Listen to your elders - Veteran entertainers say they are willing to teach young acts
Some experienced music industry insiders are today telling young talents that they are willing to help usher them into the entertainment space.
Earlier this month, Minister of Culture and Entertainment, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, encouraged up-and-coming acts to build on the legacy of veterans.
Despite her advice, in the past, some young artistes have shunned that idea because they believe veteran entertainers are usually more open to offering criticism than advice.
In an interview with THE STAR last year, dancehall artiste Gage labelled some veteran entertainers as ‘hypocrites’, stating that most prefer to ‘break down’ than to build up.
“The thing is this, if yuh nah go help, we nuh wah nuh fight either. If yuh nah go open nuh door fi we, we nuh wah yuh close none. Too much bashing, and dat shoulda never be dem job,” he said at the time, pointing out that veterans, too, have made their fair share of mistakes during their careers.
Acknowledging that many seasoned entertainers have blundered in the past, experienced producer Donovan Germain believes this is why they are the perfect teachers.
LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE
“Experience is the best teacher. If we have the experience, we must teach the younger ones. It’s the natural progression of things. I can only speak for myself, and my track record is out there. I am always mentoring young people from musicians to artistes to producers, because I know the value of mentoring young talent and ushering them into the industry the right way,” he said.
“I know that if the younger ones learn from the mistakes veterans make, then they have a better chance of, not just surviving the industry, but having a lasting career.”
Veteran deejay Professor Nuts agrees.
“I always say who have eyes to see, let them see, and who have ears to hear, let them hear. In this business, it’s each one, teach one. Each person should help each other, but I’ve found out that there is no unity in the fraternity,” he said. “I overheard some young deejay one time say him nuh wah hear no Elephant Man, no Bounty, no dis, no dat because dem a old man now. Now, that is wrong because a dem man deh set things so dem can out deh a entertain now. Yuh haffi take advice from elders because if yuh don’t take advice, yuh a go lost in this industry. Simple.”
Nuts added that the notion that veteran entertainers only want to criticise is just that, a notion. He explained that despite constantly being told that their time in the industry has expired, many veteran entertainers are still giving their time and sharing their knowledge everyday. He said that many ‘elders’ have a genuine love for the industry and will put their egos aside if it ensures the industry’s growth.
This view was also echoed by Germain.
“Sometimes we have to look at things from the other side too because many of these young artistes are unwilling to listen to veterans. I had an experience where a young producer I knew was quite critical of older producers. Him say we nuh know how to approach and look at the business any more because we old and that’s the wrong approach,” he lamented.
While advising young talents to seek advice of veterans, Germain also encouraged veterans to help younger entertainers, despite the comments about their age.
“When you mentor, do not do it looking for something in return, just share of your knowledge because you are part of the music industry, an industry you want to see grow and be successful,” he said.