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Distributor blamed for dancehall's death

Published:Monday | March 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Johnny Wonder

Hapilos Entertainment Group has responded to a controversial press release which has set tongues wagging in the entertainment industry.

The press release was sent to various media houses via SHUZZR PR from an anonymous writer and blames the poor standard of dancehall music being distributed worldwide solely on Hapilos Music Group, which is regarded as one of the top digital distributors in the Caribbean.

According to the release, dancehall and reggae music are being misrepresented internationally. The release claims that music distributors like Johnny Wonder of Hapilos Entertainment have consistently distributed music from artistes and producers who have not been produced properly and suggests that the poorly produced tracks are suffocating the industry because they do not meet international standards.

"Some say dancehall is dead! Some say reggae is dead! But is it really? Surf the Net or any social media platforms that promote dancehall and reggae. I guarantee that you will find quality singles and compilations from each genre, but only after a deep search," the release said.

The release alleges that a search of the Internet will prove that the majority of the poorly produced music that has been promoted as that which Jamaica has to offer has been distributed by Haplios.

"Now we should ask ourselves who is responsible for this travesty that is now our music industry. Do your research and you will end up with the name Johnny Wonder of 21st Hapilos nine out of 10 times," the release said.

The release also said various artistes had signed the letter in support of its claims, however, no artiste was singled out.

"The following article was sent to us with the signature(s) of several dancehall and reggae practitioners who have sought our services to help promote their stance or views. Thus, these views or stance taken may not reflect the views of SHUZZR PR," the release read.


In an equally long release, Hapilos sought to add some clarity to the situation. They claim the argument from the controversial press release is baseless and is instead an attempt to attack Johnny Wonder's character.

"The writer who proclaims herself to be an artiste who received bad "customer service" is a coward who did not reveal herself and shouldn't strive to be anything but anonymous. We stand 100 per cent behind our executive VP Johnny Wonder and we have every confidence in him," Hapilos' release read.

According to Hapilos, it has distributed projects that are not up to first-class standards in an attempt to expose new producers and artistes to the music industry. The organisation went as far as naming producers who they claimed benefit from this kind of marketing.

"The hate article began with the writer lamenting the 'excess of music that lacks creativity and quality' being put out into the market. These so-called 'lack of creativity' tracks come from young producers and upcoming artistes which 21st Hapilos Digital Distribution have chosen, as a business, not to ignore and to give a platform for their music. Seanizzle, Markus Myrie and Rvssian are just some of our clients who were once young producers who came to us to distribute their music. We gave them the platform to showcase their music and today they are some of our most successful producers," Hapilos' release read.

The distribution company says the only thing it is guilty of, is being tardy and disclosed that a proper customer service system is being put in place so as to assist clients and the musical queries better.

The Gleaner contacted Johnny Wonder to ascertain if the Hapilos response was authentic and he confirmed its legitimacy.

"We have our suspicions but we do not know for sure who sent it as the sender opted to remain anonymous. Based on reactions so far, it has done more good than bad as a lot of our strengths were inadvertently highlighted in the hate mail," Johnny Wonder said.