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Jah Speed giving youth a chance

Friday, October 20, 2017

PRODUCER Alton “Jah Speed” Reid is calling on the music industry to open doors for young talents.

The producer — who recently released a compilation rhythm called Black Suit, which features only up-and-coming talent — told Jamaica Observer the genre is suffocating due to a reliance on over-used acts.

“I decided to put young acts on the Black Suit rhythm because, at the end of the day, nobody not doing that because they don't want a next youth to rise. Jamaica has a serious problem where old people always want to stay in power, while the youth don't have opportunities and are hooked on energy drinks, weed and rum. With a rhythm like this, people will have no choice than to give the youth a listening ear, because sometimes if you put 10 artistes on a rhythm and one of them is a big name artiste, yu find that selectors skip the nine young artistes and play only the one big name,” he said.

The Spanish Town-based producer, who focuses on both dancehall and reggae, also drew comparison with the US music industry. He named several young acts who broke in 2017, while highlighting that Jamaica is yet to break one since the start of the year.

“Look in America! You have artiste like Triple X, Ugly God, Lil Yatchy, 21 Savage, Famous Dex, Tay K, Cardi B, Kalid, Sabalii, and so much more who get dem break this year. Meanwhile Jamaica, which release new projects everyday and have so much party and radio stations, don't break one artiste since 2017. If you ask who buss of lately, they will tell you Alkaline who buss three years now,” he said.

The Black Suit rhythm is led by a single called Nuff Youth Pass And Gone by Diamond Eye. Other singles include Do and Say (Amaziyah the Great), Prayer (Don Frisco), Pretender (Jay Krome), and Rightful Place (Mark Ras).

“Things must improve because we cannot last as a music industry like this. If some of the artiste dem never make a mockery of themselves and resort to shock value, dem wouldn't even buss in the first place and that is a shame. So something must be done about wi music. I've just started promoting my projects, and as the time goes by I'll ensure that they are promoted across all platforms 'cause the feedback thus far is positive and this is a new wave,” he said.

The compilation is available on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Deezer, Google Play Store, among others.