‘Young artistes aren’t loyal’ - Friendships determine level of support given to each other

August 16, 2019
Richard ‘Breadback’ Bramwell
Richard ‘Breadback’ Bramwell
Junior ‘Heavy D’ Fraser
Junior ‘Heavy D’ Fraser

The 6ixx no-show at the recent Summa Sizzle and the verbal exchanges that have taken place between one member of the music group and Beenie Man, chief promoter of the annual concert, have re-ignited discussions about the power one's verbal promise holds in today's music business.

Previously, artistes used to call on their colleagues to turn in performances at their events, no strings attached. But it seems practices that used to govern the industry in the 80s and 90s, no longer have a place in music.

In a video posted on Instagram a few days ago, veteran reggae artiste Bushman lashed out at today's generation of artistes for not showing support for their colleagues.

He lamented that back in the day, artistes used to understand that supporting each other was an unwritten law in music.

"Weh dem yute yah really a deal wid, my Lord? A nuh so we live as artiste, my Lord. Yuh just keep yuh show and we come support dat and we keep our show and yuh come support dat, a so we know the thing run," he said. "Some man feel like dem nah go keep a thing or dem nah go reach one part inna di business weh dem a go wah keep supmn? Be wise wid weh unu a do cuz unnu likkle new youths fi understand unnu self inna dis innu."

But, Junior 'Heavy D' Fraser, event promoter and manager for the 6ixes, agreed that artistes should be able to have a mutual understanding as far as support goes.

But he explained that there are different levels of friendship within the industry.

"Support boils down to who and you a bredren inna the business and most a dem young yute yah nah no bredren like dat. Di music cut inna half; yuh have the 90s and early 2000s artistes who used to do things a certain way and the new set a artiste," he said. "Dem yute yah buss inna the Internet, social media era. Dem record songs inna dem home studio, dem nuh go a studio go wrap wid other artistes like dat. Dem hardly do radio promotion, so dem nuh really have friends inna di business like dat. When yah approach dem, yuh affi understand dat is business and not a friendship thing."

A member of Downsound Entertainment, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that while 'word of mouth' is still very powerful, the power comes from the relationships established among artistes.

"Artistes affi be friends before dem do yuh a favour and a so it a go from back in the day. A friendship run di thing," said the individual. "If me and yuh a fren, me a come show yuh a strength. But if we nuh good like dat, me nah come a ur place. And with every artiste competing to be the 'don' inna the business nowadays, yuh hardly find artistes being friends with other artistes."

But while acknowledging that relationships and friendships in the music will differ, popular producer Breadback expressed that artistes like Beenie Man are veterans and should be respected by all, friendship aside.

"Music business change innu. With the involvement a nuff a dem young artiste yah, respect and principle nuh really work again. A man like all Beenie Man weh pave the way fi all artistes, so di man a keep a show, show him respect," he said. "But dem young artiste yah get weh wid nuff still because dem nuh go chu the trials weh majority a artiste go chu like bleach a studio gate and all dem thing deh. Dem nah no love and respect fi elders."

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