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‘Most Hon Brogad’ says music deserves our support

Published:Thursday | December 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Andrew Holness
Popcaan performs with his protégé Quada.
Sean Paul performs at Ghetto Splash at the Waterhouse Mini Stadium on Tuesday.

With Ghetto Splash celebrating three decades in the entertainment industry, Tuesday night’s staging was always bound to be special. Not only did the anniversary show bring out some of Jamaica’s finest in the music industry, but it also brought out scores of politicians, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Peter Phillips. The pair’s presence seemed to have brought a different energy to the event as almost every artiste had a message for the Government.

Indicating that music is the backbone of the Jamaican society, early acts thanked the politicians for their presence, but used the platform to solicit more support for the industry. The latter is a cry Holness admits he has heard and is willing to make adjustments to answer.

In an interview with The Gleaner at the event, the ‘Most Honourable Brogad’ indicated that with the impact Jamaica’s music has had on the world, it deserves support. Recalling his recent trips to Japan and China, where reggae and dancehall took centre stage, Holness says the music is too great an asset to not be valued. “We have to value our music and our art forms. My presence here is to say to the people in the industry that the officials value you, the culture and the art form,” he said.

Speaking of value, the prime minister said he is aware that a temporary adjustment to the noise abatement act may not be a strong enough indicator of just how much the Government values the music industry, but says all problems will be ironed out in due season. “The issues of the timing with the night noise is a real issue and, as a country, I believe we have the social capital to solve it and together we’ll solve those problems.”

Opposition senator Dr Andre Haugton shared similar sentiments as he spoke glowingly of the Ghetto Splash platform. Like Holness, he believes the industry deserves support and that influencers should be doing everything in their power to develop the industry.

“This event – Ghetto Splash – as you can see there are a lot of youths being given exposure here tonight. Jamaica now more than ever needs to support platforms like these that help to push our culture forward and expose it more to the world,” he said.

Belief in young talent

“I believe in young talent and, based on what the show has stood for over the last 30 years, Ghetto Splash does too. Any event that invests in the youth in this way is worth continuing, and so I wish Ghetto Splash all the best for the future.”

Organisers promised patrons a show unmatched by any other they’ve hosted in the history of the event. And with fiery performances from the likes of Popcaan, Jahvillani, Munga Honorable, Capleton, I-Octane, D’Angel and internationally acclaimed acts, Sean Paul and Shaggy, it seems that promise was kept. So captivating were the performances that not even the threat of rain could dampen the mood inside the Waterhouse Mini Stadium. One got a clear picture of what the show meant to the people, when they stood in the rain, eyes affixed to the stage, unfazed by a possible downpour.