WANTED: more record companies

By Simone Morgan Observer staff reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 25, 2013

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MUSIC producer Paul 'Jah Screw' Lowe says reggae is crying out for more record companies that are committed to promoting the music properly.

"Jamaica needs more record companies as there is only VP Records who I believe is contributing but are not doing enough to promote reggae music," said Love.

He spoke with the Jamaica Observer after being honoured at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Awards at Emancipation Park, St Andrew, on Saturday .

Love noted that unlike the 1970s to 1990s when there were many independent record companies in Europe, Japan and North America pushing reggae, the decline in labels has hurt.

"Back in the days there was Greensleeves (British record company) and we could just call upon them once we spot a good talent. This is not necessarily the case today," he said.

Love has worked with top reggae acts such as Barrington Levy, Admiral Tibet and Chaka Demus and Pliers. He believes the best of reggae is yet to come.

"We used to produce excellent material and I have

seen the best but now the quality is being watered down, so now my aim is to see if I can help to contribute even better music than those of yesteryear," he said.

Radio personality Barrington 'Barry G' Gordon, was also honoured Saturday. While Love is wary about the drop in record companies, Gordon is worried about media.

"I accept this award with mixed feelings as I am very concerned about what is happening in the media now. Over the years the media has broadened but standards have fallen," he said.

The JaRIA Awards are a significant feature of Reggae Month. Twenty-one awards were handed out but several of the recipients were absent.

The no-shows were Chronixx, Jimmy Cliff, Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley, Beres Hammond, Aston 'Family Man' Barrett and Cegrica 'Sojie' Hamilton.

After collecting his Mentorship Award, Frankie Campbell of Fab Five fame encouraged established musicians to stand as mentors for upcoming musicians.

"Back in the days we had no one to look up to; no one told us that 40 years into the future we could make money from the music business. No one taught us about publishing and copyright acts," he said. "Some of these musicians have the thinking that the artistes of today should endure what they went through in the past but it shouldn't be like this."

Among those who turned out to collect awards at the poorly attended but entertaining ceremony, were The Mighty Diamonds, producer Bunny Lee, Denver Silvera and members of the Metro Media sound system.

Singer Cynthia Schloss and producer Joe Gibbs were honoured posthumously for their contributions to the reggae industry.

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