Make good use of this time — Mikey Bennett

Make good use of this time — Mikey Bennett

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Music industry insider Mickey Bennett is encouraging creatives to make the best use of this period of inactivity due to the restrictions as a result of the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, the popular songwriter, producer, lecturer and one-time performer implored his fellow members of the entertainment industry to forget about going into the studio and recording music at this time, but instead focus on the things that are truly important and will be ultimately beneficial to their career at the end of this unprecedented ordeal caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

Bennett noted that he totally understands the mindset of a number of creatives whose immediate concern is how are they going to survive the next month given the downturn in the industry. However, he notes that there is no means to monetise any song that is recorded at this time. He, therefore called on the players in the industry to become realistic.

“The industry has been suffering a serious illness for the past couple of years. No more than 10 of our artistes are really making money. We live in a dubplate economy where people make quick money but that is not viable over the long haul. Going into 2020 there was a serious lack of economic growth in the industry. It was just a few people working. Luckily, they had the ability to help others such as singers and musicians. Then there is the cost of pretending to be successful. That 'fake it till you make it' syndrome continues to get us nowhere.”

Bennett said given all these factors this period of lockdown has to be wisely used for introspection so that once the coronavirus is behind us, the creative industry here in Jamaica can hit the ground running.

“My advice to people is… forget about the music for a second. Focus on your family. Make sure you are staying in and helping to lessen the spread of this thing. A lot of people are not taking it serious because they are not being personally affected. But just look what is happening in other parts of the world. That could easily be us if each of us doesn't playing our role.”

“After that you can take a real look at your talent. Personally, I am using the opportunity to take up my guitar… I am practicing a few hours a day. I tell my students at UTech [University of Technology] that as a songwriter their duty is to record for historical purposes. The global lockdown is history in the making, we have so much to tell the next generation. Creativity will come back. This situation has the capacity to break persons emotionally. However, if we all begin to think like sensible adults, we can get through and reap the benefits, “ Bennett noted.

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