Prepa­ra­tions for Ja mu­sic con­fer­ence move into high gear

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Dave Rod­ney Con­trib­u­tor di­ade­mata@aol.com

T IS no se­cret any­more. Reg­gae has fi­nally be­gun to per­me­ate the United States main­stream mar­ket in a big way. The fo­cus of Snow’s pub­lic­ity cam­paign will be to es­tab­lish Snow solely on the ba­sis of his mu­sic, with as lit­tle knowl­edge of his race as pos­si­ble. There­fore, the ad­vance mu­sic mail­ing will not go out with a photo. It is ap­par­ent that we would not be able to send the bio ei­ther, since it men­tions the fact that he is white.”

The fore­go­ing is an in­sight­ful quote from a hugely suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing plan for Cana­dian chart top­per Snow from East West Records/At­lantic over two decades ago at a crit­i­cal point for the mu­sic, when reg­gae mar­ket­ing was ex­per­i­men­tal, and when Ja­maica’s trade­mark brand was go­ing gold and plat­inum and top­ping charts all over the world. Over 20 years later, in a rampedup dig­i­tal age, many of the mar­ket­ing tools and pro­mo­tional plat­forms have changed, but the age-old cun­ning, smarts, and strate­gic ma­noeu­vres are still as crit­i­cally im­por­tant now as they were back then for suc­cess in the reg­gae mu­sic in­dus­try. And many of reg­gae’s ghosts from the past still linger and con­tinue to present for­mi­da­ble chal­lenges for sea­soned vet­er­ans as well as for a new gen­er­a­tion of in­dus­try play­ers.

Pay­ola, ef­fec­tive artist man­age­ment, the dif­fi­cul­ties of turn­ing a profit from tour­ing, se­cur­ing air­play, mon­etis­ing reg­gae, un­der­stand­ing copy­right, li­cens­ing and pub­lish­ing, en­ter­tain­ment for ex­port, and con­fronting ra­pa­cious pi­rates in the in­dus­try are among the is­sues that will be dis­cussed at the fourth an­nual Ja­maica Mu­sic Con­fer­ence sched­uled for Kingston from Novem­ber 10 to 13 this year. The ob­jec­tive of the Ja­maica Mu­sic Con­fer­ence, is to cre­ate a plat­form for mu­sic busi­ness ed­u­ca­tion, for net­work­ing, and to cre­ate a pipe­line for the stars of to­mor­row. The four-day par­ley will bring to­gether pro­fes­sion­als from var­i­ous ar­eas of en­ter­tain­ment who will share their ex­per­tise with hun­dreds of lo­cal and vis­it­ing at­ten­dees. This year’s con­fer­ence theme is ‘Word, Sound and Power: Con­tracts, Sound Sys­tems and the Po­ten­tial of Ja­maica’s Mu­sic In­dus­try’. Parts of the con­fer­ence will take place at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Kingston, in­clud­ing the Alpha School for Boys, Ja­maica Col­lege, JAMPRO Head­quar­ters, Nanook, and the Edna Man­ley Col­lege of the Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts.

WEL­COME RE­CEP­TION

BESS-FM will host the wel­come re­cep­tion at Nanook on Novem­ber 10. Among the con­fer­ence high­lights are Fri­day’s panel dis­cus­sion on Global Soul, the Ir­ish and Chin Sound Sys­tem Sum­mit, and a sound sys­tem and dub plate ap­pre­ci­a­tion dance. Satur­day is a full day of pan­els led by NBC’s The Voice win­ner Tes­sanne Chin; en­ter­tain­ment at­tor­ney Lloyd Stan­bury; record­ing artiste Busy Sig­nal; and Dr Son­jah Ni­aah, with the In­sti­tute of Car­ib­bean Stud­ies. Other par­tic­i­pants in­clude pro­mo­tions guru Karen Ma­son (who was part of the team that broke reg­gae rap­per Snow in the US mar­ket) and prom­i­nent in­dus­try lu­mi­nar­ies Mikey Ben­nett, Damion Craw­ford, Joan We­b­ley, and Allen John­ston. An artiste show­case will fol­low on Satur­day night. “It is our hope that the 2016 Ja­maica Mu­sic Con­fer­ence will be that space where peo­ple from around the globe who wish to do busi­ness with Ja­maica’s mu­sic pro­fes­sion­als can at­tend and have their needs met,” Kwasi Bonsu, CEO and founder of the Ja­maica Mu­sic Con­fer­ence, said. The con­fer­ence closes on Sun­day, Novem­ber 13, at Fort Clarence Beach with an all-day cel­e­bra­tion party and artiste open mic, where artistes will have the op­por­tu­nity to show­case their tal­ent for in­ter­na­tional book­ing agents and dig­i­tal dis­tri­bu­tion plat­forms. For more, go to www.ja­maica­mu­s­ic­confrence.com.

Kwasi Bonsu

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