Sat | Nov 25, 2017

Don't dilute J'can music, urges DJ

Published:Thursday | August 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
Epik Jones

UK based recording artiste, Epik Jones is promoting a new record titled Dancehall Girl, which he hopes will tap into the international market, especially since Jamaican music has been experiencing a rebirth courtesy of Major Lazer, Justin Bieber, Drake, Rihanna among others.

Though the Jamaican sound has been doing favourably well in the US, music produced by local artistes selling at the same rate as foreign acts. However, Epik Jones is advising fellow music enthusiasts to research and find strategic ways of releasing music.

"Getting Jamaica an iTunes store would be a start. My research has shown me that it would take about US$25,000, plus some form of organisational structure. Jamaica is the mass producer, consumer of reggae music, yet where most of the fans are based, they are unable to purchase or support their music. There are alternatives ways of promoting, like streaming. Sales for everyone has fallen, but there are still potential buyers of music out there. Streaming sources like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer should not be ignored, and management teams should focus on strategically releasing music," he said.

Epik Jones also advises local acts to be consistent with their quality of production.

"We have to be consistent and create good quality music ... our music. We should not be trying to dilute our sound or product because reggae is the music. You have to take care of the roots for the branch to bring fruits. Foreigners are sampling our sound for a reason - because it is unique, creative and different. We don't have to change to make it commercially acceptable, just make quality," he said.

Though based in the UK, Epik Jones says he is focused on making reputable investments in Jamaica, and as such, he has created a sound system called Albion, which is based in St Thomas. He also uses Jamaican talents for various projects such as graphic designs and engineering.