Growth & Jobs | Phillip James helping to grow the music industry
Jamaica is known for its sun, sea, sand and its music. People all over the world know the words to some of the most popular reggae and dancehall songs, and have even adopted aspects of the country’s culture. But how many know the process that results in the rhymes and beats that are heard over the airwaves, through headphones and over the speakers at parties.
Phillip ‘Big Laugh’ James, owner of Big Laugh Music, is a young producer in the music business.
“I never had a musical background, but I’ve always loved music. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the music industry, but when I got the idea of what I wanted to do, I met Charly Black through an old friend, Troyton, and Charly Black kind of showed me the ropes,” James stated.
According to James, he became the road manager for Charly Black and produced songs for him under the Gesta Music Label.
“I have been in the business of music production since 2011, but I was under a different label at that time called Gesta Music, which was me and Dane Ray and ZJ Dymond,” he explained, “All of us decided to go our separate ways, though, and form different labels, but we are still good.”
It is on this basis that Big Laugh Music was created and officially started releasing music in 2015. James has worked with well-known artistes and other up-and-comers in the industry.
James said the quality of work that he produces has drawn others to Big Laugh Music.
“The more work I do, the more people approach me ... I try to hold up a certain standard, where I try to produce every project better than the one before. People try to convince me with money, but at the end of the day, even if they have their money and the song doesn’t sound good; I just tell them that they should work on their craft some more, because I have to hold up that standard,” he said.
James told The Gleaner that music production is hard work and can be a time-consuming task, depending on whether he is working on a single or a compilation.
“I have to do projects well in advance, so I have projects ready to drop for like next year January already,” James said. “A project can take as long as two years to be ready, and it can take like six months, depending on if you are dropping a single or a juggling, which is a compilation of several artistes on the same ‘riddim,’ and that can take a long time to prepare.”
He currently has a studio engineer in his employ who does studio sessions for those who want to record a song or make a ‘riddim’.