Wed | Sep 20, 2017

VP Records joins Apple as music curator - A greater push for local music expected

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Shaggy
Charly Black with his diamond certification.
Christopher Martin (right) welcomes Michelle Williams of VP Records.
Randy Chin
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In a bold step into the streaming world, veteran record label VP Records recently signed on as one of Apple Music's curators of music and will now possess the ability to promote its own specially curated playlists through Apple.

The record label, which has dedicated decades to the promotion of reggae, dancehall, and soca music abroad, is now expected to create specific playlists geared at serving the interests of music lovers not only in the Caribbean, but globally. The label will also use the platform to introduce music lovers to some new tracks while creating a more intimate connection through its carefully crafted playlists.

The Apple Music playlists, personally curated by VP Records A&Rs, will include some of the most current dancehall, soca, and reggae music, as well as rare reggae tracks that are a part of the label's catalogue.

The partnership between VP Records and Apple Music, is part of a new movement by the label to tap into the streaming wave that has taken over the music industry internationally. Jamaica and other Caribbean islands have been lagging behind in terms of sales since the vinyl industry dip gave way to digital music.

"We are really thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Apple to be a voice for reggae and Caribbean music on Apple Music. We're actively working with curators, which will include everybody from guest artistes and DJs to our very own veteran A&Rs, as well as influencers in the industry. The idea is simply to offer a selection of playlists that will exhibit the diversity and history that exists in the genre. We also hope to provide more exposure to all the artistes who are working so hard to expand the music's reach worldwide," Randy Chin, VP Records, told The Sunday Gleaner.

At present, only the likes of Shaggy, Bob Marley, Chris Martin, and Charly Black have managed to stand out for reggae music in the world of streaming.

Charly Black's Billboard-charting single, Gyal You A Party Animal, recently smashed through the 100

million plays mark on Spotify. Prior to this, only Bob Marley's Three Little Birds with 133 million, and Shaggy's pop effort, It Wasn't Me with 130 million, had crossed the 100 million mark on the streaming platform.

 

New frontier

 

Aaron Talbert, vice-president of sales and marketing for VP Records, also weighed in on

the importance of streaming to the modern module of selling and sharing music as he sees creating or joining streaming subscription services as the new wave taking the music forward.

"Streaming is the new frontier for the music business. This technology has opened up a large number of markets fo the distribution of music content that were limited to the physical product or digital delivery via downloads. As serious music fans discover the option for the full range of high quality, new catalogues and exclusive content through Apple or other services, there will be a natural attraction to subscription services to hear music. Meanwhile, free streaming outlets like YouTube are already so popular, the model for streaming music (video) has already saturated the reggae market," he said.

To get a taste of the VP Records and Apple Music partnership, music lovers are encouraged to log on to, applemusic.com/vprecords.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com