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Less hype, more music - Fans urged to get in tune with Grammy process

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
(From left) Gramps, Lukes and Peetah of Morgan Heritage pose after winning the Grammy Award for the Best Reggae Album.
Colin Hines
Jah Cure

Popular radio DJ Collin Hines has rubbished claims by some persons on social media that reggae artiste Jah Cure was snubbed by the Grammys.

Jah Cure, who sold the most records as a local reggae act last year, was ousted by reggae band Morgan Heritage for the coveted award; however, Hines, who spoke with The Sunday Gleaner at a Grammy party hosted by Remy Martin recently, said Morgan Heritage deserved the win.

"I see it as a Morgan Heritage win and not a win over Jah Cure. They deserved it and their album was of a high quality. They had a couple of advantages going for them. They had a record maybe five years ago that should have been up for a nomination that probably should have won that year, and they have laid a quality catalogue of work over the years coming up to this point," he said.

Arguing that Morgan Heritage's Grammy win was overdue, Hines encouraged fans of music to pay less attention to social media hype and focus more on the music.

"I think they were owed a Grammy. There was a year when they should have been nominated, but weren't. People get carried away with social media in terms of mainstream appeal. Jah Cure's album and Morgan Heritage were the most popular, but I don't think Heritage's win is a slight against anybody because the album holds merit," he said.

As it relates to Jah Cure's chart-topping success on Billboard, which surpassed Morgan Heritage's effort, Hines says a Grammy Award is not based on sales, but internal votes.

"Industry professionals or industry insiders decide on this, and maybe when they listened, they decided that Morgan Heritage deserved the award based on merit. I am not certain which other factors came into play as it relates to them making this decision. I also don't think there should be an argument whether or not somebody else should win because that would take away from all the work that Morgan Heritage had put into their project," he said.

While highlighting that the Grammys have made questionable choices in previous stagings, the DJ said he would have been showing his support if Jah Cure had won the prestigious award, in the same manner in which he supports Morgan Heritage.

He believes that Jamaicans want to be more involved in the Grammy selection process, then they should aspire to be in the correct circles.

"The people from this side of the fence need to be involved in the process. Find a way to become a part of the decision-making ... . Reggae music is not just 14 parishes; it's bigger than us now, and so if a bunch of people decided that this was the album, then so be it. It is really a matter of subjectivity ... . Unless we aspire to be a part of the process, then this will be the situation," he said.

He, however, believes that artistes like Shaggy, Tanya Stephens and Beres Hammond were sidelined by the Grammys during times when they had produced some of their best work.