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Artistes free to associate, but caution advised

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 12:00 AMDavina Henry ï Staff Reporter
Omrie 'Blueblood' Samuels
Tara Playfair-Scott
Rosa 'Drenz' Dorcia
Romario R. Ricketts
Shelly-Ann Curran

Members of the public and entertainment industry were asked "Do you think artistes should align themselves with political parties?"


Omrie 'Blueblood' Samuels:


Ultimately, we live in a politically charged and divisive country. As such, they may hurt the financial support they get from fans if their art is politically aligned. They should stick to politically neutral lyrics to safeguard their livelihood. (OMRIE ...)


Romario R. Ricketts:


Artistes are first citizens. They have a right, like every other citizen, to align themselves with whichever political party they choose. I encourage this, as we could very well see a changing face in our society and politics where people are free to publicly declare their affiliations without fear of ridicule. Artistes are normally game changers. (ROMARIO ...)


Rosa 'Drenz' Dorcia:


I do not see a problem with it. An artiste is a citizen of Jamaica and so has a right to choose a side. To ask this question is to ask "do you think business owners should align themselves with political parties?" What is the difference between an artiste and a business owner? It is time Jamaica step out of the dark era, to make your support public should never be an issue. People should be free to align themselves with whomever they wish. They should feel free to have an opinion. (ROSA ...)


Tara Playfair Scott:


market and product development expert: I think we are a culture rooted in traditions and tribalism ... Our choice in a political party is one of those things. Our political leaders know this and they also know that music is one of the few things that can bring a crowd together, create a false sense of unity and elicit emotions.

It would be hard to tell an artiste that he/she should not align themselves to a party when that is what they grew up seeing, knowing and hearing in their households and communities. What I would say is if you choose to align yourself, do so based on the policies, actions and the achievements of the party vs the colour of their shirt. There is nothing wrong with choosing and supporting a party as an artiste; just choose based on what they stand for.

Tons of US musicians, actors and stars make it clear who they are supporting, whether it be Democrats or Republicans ... They host events, perform, make campaign appearances and so on, so it's normal. But their choices are because of the policies of the candidate, not because of the colour shirt that candidate wears. (APER ...)


Shelly-Ann Curran, artiste manager:


I think artistes should be able to express themselves and their choice of party without fear of intimidation and any act of sabotage towards their career. (SPF ...)


Raymond 'Shadow' Small, publicist:


Entertainers represent the voice of the masses. However, in a tribalistic society such as Jamaica where people take elections and voting so serious to the point where it becomes life-threatening, it is not a wise decision to do so (openly support a party).