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Artistes Must Take Responsibility!

Artistes must take responsibility” - Entertainers warned of consequences of failing to learn the music business.

Jamaican music scholar, Clyde McKenzie expressed in a recent IMC interview that artistes must take responsibility for their own education in the music business; that those who fail to do so, must be reminded of the dire consequences that are likely to affect their livelihoods and families. This in light of the upcoming Island Music Conference (IMC), Co-founded and chaired by Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell, alongside industry stalwarts, Judith Bodley and Sharon Burke. The event is set for February 8th - 12th at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston and official Hotel Partners Jamaica Pegasus & Courtleigh. It will feature scores of Global music executives, all within reach of aspiring entertainers and professionals who are eager to make strides in entertainment.

“I think we need to remind artistes of the consequences of not paying attention to the business aspect of their careers; point to examples of people who ignore sound advice at their peril. That is a more powerful means of getting through to individuals as opposed to exposing them more often to success stories,” said McKenzie, adding that it is more effective to show these individuals what they stand to lose as opposed to what they might gain whenever they fail to educate themselves on the business.

On the matter of conferences like the IMC often being ignored by entertainers (and sometimes managers, producers and others), McKenzie says: “Sometimes the people who need it most are absent from these events. It’s a shame because it is important that they understand how to position and market themselves as a brand; how to get involved with platforms like Spotify; how to get on American radio. You won’t have access to all these executives in one place on a regular basis.”

Events such as the IMC are unique in that they offer participants the chance to meet with industry leaders over the course of days. This might include conversing over a cup of coffee, dinner, or simply addressing questions to them same during an ongoing panel or visiting their booths. This presents an incredible opportunity for aspiring entertainers and their teams as executives can be increasingly difficult to contact, let alone meet in person.

Music aficionado, Clyde Mckenzie believes educating oneself on the music business is also important for artistes to develop healthier relationships with their teams in the long term.

He says, “Artistes don’t need to be experts on these things per se, but they need to be aware of what’s happening. Otherwise, they can be more easily duped by their handlers. There is also the case of artistes not understanding the value of the contribution of those around them. Once you have knowledge and appreciation of the business you understand the work and contribution of the people around you.”

Beginning February 8th at 10:00 am with the IMC YO, the Island Music Conference is a meeting place for artistes and music professionals to tap into resources, make connections, and share knowledge to create an industry conducive to the longevity of its practitioners. The conference will explore topics such as social media marketing, the pros and cons of owning masters, and copyright and publishing. Among confirmed speakers are renowned attorneys, Lloyd Stanbury, Andrew Krents and Sapna Lal. Youtube’s Tuma Basa, Tanya Lawson from Audiomack , Madeline Nelson –Amazon, Diego Herrera – Pandora, Loretta Gadson BMI, Damien Granderson, Andrew Krents, Steven Carless - Warner and SeaniB from BBC1Xtra are among some of those who will be in attendance. There will be a full YouTube day and keynote speakers for the week are IMC Chairman Dr. Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell, Bentley Kyle Evans and IHeart Radio’s Tom Poleman. International press Billboard, Vibe, Rolling Stone and others will be covering.

The conference is being held under the theme ‘Cari Culture’. There is an all day market set up at the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom which is open to the public. Artisans, natural products, will be out in full force.

Those interested in learning more (and or registering for the event) may do so on the official website at

Members of all Caribbean music societies are entitled to a 50% discount on registration fees.

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