Compete with the big star
Veteran producer, Gussie Clarke is urging entertainers who enter the various Jamaican talent competitions broadcast on free-to-air television to go out into the real world and try to rival the top artistes afterwards. "You no longer rising star, yu going to have to be a real star and prove it to the industry," he said.
With only a few former Digicel Rising Stars contestants, such as Chris Martin, Romain Virgo and Devin Di Dakta, going on to have fruitful careers in the entertainment industry, Clarke believes that some persons might be caught up in the fanfare. "It is a possibility that the hype of the competition and the media coverage might make them see themselves as bigger artistes than they truly can be," he told The Gleaner. But Clarke feels that the contestants should not be confused by the attention they may be getting each week ."Maybe some of them when dem inna di competition and win, them might feel like they are bigger stars than they really are," he explained.
After the talent show has ended, Clarke says, audiences will want to hear the performer's music rather than focus on some other aspect highlighted during the competition, such as image. "People will say yes she look good, but did we get to hear a great song? And did that give me, as a record producer, enough insight into their talent?" he said. With numerous winners of televised competitions eventually falling by the wayside, Clarke believes that the ones who flourish professionally are the cream of the crop.
Also, he feels the talent show organisers should focus more on talent than voting and how a certain performance goes. "A competition like those are about different elements - performance, your image, who can vote fi yu, all kind of matrix involved that going to make the real winner win. In the real world of music production you want somebody who can write great songs, you want somebody who have great or exceptional talent to work with, or otherwise it won't mek no sense," he said.
And to maximise the potential of the contestants, Clarke believes that more industry personnel could be involved in the talent shows and incentives spread across the board. "These talent shows, maybe they do, maybe they don't, a component of it should be that they should have a lot of industry people who have the ability to see an interest in some of these talents, whether you going to say somebody going to record you and the competition people would follow up and see if it can get played on the radio," Clarke said.