Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
With the rise of several new roots reggae bands as well as the exposure of a new crop of reggae artistes, the world renowned genre appears to be fighting to regain its rightful place in local dancehall and local radio stations.
The rise of new acts like Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, Jah 9, Nature, and Droop Lion is an indication that the island still possesses the capacity to produce world-class reggae artistes.
However, aside from breaking new talent, what will be done to ensure that the genre experiences positive growth in 2013?
Reggae industry players have varied visions.
Brendon Sharpe, manager of Zinc Fence Band, wants to see more professionalism.
"We want to see the music become more professional, from the production to the artiste management. The Jamaican music industry just needs more professionalism," he said.
Chronixx, who also falls under Sharpe's management, shared a similar sentiment.
"Along with the steps I have taken, I just want the artistes to unite and reclaim the integrity of our music. The music is not easy to get commercial backing but we can aim to make it more professional and reduce back-door dealing. It's a shame that the more professional reggae artistes are not from Jamaica. Kabaka Pyramid, Jah 9, Protoje ... we are taking steps to professionalise the thing, but we hope to see others being more professional in 2013," Chronixx said.
Richie Spice hopes 2013 will see reggae music earning for itself wider international appeal.
"My vision is to see reggae music on a higher dimension and the whole world chanting reggae music. Reggae music is a family genre and the voice of the truth. We need to get it out on a wider scale so that the world can get to hear it. The more mainstream we get, the greater the development of the reggae fraternity will be," Richie Spice said.
Herbie Miller, former manager of Peter Tosh and curator of the Jamaica Music Museum at the Institute of Jamaica, revealed that his vision is to see artistes staying out of trouble.
"I want to see the artistes exhibit a better attitude and avoid trouble that can be avoided on a personal level. On the creative level, I want them to be more innovative and creative," he said.
Miller also wants to see diversity.
"I want musicians to be more diverse than just for the ethnic market, be more like people like Burning Spear who are appealing to the broadest market. Producers might have to look into things that they are producing in order to appeal to a wider market. I want to see broader topics like what was done by Third World and the Marleys. There is so much to sing about, like global warming, the world's financial problems, the abuse of women and so much more. We can still be sexual in our music but but not downrightly lewd and x-rated. I want to see conscious music that is reflecting the real issues," said Miller.
State minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment Ministry, Damion Crawford, told The Gleaner he wants to see the music industry handled like a business.
"We want to see it run more like a business, so that it can be more substantial and people can generate more income from it," he said.
The minister is also gearing up to reveal his plans for the entertainment industry in the weeks to come. Issues such as the noise abatement act are hot on his agenda.