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Shaggy: Our stars need to make music the masses will support

BUSINESS-MINDED: Shaggy speaks to the world's press ahead of his performance at the St Kitts Music Festival tonight (June 28) [PIC CREDIT: Dionne Grant]

REGGAE STAR Shaggy says fellow musicians are ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ when it comes to promoting the genre around the world.

The Church Heathen hitmaker, who has enjoyed an illustrious career throughout his decade-long reign, says younger artists need to look at the industry as more of a business than a hustle if they want to see their music go worldwide.

Speaking to The Voice ahead of his performance at the St Kitts Music Festival tonight (June 28), he said: “There has been a decline for radio spots in the UK that promotes reggae. Even pirate stations have gone into a lot of hip-hop.”

“I think in the earlier days, you had music stars that people would buy into. Some of the newer acts will make a song and people will like their songs but not necessarily buy into them as an artist. Once they start buying into the artist and what the artist is all about, you’ll find the genre will grow around the world.”

He added: “Someone will be like, ‘I like that tune there', but they’re not going to the concert. An artist has to get to that point when people will go out for him.”


UNITED: Shaggy (far-right) with Jamaican dancehall stars (L-R) Chris Martin and Konshens at the St Kitts Music Festival press conference held earlier today [PIC CREDIT: Dionne Grant]

Shaggy, who hit the number one spot in the UK with 1993 hit Oh Carolina, revealed that he initially revealed a lot of flack for his remake of a ska hit by the Folkes Brothers – a mash up of reggae with a more popular appeal.

“I remember one reporter from a popular UK newspaper said the song was not worth the vinyl it was on, but when it reached number one, he said he always knew it was going to be a hit,” he says.

He adds: “The artist needs to research what is needed within music and look at the things that people want. Sometimes you feed them something and they accept it because that’s all you’re giving them, but there might be another direction that they want to buy into. It’s time to expand.

“If we start being a force to be reckoned with on the mainstream and we start bringing masses, radio stations are going to give our music more time.”

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