Richie Innocent calls for unity
MUSIC with a message is what Richard Robinson, aka Richie Innocent, is all about. Togetherness is the name of his game.
"I really want to see a level of unity among artistes where our veterans work alongside young talents to maintain the standards," he said recently.
He is critical of the many negatives from mainly dancehall acts which make media headlines. He blames this on "the hustling mentality" that is prevalent in the local music business.
"Anyone just get up and say 'I'm gonna do a song to make some money' but it's not for the betterment of the music itself," he said.
Innocent keeps it positive and cultural on his own songs which include What Happen This Morning, Devastated, and Things A Gwaan.
The Jamaica Observer caught him hanging out at the Outta Town studio in St Elizabeth where he was recording songs with singer/producer Singing Vernon.
"There are a lot of untapped talent in the parish. I would really love to see them get the support to break out," he said.
Richie Innocent says he started out on the talent circuit performing at producer Courtney Cole's Roof International Club in Ocho Rios.
Born in Kingston, he moved to St Elizabeth in his teens and attended St Elizabeth Technical High School where he developed a love for the arts. He entered the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission competition where he won a gold medal for speech in the 2000 St Elizabeth parish final.
He won a bronze medal in 2003 for dub poetry.