Reggae to Reggae aims to create publicity platform. Free show streamed from Comfitanya Lounge
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Since the last Thursday in May this year, Car Lane and Ian Gibson of Tent City have been hosting Reggae to Reggae weekly at Comfitanya Lounge at 189 Mountain View Avenue, St Andrew. So every Thursday at the corner of Crieffe Road and the upper section of Mountain View Avenue, the entertainment spot becomes a place where anyone who wishes to enter can to experience the event free.
There is another potential audience which can also attend - in a sense - free, as the concert is streamed live.
After six months into the series, Lane said among those who have performed are History Man, Malaki, King I, Asfa, Hefla Nyah, Giddeon, Ras Element, Koromanti, Tran-Quility and Sage. Most are not well-known names - which is a large part of the series' objective. "It was started primarily to bring back real, authentic, live music to the city with a view to creating a platform to showcase new and current talents. That applies not only to the venue, but also online," Lane said.
One of the important elements to that authenticity is that the Legend Band plays for the artistes performing at each staging of Reggae To Reggae.
"Each show is streamed with the hope of promoting these artistes, performing in real time to potential managers and producers," Lane said. It goes further, as the performers can then use footage of their performance from the show as part of their electronic press kit (EPK), complete with a video interview."
If Lane has his way, Reggae to Reggae will not only be a foundation on which artistes can build careers, but also the bedrock of an even more consistent and widespread outlet. "All that is being channelled into creating our own Internet radio and TV platform," he said. The ultimate aim is "to create a new, affordable platform for artistes who wish to bypass the payola. We are of the view that it still exists," Lane said.
Comfitanya has a capacity of about 250 persons and Lane said the best turnout Reggae to Reggae has had so far is about 150. However, this is with the publicity being done solely through social media and word of mouth, and he is upbeat about a larger audience after wider promotion. He emphasises the reach of Reggae to Reggae's streaming element, which Lane said has even prompted a response from abroad.
"Managers and producers overseas say they want to showcase their artistes. They also want to help get the quality of the product up," he said.
And, as that happens, Lane has hopes for more regular Reggae to Reggae broadcasts, even increasing to every night.