Recently, I pissed off a few of dancehall's young sounds by stating that today's industry is lacking new "Stars". My statement was made during a conversation on SoundChat radio with icons Tony Matterhorn, Baby Face and Tony Screw.
It was a serious topic of concern and not one of criticism, however the youngsters quickly interpreted the conversation as a disrespect to their efforts. Some members of the young sound fraternity stated that they are the "Stars" and fore runners of today's industry. They complied a list of young talents to further prove their point. However, I totally disagreed with such claims. There is a HUGE difference between being a STAR and being on the ROAD TO STARDOM.
Some things cannot and should not be rewritten in our sound system culture! It will give people a false sense of status. The stars of the sound system culture are the ones whose brand became world known. Being a Star means your pulling power does not only extends to a local audience, but to an international one also. Star status gives one the privilege to headline events in various cities and countries throughout the reggae/dancehall circuit. This status is not self-proclaimed! It must be a visible fact for an extended time in a sound/selector career!
Feeling that you are a star is a great thing. One must believe in their product! But don't drift too far from reality. Clearly, it is stupid for sounds on the road to stardom to size up themselves with the actually stars of the craft. Being hot locally does not make you a Star! It means you are a good talent and will one day be a force to reckon with.
I rate quite a few young sounds! In my opinion with the right leadership and marketing (NOT MINE) such sounds will in fact rule the next decade and beyond. Nevertheless, what I don’t like is the fact many young sound feels it is ok to discredit the effort of the industry top stars in order to put themselves in a star's status.
It's a silly belief among young sounds that the reigning STARs of the industry have to constantly keep up with the times, continuously be pullers, and sell out shows throughout their long careers. It is a myth! Very far from the truth! Once a sound/selector reaches star status they will always be referred to as a star. Star status in our culture does not have to be renewed.
My respect goes out to all sounds young and old. We all contribute to the growth of the culture in different ways. The goal is always to keep the industry alive, therefore young talent is a must! However, it’s a collective effort! The older sounds also play an important role.