THERE are not many female reggae producers in Jamaica so although Sonia Pottinger, who operated the High Note and Gay Feet labels, broke the proverbial glass ceiling over 50 years ago, few women followed her path into the music business.
Bethynia "Betty Luv" Palmer, however, got into music production four years ago and has since released a number of songs for her Betty Luv Entertainment company out of New York City. Her latest releases are My Lady by Barry Back and Coming Back For More by Dan IJ.
Betty Luv's productions are a mix of inspirational and secular songs. No matter the flavour, the objective is similar.
"To make sure all [up-and-coming] artistes get recognised and to keep the foundation of reggae music I know definitely I need to hear vocals with positive messages, along with love, due to my name and my personality," she said.
Minister Denatra, a gospel artiste from St Elizabeth, is the first act the Westmoreland-born Betty Luv produced. She had been his manager for one year when he suggested her role be expanded to producer.
While she had been recording gospel songs for some time and had been a disc jockey on Linkage Radio and other independent radio stations in The Bronx, her knowledge of music production was limited. However, Betty Luv produced Use Me, Minister Denatra's 2019 EP.
Since that reluctant debut she has produced songs by Anthony Cruz, Natty King, Grip Wrench, and Chris Thomas.
The Love Floo Riddim, a nine-song compilation album released last November, has been her most ambitious project to date.
Before migrating to the United States in the early 1990s Betty Luv lived in the Maxfield Avenue area of Kingston. There she discovered the songs of Marcia Griffiths, Leroy Smart, and Beres Hammond.
Since 2006, she has worked as a disc jockey on Internet radio stations Sweetriddim.com and Graffitiemsi.com which admittedly draws artistes to her.
"I would say the artistes more likely select me. By teasing it [songs] on air, persons heard and asked about me," she said.
Money Over Love and Dumpling Plane are other current songs produced by Betty Luv Entertainment.
— Howard Campbell