Entertainment

Bid to save reggae

Howard Campbell

Monday, September 03, 2012    

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FRUSTRATED with the inadequate exposure traditional reggae gets on Jamaican airwaves, a new group plans to launch an aggressive campaign to achieve a level playing field.

The group, Protest Now and Save Reggae, gets its campaign off the ground this month with Rescue Reggae From Freefall, a song recently recorded by several of its members.

Canute 'Livebroadkast' Parkes is a member of Protest Now and Save Reggae and lead singer on Rescue Reggae From Freefall. Last week, he spoke to the Jamaica Observer about the group's objectives.

"This song will test radio fair play for quality songs. We intend to bring the Broadcast Commission (of Jamaica) up to speed on whether songs like these are been given a fair shot," said Parkes.

The Broadcast Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) is the government agency sanctioned to monitor radio and television standards in Jamaica. Since 2009 when it ordered stations to ban songs and videos with lewd content, the organisation has increased its vigilance.

But Parkes says getting a level playing field for non-dancehall artistes is not the sole purpose of Protest Now and Save Reggae.

"Our objective is to make people aware of the downward slide of reggae and the need for it to be rescued," he stated.

Parkes added that Protest Now and Save Reggae hopes to work with the BCJ and peruse radio playlists to ensure conventional sounds gets as much airtime as dancehall sounds which has dominated Jamaican radio for nearly 20 years.

The uptempo Rescue Reggae From Freefall was recorded totally live, and was written by Parkes, a message performer who has been recording for over a decade. He is backed by keyboardist Paul 'Wrong Move' Crossdale, bassist Owen Reynolds, drummer Oneil Walters, guitarist Courtland White, and vocalist Fiona.

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