Guide us, don’t criticise us! - Young professionals crave direction, not backlash
“The younger generation needs guidance.”
This is a sentiment expressed by veteran entertainers over and over. Whenever the conversation of the ‘breakdown’ in the music industry takes centre stage, fingers are pointed at today’s generation of key players. Their main blunder not following in the footsteps of their predecessors. But one millennial has lashed back, saying that young professionals would love the guidance of their musical ‘fathers’ but do not get the attention they desire. Instead of getting direction, he says, young people are chastised for the way they choose to manoeuvre the industry.
Twenty-five-year-old producer Gahlxi was speaking at a recent Entertainment Forum at The Gleaner’s North Street office, where he revealed that a lot of young professionals like himself would love to be moulded by those before them but often opt to do things their own way as the attitude of veterans is usually a turn-off.
“I’ve been around a lot of elders in my field of music, and me never get no love, no form of guidance. Dem more like criticise instead of guide and give you input. If me go round dem elders here weh me look up to, weh me born come a hear, and woulda love get dem input on weh me a do, mi hear I am ‘destroying music’ and ‘this is foolishness’ and ‘it nuh make no sense’. Dat nuh even put me on a path to even care wah dem wah say,” he said.
Gahlxi continued, “I would call myself a hybrid producer. I use a lot of stuff from back then, and I listen and learn from what dem did a do, but me still implement some a wah a take place now. Instead of saying, why yuh nuh use drum sounds like these?’ or, ‘Try it like this’, dem criticise. And me know how fi separate the business and nuh make it personal, but dem attitude a go just mek me do my own thing.”
But DJ Squeeze, having listened to the young producer, said that Gahlxi’s attitude was “typical of millennials”. He believes that instead of the ‘musical baton’ being properly handed over to the youth, it haphazardly fell into their hands. He explained that this happened as a result of technological advancement, pointing out that generation was forced to carry on the race while their elders were busy figuring out how to operate in a technology-driven industry.
“Here we had producers who were making millions of dollars a year, and then all of a sudden, they didn’t know how they were going to handle the situation of downloads so they could take care of their families. What happened is because of what they (the veterans) were going through with the technology changes,” he said. “During that period of trying to sort themselves out, the youths came up. There is a space and a gap in the whole ecology of our music, and the only way we can fix this is by listening to the youths intently. That is how we lessen the gap and get the communication lines going again.”
He scoffed at the idea that veterans were inaccessible, stating that they can be reached if youths are interested in getting in touch.