Emerging acts vent on challenges to 'buss'

Lack of airplay, not being able to afford promotional budgets, limited performance opportunities, and the inability to record for well-known producers are among the challenges emerging acts have cited as barriers to success down the years.

Music industry leaders and artiste managers, however, charge there no one mould to the elusive "buss" and artiste just have to work at it.

Portmore-based dancehall artiste Centimental shared his experience in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.

"The challenges I face are promotional prices are too high, especially when we doing it independently without a manager. If we are not trending on YouTube we hardly get interviews and attention from the blogs," said Centimental.

Trauma Boss.

He also spoke about the inability to garner significant radio support.

"It is very difficult to get your song on the radio. You're told to send it to the library, but you send it and it stays there until it maybe breaks [on] the Internet. If you don't have a good link to a disk jockey you might not ever be heard on the radio," he charged.

As it relates to performing on major events, the deejay said: "There are challenges getting on the right shows. Street dances are easier to get on [the line-up], but if you're not popular you can't get on any big shows unless you have the right connections -which is understandable, because promoters want to make back their money that they invest so they are gonna go for crowd-pullers but they could consider showcasing at least one or two up-and-coming talents."

He shared some recommendations.

"What could be implemented is more programmes to showcase young talents; something that's structured mainly for that. More road shows from corporate companies and radio stations, more record deals for talented artistes, and stop highlighting artistes who come with gimmicks over artistes that have real substance in their songs that will definitely have a longer life in the industry," said Centimental.

Shayy Soprano.

Singjay Shayy Soprano, too, believes too much attention is being given to artistes who lack substance.

"Back in the day the artistes were developed all-round, where they would sing, deejay, dance, and give a really good performance. Nowadays its all about the studio artistes who cannot perform. They have a social media presence, but in real life they're trash," she said.

For her, recording opportunities with established producers has been difficult.

"As long as you have money to produce Grammy-nominated sound, no problem. Other than that it's difficult."

XIP Boss.

As it relates to getting on stage shows, she said: "I have a great team that puts me in the right positions. If it's not my time yet, I work harder. That's why I've tomorrow."

Her latest single Best Life, was produced by Symphony B Records and Pandemic Records.

Deejay XIP Boss believes it's more about business than actual talent that exists within the industry.

"One of the issues facing up-and-coming acts is the fact that it is more 'business' and less about talent. Business requires investment, and not all up-and-coming acts can afford what it really costs," XIP Boss explained.


He has recorded for production entities including Pandemic Records, Konsequence Muzik, and Outta Nothing Productions.

Said XIP Boss: "I think that better structures are needed in the industry to create an environment that encourages good music production and talent exposure, and less focus on 'choppa' artistes. You get a better vibe streaming what you want to hear, as opposed to the bought-out music overrunning the airwaves. It is easier to produce music today, but much more difficult and expensive to get it out to the public."

Seaview Gardens-based deejay Iview has been knocking on the doors of stardom for some time now.

"One of the major issues that I face includes getting my songs mixed professionally. You can be talented, but don't have the right platform. So it's all about building that platform," said Iview.

He added, "I have a talent just like others out there, so it's just up to me to not give up. I just have to work hard because nothing in life comes easy."

Waterhouse-based dancehall artiste Trauma Boss, who has been pursuing a career in music for more than a decade, cites the lack of airplay as a hurdle in his career.

"The challenges I've faced personally is not getting the music played no matter how good the song is. Also, being on rhythm projects, your song would be the last to be promoted or released," said Trauma Boss.

He recommends that the media should provide more opportunities for emerging acts.

"[We need] more airplay opportunities to showcase new talent. Radio and television stations should have a young act segment on their popular shows highlighting these young acts," he reasoned.

His latest single DNA was produced by Tzee Entertainment.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?