Mon | May 25, 2020

Dubhub: ‘the new convenience’ - Agent Sasco, IWaata say platform could revolutionise industry

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 12:14 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

DUBPLATES ARE the known secret weapons of sound systems across the world, especially as it relates to clash competitions, but it can be challenging to get the real high-power, authentic materials to ‘kill a sound’.

Selectors rely on customised versions of songs as dubplates, but over the years, there has been an increase in the number of fraudulent recordings. Individuals who want to cash in on the benefits of sound clashes sell ‘spliced dubplates’, which are modifications of an original recording using a computer or artiste impersonator. According to Dave Lindsey, co-founder of Dubhub, it is the greatest disregard for the work that goes into music production.

“Spliced dubplates, and the sale of such, is not good for the industry; crafty splicers are making money from work that is not their own,” Lindsey told The Gleaner.

It is dishonest schemes like dubplate splicing that inspired Lindsey to create the Dubhub platform, which he described as “the new convenience” because it not only deals with the sales of dubplates, but acts as a financial institution.

“Dubhub has been in inception over two years – from conceptualising the website and mobile application to the verification process with Mastercard, which is part of our payment process. It would appear COVID-19 presented the opportunity to launch it now, as crazy as that may sound,” he said.

“And it’s not just dubplates. Once signed with and working with us for six months [you can] apply for a loan – Dubhub cash – it is like an advance of cash, which goes directly to a Mastercard we provide.”

Convenience factor

Through the platform, artistes with access to sound recording tools can work to produce dubplates and submit to the platform for sale, and purchasers can request a project from a selected artiste, pay for it, and have it within a convenient time.

At present, there are over 100 multi-genre recording artistes interested in the offerings, Lindsey said, “and we want it to be known, during this time of social distancing, that they don’t necessarily need to lock themselves away from the world; work can go on as normal in terms of making an income from their music”.

He added: “It limits engagement, speaking to people directly who want to bawl down the price, and it limits scamming.”

Reggae and dancehall entertainers like Agent Sasco, Althea Hewitt, Jah Cure and IWaata are signed up with Dubhub.

“About a year and a half ago, I got the call about the idea being pursued and I was asked the question, as an artiste in the business of dubplates, if I would see any value in a platform like that,” Agent Sasco shared.

The Banks of the Hope entertainer said that producing dubplates is one of the supplemental aspects of the music business – for some artistes, it is a significant portion of income, and the marketplace for transactional services is constantly evolving.

“Looking at other industries, how they evolved; for example, a video club to rent movies, now everybody is ‘Netflix-ing’ and chilling, so platforms like Dubhub come along and add to the revolutionisation of the landscape; and we have haven’t seen anything like this yet,” he told The Gleaner.

“This is not just a marketplace for artistes and sound operators, but for graphic artists or other individuals in the creative space who have something to sell. I am very excited to see where it will go, and it is interesting that is going to be launched in a time when people can’t go about their regular way of doing things.

I hope the guys are able to manage the operational aspect of it, and if there are any kinks, work them out,” he continued.

Dancehall deejay IWaata said he is anticipating the official launch of Dubhub even more now as the outbreak of COVID-19 is slowing down the on-the-road promotion of music.

“Dubplates for Cut Off Jeans, Sterling, Yahh, call it most, if not all, of my tracks dem will be available on Dubhub. Things haven’t fired off as yet, but I am seeing the potential in earning an income from it.

Me nuh get my card yet, but even right now, once it is able to start, with all that’s happening in the world, we will see,” IWaata said.

“I definitely recommend other recording artistes to link into selling dubs this way, because it seems like it is safer and there are benefits.”

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com