Walking for a 'buss'
Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Artiste self-promotion strategy has a future
Up-and-coming reggae artiste Cue P is celebrating after selling more than the 2,000 self-produced albums without any media promotion or financial backing.
According to the artiste, his self-motivation keeps him pushing for musical success.
The artiste, who operates his own record label, Medina Records, says he has no studio equipment; however, he recorded his singles through collaborations with other young music practitioners.
"I don't own my own studio. I want to achieve that in the future, but until then I will continue to merge with my musical friends to make good music," Cue P said.
The album is called Street Pains The True Story and according to the singer, the 13-track album tells the story of his struggles as an artiste and a youth striving for success.
"This album is my life, that is why I think people take on to it so much. I wrote about real-life experiences, things that I see day-to-day in the streets during my hustling, and basically speaking my mind," he said.
The artiste's favourite song on the album is called Motivation and is an example of the tales told on Street Pains.
"Right ya now, mi feel betrayed people close to mi nah feel mi trade, very negative suh most people stay suh mi nuh listen to what must people say - hypocrites still a smile inna people face, but still mi keep the pace because mi don't waah guh back guh kotch a people place - all my life from mi know myself nuhbody couldn't demotivate me," he sings.
Cue P disclosed that reaching the 2,000 mark was not an easy task, citing that he spent sleepless nights away from his home in Porus, Manchester, hustling his CDs in Kingston and at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
"Nuff time mi leave my house with just clothing and my CDs and head straight to Kingston to sell them. Don't know where I'm gonna stay for the night, but I know that the effort is worth it and my hard work will pay off. The students at UWI have supported my CDs, and people in the streets. Some people have even bought more than one," Cue P said.
Also a past student of the UWI, Cue P holds a bachelors degree in geography, however, his future rests in the arms of the entertainment industry.
"The music is like a steeple chase but that is where my heart and passion is, so I can't see myself doing anything apart from music. I completed my university degree for mommy, so now I am free to do what I love for myself," he said.
The artiste sells one CD for as much as $300 and can be seen walking around the UWI campus during weekdays carrying his flyers and wearing his 'Support Cue P Music'-branded T-shirts.
"Wi start wi owna label, Medina Records mi seh. If dem nuh waah buss mi then mi a buss miself," Cue P said.
The artiste is producing a second staging of his annual event Splash, which will be hosted in Porus in October. He is also adding finishing touches to his second album, also called Splash, which he says is a party album.
"Youths be your first motivator. They don't recommend self-praise but at the end of the day, the same people who don't want you to praise yourself will try to tear you down, so you have to stand up for yourself," he said.
Two thousand copies might not seem like much to some people, however, for an unsigned artiste it is.
Vybz Kartel's album, Pon Di Gaza, in 2009 only sold eight copies in its first week of release according to dancehall.mobi.com. The album was released independently under Adidjahiem Records/NotNice Records.