J-FLAG stands behind dancehall – Gay-rights group bats for reformed dancehall artistes (The Jamaica Gleaner)
The controversial Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is offering to help dancehall and reggae artistes respond to efforts by gay-rights groups overseas to boycott their performances and music. Some Jamaican artistes who have divorced themselves from ‘murder music’ have, in recent time, come under renewed attacks from gay-rights activists. The sanctions have resulted in recent mass protests and cancellations. But J-FLAG Executive Director Dane Lewis said the organisation is concerned about the recent spate of protests and the stance taken by many of the groups who mobilise these actions.
J’can music sales plummet in US (The Jamaica Observer)
As far as sales go, 2012 is a year players in dancehall/reggae will want to forget in a hurry. Figures from the American sales tracking company, SoundScan, show dismal returns from some of the big names in Jamaican music. While singjay Popcaan had a minor hit in the United States with Only Man, no album by an artiste out of Jamaica had any impact in the US. In fact, according to SoundScan statistics, as of December 9, Sean Paul’s Tomahawk Technique sold a paltry 3,979 copies. The album was released in the US in September by VP/Atlantic Records. It fared better in the much smaller European market.
Next year’s Jah Cure and Duane Stephenson concert will be much more affordable (Ghafia.com)
Despite Jah Cure thrilling fans with an above average performance and therefore making the entrance fee worthwhile, it still remains that it was pretty expensive for the average reggae fan. Though this is no problem to some of the revellers who believe in getting value for their money (in this case being potent and reliable security for a couple of Gs), most of the reggae revellers couldn’t attend the Jah Cure concert that was held recently at the Kasarani Indoor Arena.
Interview: Cedric Myton (United Reggae)
Cedric Myton is a real ‘living legend’ of the roots reggae genre. An integral part of the renowned Congos group, Myton (falsetto) linked with ‘Ashanti’ Roy Johnson and (on the recommendation of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry) with Watty Burnett (baritone) in the mid-1970s. Myton had previously been a member of the Tartans, Ras Michael‘s group and recorded with the Royal Rasses. Spearheading the Congos, he is most commonly associated with the classic everlasting ‘Heart of the Congos’ album. This was produced under the watchful eye of Perry at the infamous Black Ark Studio in Kingston in the mid-1970s. After some friction and a lengthy impasse, the Congos reformed and proceeded to reunite with Perry – recording the ‘Back in the Black Ark’ album in Jamaica. After their appearance at the ROTOTOM Sunsplash 2012 festival Myton took time out to talk with United Reggae.