Take notes! - Industry exec urges young artistes to learn from veterans

May 29, 2020
Headline Entertainment’s Jerome Hamilton.
Headline Entertainment’s Jerome Hamilton.
Bounty Killer
Bounty Killer
Beenie Man
Beenie Man
Bounty Killer (left) and Beenie Man performing at Sumfest last year.
Bounty Killer (left) and Beenie Man performing at Sumfest last year.
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Managing director of Headline Entertainment, Jerome Hamilton, is calling on the younger generation of artistes to take notes from dancehall veterans Bounty Killer and Beenie Man. He said the historic Verzuz clash that took place last Saturday could serve as an important teaching point for many of the current crop of artistes, particularly as it relates to live performances.

In an interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, Hamilton said he has a lot of respect for today's generation of artistes who have been paving their own way in the music industry but, like many others have expressed, the one thing holding many of them back from stamping their class on the industry is their stage presence.

"While I like a lot of the current artistes, what I think is one of their weaknesses, and I will say this repeatedly, is their live presentation. There are not many artistes who have a comfort and an ease on stage to handle any situation, and so I am hoping many of them tuned in to something like this," he said. "Both Beenie and Bounty went through so many different parts of the music and dancehall culture and stayed relevant. They continue to transcend periods and style and I think a lot of artistes now could learn a lot from them. They have a certain comfort on stage that studying their history could teach young acts a lot about how to remain relevant. Not many artistes have been able to stay on top of their game from then till now."

TIMELESS CATALOGUE

In addition to lessons in how to master the stage, Hamilton also expressed that the current generation of artistes could also learn a thing or two about the importance of establishing a catalogue. And not just any catalogue, but one that will transcend time and geographic boundaries.

"A lot of the acts today need to understand that a catalogue is not just about making music, it's about making music that has such an impact, you can play it years later and people not only recognise it but want to hear it because that's what Bounty/Beenie have done," he said. "They have been able to maintain their presence because they've done songs that are not just popular in the traditional Jamaican market but outside of that. They have had what we call crossover success. They have successfully collaborated with other artistes, and because they had good catalogues and good presence, all of this (Verzuz) was possible."

90s' era artistes

Hamilton went on to say that it's not just Beenie Man and Bounty Killer who have managed to transcend time musically. He expressed that a lot of the artistes from the '90s era of dancehall have been able to maintain a strong presence both locally and internationally from then till now.

"We must give a very special big-up to the artistes from the early '90s because that era has produced a whole heap a artistes like Beenie and Bounty who transcend time, like the Buju Banton, the Spragga Benz, the Capleton. It's amazing what came out of that era. Some of the acts that came out last year are not as relevant as the artistes from the early '90s," he said.

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