Confab hailed as success

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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Improved participation by members of the artiste community is one of the successes being claimed by the organisers of the Jamaica Music Conference, which was held across the Corporate Area last weekend.

Joan Webley, one of the principals behind the six-year-old confab, said based on this year's theme Constructive Conversations, a lot was learned from the panels and presentations dotted across the four-day event.

“The participation of the dancehall community was huge this year. This ranged from the fact that Team Dancehall, led by Vershon, won the football competition, to the fact that an artiste like I-Octane could just fit in without being booked on one of the panel discussions on Getting Discovered. This participation is what we have always wanted. This year we really went all out to get members of fraternity.... This is really an important part of the music landscape here in Jamaica. We are also seeing a growth in the number of overseas visitors coming in for the conference. There is a growing contingent out of Canada. This year we had representatives from Chile and, of course, there is always a strong showing out of Europe attending the conference,” said Webley.

She also singled out the performances and contributions of you acts such as Lila Ike and Eva Flow, whom she said put in great performances during the showcase segment of the conference as well as female deejay Tifa, who was part of the panel on Dancehall Music.

Webley was also pleased with the conversations had on various aspects of the music industry, including publicity, understanding the radio landscape, visas and touring, and the monetisation of the industry.

Looking to future stagings of the Jamaica Music Conference, Webley is looking to even greater support from local quarters.

“The sponsors have expressed their pleasure with what we are doing, we are seeing a grown in the foreigners but we still want more local players to come out. The overseas contingents are coming and are so pleased with what were are offering. One international participant remaked that this is like a university course. It's a shame that our Jamaican players are not using the opportunity to engage and learn from this experience. We saw a growth in out local numbers this year, and we just hope that with time the word will get out and there will be even more participation,” she said.

“We are also getting a lot of calls from the inustry in Montego Bay. There is something happening for our music in the second city and we realise that segment of the market is being underserved. So we look forward to doing something in Montego Bay.”

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