Last Sunday when dancehall artiste Agent Sasco held his first Instagram show, dubbed ‘Sascoustic LIVE’, he knew he had broken new ground as an artiste. Still, having built a rock-solid career on being the consummate professional, the entertainer treated the virtual event like any other physical live event, turning in a spectacular performance to thousands across the globe. Liking the response and the joy the show brought to his ever-growing fan base, the deejay says there will be more to come.
“With online streaming of live shows being almost a staple, pre-COVID, it’s not a totally novel concept performing for an audience beyond the confines of the venue. Still, it was my first time doing a live performance for an online-only audience. I actually had to ask someone how to ‘go live’,” he laughed. “It was very interesting. Without a physical audience, surprisingly it didn’t feel strange. I think we will see more (Sascoustics LIVE) in the future. The preparation was pretty much the same for me. Whatever the event is, my set is designed to fit, and the songs are presented within context of event. For example, songs like Stronger, Health and Wealth and Grateful were done early in the set because of their relevance to situation we are now facing, and to set the tone for the show.”
The deejay admitted, however, that the execution takes much more concentration.
“For a traditional live show, the crowd sometimes will sing along, or are invited to sing along, and become a part of the performance. That’s not an option with a virtual audience, and so it takes a different kind of engagement. I find that it takes more concentration. At one point, someone was whispering in the control room of the studio and it was very distracting, as opposed to a live show where so much is going on and it doesn’t affect me at all,” he said.
Having secured a partnership with corporate giants Red Stripe, Sasco said sponsorship could be a great way for artistes to monetise their live shows, the same way it would be for stage shows.
“Similarly, people paying for streaming live shows is already a ‘thing’, so that’s another avenue. For me, Red Stripe has consistently been very active on the music and entertainment scene in Jamaica, and we have worked on various projects and events over the years and have a great relationship,” he said. “Collaborating on #SascousticLive was another instalment. I am thinking of doing a more complete presentation of Sascoustic LIVE, with the full band, supporting vocals, stage lighting and the works. Maybe we can work together on that as well. Either way, it was great working with them on this one.”