Made in Britain ...Ignored in Jamaica

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

Sunday, October 26, 2014

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THERE has been a big presence in recent times of British-Jamaican artistes on pop charts in the United Kingdom. However, they have failed to duplicate that success in Jamaica.


Some of these acts include Stylo G, Wretch 32, Melissa Steel and Krishane Levy.


Stylo G, who won the MOBO Award for Best Reggae Artiste in London last week, has scored hits in the UK with Soundbwoy, Badd and Move Back.


Originally from Spanish Town, Stylo G is yet to make inroads in the land of his birth.


Producer Aldin 'Smood Face' Taylor says for British-Jamaican acts to get recognition in Jamaica, there must be serious promotion of their music.


"I think that if the artistes spend some time in Jamaica and promote themselves, they can become famous in Jamaica. All it needs is the right push. It all boils down to the lack of promotion," Taylor told the Jamaica Observer.


Taylor has produced hits in the UK by Gappy Ranks (Swag Tun Up), Stylo G (Winter Swag), Gyptian (Number One), Alkaline (Mek the Money), Kalado (Living the Life) and Spice (Let out the Donkey). He is originally from Duhaney Park in Kingston but moved to the UK in 2002.
Productions on his GRNON label are yet to receive any airplay in Jamaica. He cites his refusal to engage in payola for this.


"I have sent my productions to (Jamaican) DJs and they haven't been playing them. The underground DJs think you have money just because you are from England," he said.


R&B singer Melissa Steel is enjoying mainstream attention with Kisses for Breakfast which features dancehall artiste Popcaan. Her father is Jamaican and mother British.
Steel recently teamed up with Krishane Levy, son of reggae veteran Barrington Levy for the track Drunk and Incapable, which entered the British charts at number 27 last week. Neither song has got airplay locally.


Jermaine Scott Sinclair, better known as Wretch 32, is of Jamaican parentage. The rapper, who was recently in Jamaica, has to date released three albums. His hits in the UK include Traktor, Unorthodox and Don't Go (featuring Josh Kumra).


London-based deejay David 'Dox' Fairweather, formerly of the dancehall group LOC, agrees with Taylor that for British-Jamaicans to breakthrough in the land of dancehall, they must be visible in a very competitive market.


"I think for a Jamaican artiste living abroad doing reggae or dancehall music, whilst achieving success in the market or country that you're in, acclaim in Jamaica is paramount as you want that feeling of accomplishment, to know you're embraced by your homeland," he explained. "It is a concern."


Fairweather, along with fellow Jamaicans Lenky and Baby Chris, scored big as LOC with the single Ring Ding Ding which topped British reggae charts and got ample airtime on BBC 1Xtra and other mainstream outlets. The song gained traction in Jamaica but not the group which broke up three years ago.


    


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