Dale Virgo worried about future of dancehall - … as new-school artistes, producers intertwine other genres

November 19, 2019
Kim Nain.
Dale Virgo
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Wi th the ongoing debate about the blurred lines between Jamaica’s popular music and the various sub-genres, producer Dale Virgo says he remains concerned about the impact on the submissions in the Grammy Awards reggae category.

“There is a big question mark when it comes to the future of our dancehall music; the industry is saying we need to go back to roots and that what we are calling dancehall is not – it is a slight discrimination against the evolution of the music,” Virgo told THE STAR.

The same goes for reggae music as new school artistes and producers are intertwining other genres from hip hop, pop and rap to afrobeat and electronic dance music in the rhythms as well as the actual style or flow of recording.

International artistes like Drake and DJ Khaled have dedicated a lot of time and energy putting out projects with local reggae/dancehall entertainers over the past year, which, according to Virgo, has influenced the direction the local market has taken.

“The change in music is attributed to what our youths are gravitating to. Dancehall is used all over the world by hip-hop and pop artistes – it is a melting pot – so that’s how fusion comes about. Since there is no category for that fusion music, many distributors, even for gospel music, have submitted to the reggae category,” he said.

According to Virgo, the Recording Academy Voting Committee members are primarily old-school music industry professionals and this may play a significant role in how albums are nominated for a Grammy Award.

In September, Virgo told THE STAR, that he submitted Kim Nain’s album Deal Wid It.

“While I am hopeful the members do not go by the names they know or by the more popular names that are in your face every day, and really listened to Deal Wid It and not pay attention to the fact that it is fusion. The reggae category was flooded with a lot more albums this year, that are by the majority, a fusion of reggae and another genre.”

Meanwhile, artiste Kim Nain is taking it easy as she awaits the nomination results.

“I am in work mode. I believe it was a good first try and I am already working on my next project, an EP with Frankie Music Production and if all goes well, it will be submitted for next year’s round of nominations.”

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