton, High Grade, Twin Man, Vision, Hotta Flames, Sluggy Dan, Storm Thrilla and even Daniel.
Therefore every effort should be made to facilitate the more progressive Bajan acts in relation to making them household names.
This inability to get exposure “for the locals” in spite of indivdual effort is one of Melody Man’s concerns. 
“I think what is going on here tonight is a good thing so that Bajan artistes can be heard live,” he said. “Really and truly, on the radio they don’t play enough Bajan reggae artistes. 
“Sometimes people ask why they are not hearing Melody Man, not knowing that music is at the radio station and the deejays ain’t playing it that much, so the people in your homeland don’t really know that you are out there.
“We just can’t focus on Jamaicans coming and then they become big stars. We have to create our own thing here too. So I think it is a good thing we got here going on so that we can be heard and people can see what is going on and enjoy it like any other overseas artiste’s [performance].”
Melody Man, in making an observation that people were not dancing, put it down to their not being familiar with the songs. He said playing the music on the radio would be a way of getting it into listeners’ “brains”.
“We have enough music that we can play it for an entire year without having to play over the same track,” he commented. “Barbados has enough music as far back as Mike Grosvenor and Jiggs Kirton.”