Out of sight, But Still In Mind – Artistes Maintain Presence Despite Few Local Performances
Written by Midwest Reggae on November 2, 2018
Entertainers like Chronixx and Alkaline are prime examples that artistes no longer need to maintain a heavy local presence to be popular. Chronixx, for instance, has not performed in Jamaica for almost a year but has one of the most popular reggae albums, Chronology.
His last local performance was in December 2017, when he hosted two sold-out concerts. His music videos for songs like Skankin’ Sweet, Likes and I Can have amassed millions of YouTube views, and his songs are a staple at any local event.
Despite this, fans will have to wait until next year to see him. “The next show should be some time next year. We have not finalised the details like [the date], but his absence has been because he is touring,” co-manager for Chronixx, Zion Tomlinson, told our sources.
The singer has been doing the rounds in the US and Europe, promoting the Grammy-nominated Chronology, which debuted in 2017. Tomlinson said the Jamaican market is indeed crucial to Chronixx, but he wanted to orchestrate his own events, which affects the frequency of his local appearances.
“It is extremely important to him to perform here. He has even expressed before that his Jamaican shows are his most important because it’s his people,” said Tomlinson. “It’s not that he is opposed to performing at other shows, it’s just when you are in charge of your own event, there are no problems. You have the production exactly how you want it. The lighting, the sound, all of those details are very important to us. It is very challenging to put on these shows because we look at every aspect, and everything about how it is executed is a reflection of him.”
Alkaline has also been off the local scene but is still in people’s minds. He emerged on the local stage last year at his New Rules concert after a near three-year hiatus. He last appeared in Jamaica earlier this year at an after-Champs party but is also up and about, recently making his US television debut performance on Fox 5.
Established event promoter and artiste manager Junior ‘Heavy D’ Fraser said artistes should do better. “The Jamaica people mek yuh buss and dem waan see you,” he said. “Mi understand seh dem haffi tour, but if it’s even two to three shows a year. Nah seh yuh fi perform here every day cause that wouldn’t make sense,” he said.
He said that not many promoters can pay artistes that have reached the levels of Popcaan or Alkaline.
“At the same time, some of them come and keep a free show cause dem nuh want no promoter mek no money. Chronixx nuh do show unless him a do it himself. I think it’s unfair, and it kills the promotion business,” he said.
Despite this, Fraser said the absences do not negatively impact artistes’ career. “Eventually, after you buss a certain way, yuh nuh need people like that; the world is big,” he said. “Even if Jamaica nuh tek yuh, other countries will cause the music already gone. Look at some artistes like Toots and Burning Spear. Dem man deh nuh really perform a Jamaica like that, and dem still a tour. Dem music already gone. But these young artistes need to understand that our culture needs them to continue the music.
All of the artistes need to come together to make show business what it used to be.”