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Artistes Charged, Promoters Overcharged?

Both play the blame game, claiming to be victims

Published:Thursday | December 3, 2015 | 3:50 PMShereita Grizzle
Supreme Promotions CEO Isaiah Laing
MC Nuffy

Following a recent story published in THE STAR regarding artistes overcharging promoters for appearances on stage shows, several up-and-coming entertainers have been reaching out to The Sunday Gleaner, claiming that the pricing issue goes both ways.

The article published in THE STAR last Wednesday has generated some amount of unease among entertainers, who believe the story was one-sided. Since the article was published, The Sunday Gleaner has received a number of calls from entertainers who say that the story painted artistes in a bad light.

While agreeing that artistes who overcharge promoters for appearances on shows are hurting the music industry, the entertainers revealed that they, too, have been charged to appear on big-name shows.

The Sunday Gleaner recently spoke with two up-and-coming entertainers who revealed that they have first-hand experience as they have been charged at different points in their careers to make it on to the line-up at stage shows.


Afraid of being blacklisted by local promoters if their names were to get out there, the entertainers requested anonymity. Despite requesting to remain unknown, the entertainers said they felt the need to speak out because they, too, have been hurt by pricing issues.

"I don't know why the media took this up and made it a big deal. We have been suffering from the same problem for years and nobody thought of our story," one of the entertainers said. "As artistes struggling to make it in the industry, we are vulnerable, so when a promoter from a big show says, 'Pay us X or Y', we do it because we want to get the buss."

The entertainer was recently billed to perform at an upcoming stage show and told The Sunday Gleaner they had to pay the promoters a small fee to guarantee an appearance.

"... As a small artiste, being on [ a big] stage is a huge deal, so mi pay dem di likkle money weh dem ask for fi make sure mi touch the stage."

Popular promoter Supreme Promotions CEO Isaiah Laing said he had no knowledge of such transactions in the past or present.

"I don't know about that," he said. " ... Neither myself nor any member of my team knows anything about [such practices]."

Laing said he could not understand why people would want to spread such lies, especially knowing the contribution big shows have made to the music industry

over the years.


It was recently revealed that Bounty Killer told Sting promoters that he wanted

$3 million to show up at the December 26 show, and just last month, there were rumours circulating that dancehall artiste Alkaline was offered $2.5 million to make his appearance on the Sting stage, but turned it down because he wanted more.

Last week, controversial emcee/artiste manager MC Nuffy put artistes on blast for overcharging Supreme Promotions to perform at Sting. According to Nuffy, the artistes who are charging between $2 million and $3 million have shown no respect for the more-than-30-year-old show and the contribution it has made to the development of the music industry.

"I would say this must be the brand of Jamaica's dancehall music. Sting is the gateway for over 90 per cent of the stars today in dancehall, so to the dancehall artistes in Jamaica, stop overcharge the Jamaican brand, stop disrespect what we have," he wrote in a post to his social-media pages.