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Artistes weigh in on campaign songs

Published:Friday | November 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMDavina Henry
Tarrus Riley


With the country in election mode, party meetings, conferences and gatherings have been at the forefront of many conversations. The telescopic focus has shifted to not only who can better lead the country, but to which party can better rally supporters.

The task of choosing which artistes and songs to play to effectively get supporters amped up, has long been a culture of elections. While politicians may see it only as a source of entertainment in an effort to get votes, some artistes are actually welcoming the attention received from having their songs chosen.

According to I-Octane, he has no issue with any party using his songs during the campaign trail.

"Dem fi use my song dem. It will remind them who they are supposed to be. Especially if they use Suffer Too Long, this will remind them of what they aren't doing for the people and it will also remind the people that we have to be constantly repeating ourselves saying we a suffer too long. A lot of persons are die-hearted fans of things that aren't necessarily beneficial to them," he told The Sunday Gleaner.

Similarly, Tommy Lee Sparta believes that once released, he has no problems with the song being used to garner votes.

"My song dem a fi everybody. Mi nuh have no problem wid politicians using my song. Everything is a form of politics enuh, even the music industry. Mi nuh have no problem, a song it name, it make fi everybody," he said.

No stranger to speaking her mind, Etana had this to say: "Once you put a song out there in the open, they can legally use a few seconds of a song and you don't have to get paid for it, but, once they use the whole song, an artiste should be compensated for them using the music. Also, an artiste can always say they don't want the political parties to use their music."

Quickly distancing himself from any party, British-Jamaican artiste Don-Andre said that he believes political parties were installed to divide a nation, but he would still give them the go-ahead to use his songs.

For Tarrus Riley, though he is not political, he has no problem with politicians using his songs, as long as they live up to the integrity of the song.

"Leaders in general have always used music to connect with people. They know the power of music, it's a gateway to reaching people. If people aren't using your music, then you should really check the music that you're doing. I don't have a great issue with it, but what I don't want is for them to fight out the music and then turn around and use the same music for election. Politicians should assist the music industry also," he said.

However, dancehall artiste Khago believes politicians are quick to use artistes for their own gain, but will be the same ones disrespecting artistes and their songs after election.

"Artistes nuh have no pass not even fi bring in a good car for production use, so I think politicians must sing them own song," he told The Sunday Gleaner.