Producers cry ...'Too much foreign content on local radio'-Says this undermines local talent

Record producer Patrick 'Roach' Samuels and Suncity Radio's DJ Lux among others, are appealing to local radio station operators and DJs to reduce the amount of foreign music played on local airwaves and increase local content.

According to the two industry players, Jamaica is the only country in the Caribbean that pays so much attention to foreign music, in the process suffocating its own product.

"It's not a good sign in the industry and we are sending a different message to the Caribbean. Nowhere else in the Caribbean does hip hop stand out more than dancehall and reggae music. It's like we are trying to compete with America and the DJs don't need to go that route because hip hop was made from Jamaican music," Roach said.


Roach also expressed the view that overexposing foreign content on local radio has helped to reduce the glorification of local talent, hence they wield less power to attract patrons to stage shows.

"Yu see because the kids are not hearing much from the local talents, dem more drawn to the foreigners. Children live what they learn and if we continue on the same path children won't even know who is an I-Wayne," he said.

Roach says hip hop may have a bigger market in the US, and that is only because the genre is supported by its media outlets religiously. He also highlighted that outside of the US, reggae/dancehall supersedes hip hop in popularity.

"Reggae/dancehall music is a product that people want all over the world and if the Jamaican music factory is not playing the music, we will damage the product from inside the factory. Too much hype nuh good and di only thing rappers a sing about are bling and money. When mi guh Europe mi nuh hear nuh rap. A just straight reggae, no Jay-Z. Dem people deh nuh have nothing on reggae outside of the US market. Yu ever hear a rap artiste buss outside of America? But yu hear bout reggae artiste wey buss all over the world," he said.

The producer believes every DJ should see playing reggae music as a social responsibility and forget about the hype.

"Reggae music should be played on every radio station and in every dance. Mi tired fi guh party and hear one hour of rap then one hour of dancehall and no reggae music, it's a shame man. Rap is a masked product of Jamaican music so some selectors must get some vision fi di music. Mi wah hear some I-Wayne and some Capleton, plus some young artiste wey a come up to. Let's take a stance in 2013 and hopefully by 2014 we will see the improvements," he said.

Suncity Radio's DJ Lux also commented on the issue, saying foreign music should be played, but not so much. He also lashed out against the broadcasting commission for allowing beeped hip hop music to play on local airwaves, unlike dancehall music.

"I personally don't have a problem with foreign music being aired. But I do have a problem with the amount being played. A lot of radio DJs overshadow reggae music. Now, everyone knows that reggae music plays a very vital role in the Jamaican society. When you feed the people too much of this foreign music, they will automatically gravitate to what they hear. In a nutshell, they will adopt foreign ways via the overwhelming content of foreign music. For example, even our events are now called 'parties', instead of 'dance'," he said.

saturating the market

The STAR contacted a programmes manager from a popular radio station, which is accused of saturating the market with foreign market. However, the manager says Jamaican producers need to go back to the drawing board.

"I don't agree that local radio stations are playing too much foreign music. Producers must just go back to the days when they produced good music and perhaps an increase will happen," the manager said.

Veteran record producer Bobby Digital on the other hand, refuted the manager's claim. Digital says good music is always being produced in Jamaica, however, radio stations and personalities seeking the hype, are not giving the songs a fair chance for exposure.

"A lot of good songs are being made in Jamaica. Most of these radio station people feel like they are Americans and embrace foreign culture. But with dem radio people ya it's like a food shop thing, a jus disposable music dem a play," he said.  

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