Entertainment

Rebel makes rally cry

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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POPULAR reggae act Tony Rebel has made an impassioned plea for all concerned to play their part in restoring Jamaica's music to its pride of place on the international scene.

His comments came at the Jamaica Music Conference, which ran from Thursday of last week until Sunday, at various locations across the Corporate Area.

For Tony Rebel, it is an all-encompassing effort from all the stakeholders, including artistes, producers, selectors and radio disc jocks, that is required to move the music out of its current state.

“When you listen to the radio in Jamaica, is substandard music them playing everyday. So what the youths who are consuming this music going to think them need to do to get popular? Them going to follow all the garbage. And therefore, the garbage will be perpetuating forever if we don't change.

“We have a problem, but the problem is solvable. We have to first recognise that we have the thing... we have the ability to make great music, we have the ability to take on the world, we have the ability to teach the world. We have gone through so many negative cycles in our music. It's not like we're not producing good music still, but what is being highlighted is not what can take us to the next level,” he continued.

The singjay — who is known for hits such Fresh Vegetable, Sweet Jamaica, If Jah Is Standing By My Side, and Nazerite Vow — said Jamaica's music continues to inspire and motivate the world, others have sampled it and have been successful in taking it to the world, while that is not happening here at this time.

“I was listening to the Top 10 charts on Billboard and I hear this wonderful reggaeton song called Mi Gente. When I listen to the drumming, is reggae I hear. Every time I listen to those music that are playing everyday on radio all over the world you can identify with a piece from a song that was created right here in Jamaica. So what?... we are idiots? We have to get together. If it's conferences like these we have to come, we have to link up and make sure we have representatives that can take us there. We have the house — wisdom build the house and understanding establish it. We have to find a way to establish it,” said Tony Rebel.

The authorities also came in for strong words from Rebel.

“We need the government to know that the creative arts is contributing to the GDP of this country in a significant way. How come we don't even have a place to keep a wonderful stage show with 20,000 people on the inside if rain is even falling, yet this is the mecca of reggae music? Somebody is not looking,” he stressed.

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