Local music industry lacking hitmakers, says Ruff Kutt's Nigel Staff
Nigel Staff (Photo: Shoottheshow)

Ruff Kutt Band leader Nigel Staff says the local musical fraternity is woefully lacking impactful songs.

He expressed the sentiment in a recent Onstage interview with Winford Williams. Name-dropping Koffee as the last local entertainer to have an international hit, the popular keyboardist said Jamaican artistes need to return to strong “song structuring”.

“We aren't making any songs. And whoever wah vex wid me, vex wid me. We nah make no songs,” he said.

“This is why we last big song a Koffee. And me know says Spice ago cuss me, Spice I love you, I love what you're doing, but it really is strange that VP spent so much money to get you on Jimmy Kimmell, Good Morning America, Jimmy Fallon and all these nice promotion things with two of the top acts out of Jamaica (Sean Paul and Shaggy) and you weren't able to break the… official Billboard charts.”

Staff, who recently returned to the entertainment scene following a near-death experience having suffered multiple strokes last year, went on to argue that the current formula being adopted by today's artistes is not working and encouraged young acts to put in serious work if they want international success.

Highlighting the work ethic of international stars such as Sean Paul and Shabba Ranks, the musician said lots need to be done if young artistes are to get to that level of success.

“For every Sean Paul hit you hear, Sean Paul voice 100 songs. Mi memba one time me and Sean a par and a bout two nights we nuh sleep and him a say him ago check Stephen McGregor and when mi a say me cant bleach no more, mi will link yuh when mi wake up. When mi wake up, di man dem write, voice and mix a song,” he shared. “This was a man that was bleaching for two days. Shabba Ranks voiced Ting-A-Ling 11 times. It is hard work and that's when you have the formula right.”

“The difference I see with all these people now that are the young trappers, mi nah no problem wid unnu but make the songs successful. Whatever it is (being produced now), it nuh meet the mark. I'm not hearing no songs,” he continued, indicating that nowadays artistes have become lyricists and not hitmakers.

“If we had hits out of trap dancehall right now, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I remember when we never had any faith in Bob Marley and he had all these songs and shut up everybody. I remember when they said Shabba Ranks was the devil reincarnate and he had hits and everybody shut up. They followed the formula and the formula is making songs.”

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