Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
A FORMER rising star in Jamaica's dancehall space says singjays and dancehall-hip-hop hybrid artistes may struggle to wow audiences in Europe.
Deejay Alozade, who last week returned from a promotional tour in sections of Europe, said there is a demand for Jamaican music in that part of the world that "cannot be filled".
He, however, said that, from his reading of the market there, music lovers desire either dancehall or reggae music for Jamaicans, nothing else.
"They are always asking for the authentic artiste and sound that really made dancehall and one drop," Alozade told The Gleaner on his way back from Europe.
"They are only into the authentic dancehall. The nowadays fused thing, they don't dig that. They are confused, they don't know what that is. They love Mavado, but if a deejay is trying to sing, it throws them off."
According to Alozade, the European audience is very keen on music. "Many of these people go to music school. They know keys, arrangements, everything, and will not accept any and anything."
Alozade said he is moved towards making music with a view to satisfying a craving European market. He admits that Jamaican music has not yet hit mainstream in many of the markets, but said the financial rewards are "enough to fuel the tour and to keep me moving."
He said he has been treating his audiences to songs such as No Pet Gal, Tell You Bout Garden, as well as a new ska song Wi Naah Lef Yah, and another called Gallis Forever.
In the meantime, the deejay scoffed at the suggestion that he is no longer a potent force in the Jamaican dancehall space, saying the manner in which the business takes place on the island now hardly puts food on the table.
"An artiste can never done, at the end of the day is where you get the call. No disrespect to Jamaican producers, but if a man call you, a beg him a beg you to pass through. It's only when an event is sponsored you get booked. Otherwise, they say dem have a t'ing, me nuh work wid t'ing, mi nuh work a D&G. At the end of the day, you have your bills to pay, your family to feed and fans to please," Alozade told The Gleaner.
Last week, Alexander Walford, the policy officer responsible for trade between the Caribbean and Europe at the European Commission, said there was rich potential in Europe for entertainers to make a living, but said the take-up of opportunities under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) had been disappointing.
"I am a big fan of the music. I am not so keen on some of the lyrics, but that seems to go with the territory. Jamaican music has a big influence in the UK and across Europe," Walford had said.
Recording artistes are among the 29 categories of professionals allowed to work in Europe under the EPA. The agreement allows the agreed categories to work for three months per year, providing they have contracts with European employers.
"As with everything, if you are going to do an exam, you have to study. Before they jump up in the studio or jump upon a stage, is to study. Watch back weh Stichie dem did do, Bunny Wailer and even Bob (Marley) who is the greatest and, watch what they did and try adopt some of their formula.
He also cautioned Jamaican artistes that in Europe, "Dem nuh cheer fi hype."