Hunt for new talent

Simone Morgan

Monday, June 17, 2013

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WITH over 40 years in the business as a musician and producer, Clive Hunt is still looking for fresh talent, especially in Jamaica.

Last week, during a break from recording sessions with singer Droop Lion and roots group The Gladiators, 61-year-old Hunt had a lot to say about contemporary Jamaican music.

He says finding the next big artiste in Jamaica takes some doing.

"Some of these entertainers don't know what they have. The white boys who are doing reggae are the ones proving to us that lots of money can be made from the music when they top the charts worldwide," he told the Jamaica Observer.

To reinforce his point, Hunt points to Moment Ideal, the album he produced for Martinique reggae artiste Yaniss Odua. It has done well in Europe, particularly Germany.

In recent years, he has also worked with artistes from France and Africa. He says their attitude is different than most Jamaican acts.

"These guys are serious about the music more than some of our musicians. Check the Billboard charts and one will see that artistes like Rebelution and Matisyahu are the ones staying on the charts for weeks and sometimes months," he said.

"I have nothing against dancehall music and some of the work they are doing, but some of the entertainers lack discipline. They turn up for interviews late, and some are far from informed and up-to-date about the business aspect of the industry," Hunt added.

Hunt has been around music for almost 50 years. At age 12, he started learning music while a ward at Stony Hill Juvenile School in St Andrew.

Five years later he joined the 1st Battalion Jamaica Regiment Band as a trumpeter. After leaving the army, he was recruited by Byron Lee to play in his famed Dragonaires band.

Hunt's reputation as a producer gradually grew. He worked on albums by The Abyssinians, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, Toots and The Maytals, Peter Tosh and Grace Jones.

Significantly, he has worked with several French and African artistes. Probably the best known of those collaborations have been with French singer Pierre Poljak.




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