The Gleaner: KINGSTON, JA – Veteran musicians are once again urging their younger colleagues to produce content that will transcend time. After turning in stellar performances at the recently concluded virtual staging of Reggae Sumfest delving into music from their catalogue of classics, artistes including Chaka Demus and Pliers, Maxi Priest and Freddie McGregor expressed the need for today’s crop of entertainers to expand on the shelf life of their music.

In a post performance interview with The Gleaner, Chaka Demus and Pliers explained that the quality of their music is what has caused them to stand the test of time. According to them, after four decades in the industry, their music still connects with the masses because mediocrity was not an option.

“Me and Pliers in this thing for nearly 40 years and we people still wah hear we. Nuff a dem tune yah weh a make today, people nah wah hear dem after couple months because dem nuh ready,” said Chaka Demus. “The problem with the music today is that everybody sound the same way. The riddim dem sound the same, dem nuh have no substance. And another thing is that some a dem young artiste here just full a too much hype. We nuh run dung hype innu, hype follow we. People will always listen to good music and yuh ratings wid just that, the love from the people.” His music partner, Pliers agreed. “When yuh play real good music it last. Me come up come hear some song and my daughter and son come up come hear dem and love dem too better than plenty of what making today. Once yuh put the music together in the right way, the melody, the whole production, it will last until everlasting. Like the sun, it will always shine,” he said. “Put substance inna di music. Make the music be music and don’t make it sound like supmn yuh just go pan the phone go build or else it nah go pass three weeks. Stop make paper music, build firm, good songs.”


Chakademus & Pliers performing at Reggae Sumfest

Freddie McGregor who thrilled the online world during the virtual staging of Sumfest with hits such as I See It In YouTo Be Poor Is A CrimePush Comes To ShoveBawling, and I’ll Wait For You, shared similar sentiments to Chaka Demus and Pliers. Like the 90s duo, he believes the difference between his generation of artistes and today’s crop of creatives is the time being spent perfecting ones craft. “I think what it is with us as older acts is that we put everything into our craft. When I started making music, my wish and my hope was that I would make some songs that people would truly love and that would last for a long time. I knew in order to achieve that I’d have to give the music my all,” he said. “My music speaks for itself and that’s what we should aim for as artistes. We should make music that connects with people so much, it makes them unforgettable.”

Maxi Priest also shared that thought. The Wild World singer explained that it’s the song and its power to forge a connection with the masses that will make all the difference in today’s virtual world. “Music is spiritual. It’s about being real and allowing the art that you have been gifted with to manifest itself. We have to nurture our talents as artistes because in settings like these where the world is now virtual, your songs carry a lot of weight. It’s the songs that will connect with the people. A lot of artistes don’t realise that music is about connecting. When people connect with you as an artiste, you become a part of them and that is one of the most powerful connections so we have to use it wisely. We have to put out songs that will uplift, encourage and make people feel good.”

“At the end of the day we’re just vessels of the most high and so if God give you a gift and you don’t use it to the best of your ability by creating good music that will last generations, if you don’t mind sharp he can take it away,” he continued.