Inside you can find the latest reggae album, single, and riddim charts based on votes by radio DJs and music directors from around the world.
global reggae charts insight people who are influencers and can facilitate the exposure of unknown artists. For example, if David Rodigan or Rory Stone Love introduces a new artist, it will have a whole different impact than if it’s by a random unknown DJ… do you see what I mean? Consistency: it isn’t that hard to get a “hot song” nowadays, however, the challenge lies in consistency. For a young artist, it is very important to keep on coming with new material, new songs, new videos, new material for their fans. Because the same way you can buss and get a hype, you can also lose that hype… so the key word is consistency. I’m not saying to put out as many songs as possible since consistency is in the standard of your product, the quality of the mixing, the quality of the videos, and the PR campaigns behind the songs. If your standards are not consistent, you will not be able to grow as an artist. Motivation: this life isn’t for everyone - you cannot be in it for the money because there isn’t much in the reggae market so you lost already if that is your main goal (laughs). You got to be in it for the passion. However, you have to stay realistic and in order to maximize the potential of the artist‘s talent, you need to generate money to push harder and to grow, and unfortunately making and marketing music is not free (so it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation… you don’t want to be in the music for the money, but you need the money to push the music). In order to make it work, you have to work 24/7 with no days off, and that can often create pressure and tensions within the team. So, the secret is all about trying to keep a healthy balance and motivate each other to go harder and push higher, the aim is to do as best as you can and move forward: try, fail, learn from mistakes, try again, fail again, learn from the new mistakes, try again so forth until eventually you will succeed; it’s as simple as that - and try to stay positive while you are at it. FR: I totally agree with your points. Maybe we can get a little deeper in some of the aspects. Let’s imagine a young artist with no experience but a lot of talent, who has recorded a professional album and now wishes to conquer the world. They are willing to work hard, but still, there are too many things to try and invest time in. And if you say you have to work 24/7, I’m sure you are aware, that 24/7 is never enough time to do everything you want to do (laughs). Where would you recommend them to start? Should they try to expand their reach from their home base step by step, or should they try the whole world and see what happens? Should they start with pushing the record or should they start by playing live shows? GB: The easiest way to be taken seriously and to grow your career from the get-go is to be introduced by someone who is already established in the genre. So I guess the first thing you got to do is go out there and meet people. Your music won’t go anywhere by sitting in a room - get a core team of people together who are just as enthusiastic about your talent and your music as you are. I don’t think you can decide beforehand who or where people are going to like your music, so you have to find them wherever they are - they will be your core fan base. If you realize that it’s more local people who live your stuff and who relate to it, that’s where you got to focus - if you realize that you are mostly getting love from overseas, that is where you should put your focus. Basically, put your focus where your music can grow naturally. When you ask should you start pushing a record or doing live shows, again I would suggest to go with what the artist is more comfortable with - if they feel like they are more of a studio artist/vocalist, then focus on pushing the records, if they feel they are more of an entertainer - focus on the live shows… you also should be doing both at the same time as they go hand in hand (the records help you get more shows, the shows help promote the records). FR: You are talking about networks and I agree that it is a major task to establish a good network. Still, 9global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018 10
global reggae charts insight Hemp Higher productions Founded: 2010 (Merged with Rhythm and Flow in 2017) Location: Nyon / Switzerland & Barcelona / Spain Artist Management: Cali P, Randy Valentine Production Credits: Masicka, Popcaan, Jahmiel, Sizzla, T.O.K, Ward 21, Serani, Bugle, ... Artist Bookings: Stonebwoy, Cali P, Jahmiel, Masicka, Stylo G, Bugle, Marcia Griffiths, Millions Stylez, ... www.rhythmandflow.org www.hemphigher.com the internet and social media give you a lot of options to establish such a network on your own today. Are there any platforms you found especially helpful? GB: Real life I found was the best platform. Most of the links I have and the people who actually helped me are people I met and vibed with in real life. Social networks are great to get in touch and to contact people, but they don’t allow you to build real relationships with people - those you get by traveling and going on the road and meeting people in real life. Besides the digital networks, are there any persons or companies who have been the key for you to reach “the next step?” Every single person I have worked with has helped me along the way to grow and learn. I think new steps were reached by certain ideas we implemented or projects we released. Basically, you need to count on yourself to reach the next step, not on other people. FR: Your last point is motivation. Over the past years, I have seen many artists struggling with a kind of burnout. They are pushing day and night, often times all on their own with no team, and feeling that they are really getting nothing back for their work. Even if everyone else is under the impression that their career is just doing great, there is always the feeling of a discrepancy between the energy you put in and the energy you get out. Do you think there is a certain point in a career where this changes? GB: Definitely, if you manage to get through that initial “frustration” stage that every artist goes through at one point or another in their career, you will be able to appreciate what you have and built: a healthy career. The only artists who actually have careers live off longevity. I put the blame on other people, not on the artists themselves; it will be the artist’s entourage who will generally gas up the artist into believing that they deserve to be bigger than what they are, creating that frustration… instead of allowing artists to appreciate what they have… fans and an artist’s entourage will often make them focus on what they don’t have… that would mess up anyone’s mind and create a sense of frustration. FR: Most of the points made so far can be true for any genre. What do you see as the specific benefits and challenges for reggae artists? GB: I would say that in the digital age a lot of the challenges are the same globally. It’s generally very hard to get noticed, as so many new artists are arriving on the scene every day that people pay less and less attention and it’s harder to build a loyal following than 20 years ago. When it comes specifically to reggae, one of the good sides is that the music is global; the downside would be it’s very small “niches” of people globally, meaning that although reggae has influenced just about every other genre and continues to do so, it is still referred to in most places worldwide as “underground” music. I hope I will see that change one day… and feel that people like Damian Marley, Chronixx, and others are doing that, and helping the genre open itself to a broader audience. FR: Thank you so much for your time, and all the best for your future projects! 11 global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018