Age and the music biz

Simone Morgan

Friday, June 29, 2012    

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ROOTS singer Everton Blender was nearly 40 years old when he released his breakthrough song, Lift up Your Head in 1994.

Produced by Richard Bell for Startrail Records, Lift up Your Head became a monster hit and launched the career of a performer few producers would take a chance on because of his age.

Robert Livingston, best known as manager and producer of Grammy-winner Shaggy, says age is a factor depending on the market being targeted by artistes and their management.

He added that disc jockeys play a vital role.

"Take Beres Hammond for example, he is always consistent, so no one cares about his age. The disc jockeys sometimes refuse to play an 'older' artiste especially if that person is yet to make a hit single," Livingston said.

Hammond had some success with soul reggae songs like One Step Ahead and Got to Get Away for producer Willie Lindo in the late 1970s, but it was not until the 1990s when he approached his 40s that his career took off with a string of dancehall hits.

Livingston says the 19-23 'bracket' is an ideal age to break for an artiste, but this again depends on the audience they appeal to.

"Nineteen or 20 is really a good age. Reason being it sometimes take up to two or three years to get an artiste out in the spotlight so by the time he is 23 he would have made a name for himself," he explained. "If I am seeking an act for a mature audience or touring purposes I would sign an artiste up to age 40."



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