Don’t be boxed In – Dancehall Entertainers Encouraged To Target International Market Despite Talks Of ‘Selling Out’

Image result for shenseeaArguments of dancehall artistes ‘watering down’ the genre and ‘selling out’ the culture to achieve international success have again taken centre stage following the release of Shenseea’s collaboration with international rapper Tyga.

The entertainer has come under heavy fire from some dancehall fans who believe the song, Blessed, missed the mark because she strayed from her dancehall roots. The comments got so intense that Shenseea was forced to respond to a few. She explained that with her sights set on the international market, she has to dabble in different genres and try news things.

In the past, Spice also had to defend her decision to switch things up. In an interview with THE STAR earlier this year, she explained that she altered her style on different tracks because she wants to reach a wider audience.

“I know it may sound funny, but I have to change certain flow and words if I want them (international audience) to understand. When I freestyle fast and aggressively on a dancehall record, they may like the beat, but they don’t understand what I am saying. When you listen to Shaggy and Sean Paul, you will realise that they have slowed down the genre and style a little bit so that the audience can understand a little better and clearer. So I believe I would have to edit up a little bit so they can understand better,” she said.

But with the space still open for an artiste from Jamaica to have a massive global impact, today’s recording artistes are being encouraged to drown out the noise and focus on their endgame.

Artiste manager Shelly-Ann Curran said that entertainers should not limit themselves.

“I don’t want people to box Jamaicans in. The biggest artistes in the world right now are Caribbean based. Rihanna is from Barbados, Nicki Minaj is from Trinidad, so why does anybody believe that we cannot have a big top international artiste coming from Jamaica?,” she said.

Wider audience

“We saw them do this with Sean Paul. Up to this day, he has not got the kudos he deserves from his own people with the records that he’s broken and the barriers that he’s overcome. Our level as an industry will remain the same if we are not able to think outside the box. We can’t keep making diss tracks. Doing records for a wider audience has to be better than who will win a clash. Do we want people who are taking over the world or do we want people who are taking over the dancehall crown?”

Image result for shenseeaCurran added that most Jamaicans are quick to bash something that is different until they see that it is working.

“People can’t see people’s vision until it comes to fruition. So when some of the artistes (e.g. Shenseea) start picking up Grammys in the categories of rap and hip-hop and are now competing with the international acts, that’s when they will be accepted. People are proud when you reach to a level where they cannot dispute it. What you’re doing is new to them right now, but make BET, MTV or VH1 take it up and have it on rotation and you’re walking red carpets with top hip-hop artistes, everybody’s vision is going to change,” she said.

“My advice to Shenseea and the others is to cut and clear, and keep focused on their vision. Only you as the artiste know your destination.”

Source: Don’t be boxed in – Dancehall entertainers encouraged to target international market despite talks of ‘selling out’ | Entertainment | Jamaica Star

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