‘Christmas a come and we waan di money flow’ chants Busy Signal on his hot single at number 5 in our Hot Hits Chart on Rodigan.com.
But with free downloads and file sharing and the dreaded mix tape (one of the main culprits for the demise of sales) artists are finding it increasingly difficult to earn a living. They are now almost totally dependent on income from touring but touring doesn’t come without popularity and awareness and when you have to pay some of the dee jays to play your music on the radio, it becomes even more intimidating for new song-writers and performers trying to build a new fan base.
I am at a loss as to why such blatant corruption exists when musicians and producers complain about it all the time in Jamaica. Donovan Germaine of Penthouse Productions and Gussie Clarke of Anchor studios and numerous other industry leaders have spoken out against it repeatedly, yet the system still prevails. New young producers in Jamaica tell me that their songs don’t get played on the radio because they cannot afford to pay the dee jays to have them played. So when you do hear some truly awful songs getting repeated airplay, don’t be surprised because those spins have been paid for. Quality …what’s that, just show me the dollars.
The so called ‘mix tape’ is a curse on our industry and I am dumbfounded at the audacity of individuals and sound systems who hi-jack other peoples songs and productions and slap them on to ‘their’ mix-tapes and then sell them in shrink-wrapped cds on line and in record stores. They don’t have any rights to the songs they have hi-jacked and the artists and production houses earn zilch from such blatant piracy and then these dudes have the nerve to ‘present’ their mix tapes to you as though they have created something amazing; err…they haven’t, they have just boot-legged someone else’s hard work and creativity.
That probably answers the question I am asked continually “Rodigan why don’t you do a mix tape”. The only mix tapes that have been put out under my name have been boot-legs created by unscrupulous individuals looking to earn a fast buck from pirating.
Back again in before Christmas…happy trails and joyful jams.