ROOTS singer Junior Kelly is preparing for the Carib Reggae Fest in Toronto, Canada later this month. It is a warm-up of sorts for a two-month tour of Europe with Warrior King, scheduled to start in October.
"Thankfully, it has been a very busy year for me and I am still here fighting the musical struggle. The music business is not an avenue for me to enjoy myself and entertain only, but to educate people through my message," Kelly said during a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer.
He added that although most of his songs have conscious topics, he ensures his music remains marketable.
"My message will remain, but my melodies are always different and that's a key factor. This way the listeners will not get bored," he explained.
Kelly is one of the better touring acts in contemporary reggae. Even though he has not had a hit song in Jamaica for some time.
The 41 year-old Kelly made waves in 2002 with Love So Nice, his first hit. Other hits followed, like Black Am I and Take You There.
Kelly says that although some of the music being produced in Jamaica is not of international standard, he still has high hopes in reggae/dancehall.
"Reggae music will never die as Jamaicans are very creative. Dancehall music, however, is like pop music. One has to be constant to hold a top spot and what the music business is seeing is an abundance of empty creativity," he said.
He also voiced concern about the growing number of aspiring entertainers, saying no one seems interested in taking up any other section of the business.
"No one wants to be entertainment lawyers or songwriters, everyone just want to be a deejay," he said.