Speaking with The Gleaner in a recent interview, the established producer said that in the current dancehall landscape, artistes have a slight edge over producers in terms of who holds the power. He says the latter is as a direct result of producers ‘running behind’ established acts instead of doing what’s necessary to build aspiring artistes.
“Inna Jamaica, how it is that the artiste dem are more known? Dem (producers) need artiste, artiste make dem. An artiste know say if you nuh voice him, 20 more producer out there that will, so him nuh need to pay you nuh mind, especially if him hot. Artiste never make me, me make artiste, and a so it used to go back in the day,” he said.
“Dem man yah can just get any riddim because even if who give him nuh have no name, the artiste depend on his name to bring it. It’s not like back inna di days when you know say a man want a one song, him affi go link Dave Kelly or Steelie and Cleevie or him affi go link Jammys.”
NotNice, whose Kyng Midas album recently reached in the top 10 on the Billboard Reggae Chart, says some producers lack vision.
“When me have a riddim, me nah look fi who hot right now, me a look who woulda fit the riddim; dem style, dem flow, because a so yuh build artiste,” he said.
“If me build a riddim tomorrow and me decide say a Mr Lexx fit da riddim yah, a him me a voice, whether him hot or not. Me nah try beat down a man or stop him food, because everybody affi live, but the ‘main’ artistes yah now a dem really a depict the pace inna music. Dem can tell a producer say, ‘yow a dis or dat me wah do’, and dem nah go say no, because dem need da artiste deh.”
The producer went on to say that egos also play a huge role in the power struggle going on between artistes and producers. He believes the latter is one of the main reasons most of the music coming out of Jamaica today sounds the same.
“Nuff a dem producers here give into what the artiste wants a lot of the time because of their name. If a certain artiste say dem like a particular riddim, yah go continue sending it to him, and das why yuh have everything sounding the same in today’s music,” he said.
“In the past, sometimes even songwriting was not the artiste job. More while, a man used to go inna a studio and a song done deh deh fi him already. Dem yutes yah dese days a guh tell yuh dem nah sing nobody song. If yuh ever tell dem say yuh have song fi dem, dem disrespect yuh, and nuff producers out deh want voice some a dem man yah, so dem nah go say no.”
He wants his colleagues to grow a backbone.
“If me build a riddim and tell yuh weh me want as a producer and you as the artiste nah seet da way deh, me nah go fight yuh. Me nuh see none a dem young yute yah riddim a make it pan Billboard all now. Yea dem might a make a certain money, but there’s a bigger picture to see, and a bigger money to be made. They don’t know the bigger picture because they have never studied music, they don’t know the history of the music,” he said.
“Me never just get up and say yow me wah do music. Me research it first, and so me know who did deh deh before me, the type of songs weh cross over. Me know all a dat before me take up myself and say me a go build my first riddim. Maybe some a dem young producers need fi do some a dat, too.”