Dancehall entertainers have been vocal about what they want from the newly elected government of Jamaica moving forward.
Before Jamaicans went to vote at the polls yesterday, The Star caught up with some entertainers and posed the question: What changes do you want to see implemented by the next Government to help facilitate growth in the entertainment industry?.
The Energy God Elephant Man said that since music was used by both parties this election season, then they know what music brings to the table. He was referring to all the dubplates done by the various artistes for the politicians hoping to snatch a seat in Gordon House.
He went on to say, ” Now we need dem fi do supmn fi dancehall. Mi wah dem make sure the artiste dem have somewhere weh dem can go party. Dis bag a locking off of parties, we need that to cease”. Elephant Man, whose real name is Oneal Bryan is asking the government for a specified area where parties can be kept, a “party grung” where they can party undisturbed, safely, and peacefully.
Bugle was quoted saying that he wants the government to give dancehall and reggae the same attention as tourism. He said, “Don’t forget reggae and dancehall brought more people to Jamaica than anything else, so treat it like it is to be treated.”
Macka Diamond also reminded the government the role the dubs played in the election, “our music has played a big role in the election because the artiste dem entertain the people wid di dubs and thing.” She implored the government to come up with ways the entertainers can make money during lockdown. The Dye Dye singer said, “We need them to ensure us of a way we can continue making money and survive during this lockdown. We need them to set up some form of foundation for us, some way we can do our performances online, put something in place”. Due to COVID-19, artistes are not able to tour and hold concerts since gatherings are a known way that the virus spreads quickly.
D’Angel expressed her gratitude for the dancehall community being included in the election but would love to see that recognition being extended after the election since artistes contribute a lot to the economy and culture. D’Angel, who real name is Michelle Downer was quoted saying, “it was quite refreshing to see the dancehall fraternity being included and bringing a fresh vibe to the atmosphere. I would love to see the recognition continue going forward because we artistes contribute greatly to the economy and the culture.” She also asked for an amendment to the Noise Abatement Act as well as “extended performance hours for live shows and performances.”
After the election, which saw the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) claiming a landslide victory over the People’s National Party (PNP) winning 49 seats out of 63, most entertainers didn’t post about the election itself or said anything further to the government. Besides the dubs, the artistes tend to be pretty apolitical and choose not to display any party allegiance to their social media. They also tend to not post anything political at all with the exception of a few that criticize the government.
However, Dancehall Queen Spice had a message for the government right after the election was declared. Spice took to Instagram last night to congratulate Prime Minister Andrew Holness and ask for more support for Dancehall culture.
Spice said in her caption, “Congratulations
Earlier today Spice posted her congratulations for Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn who retained her seat in West Rural Saint Andrew. She said in her caption, “Congratulations to mi neighbor @julietsamantha Tell Zara that Toy toy miss her
Pamputtae, who collabed with Spice back in the day for the song Slim Vs Fluffy commented under the post, “
Finally, Spice congratulated her friend Lisa Hanna on her narrow victory to retain her St. Ann South Eastern Seat. Spice, who did a dub for Lisa Hanna last month, wrote in her caption, “Congratulations @lisahannamp Big up and continue doing as much as you can for Jamaica