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Nolan Baynes for Island Music Conference

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

“If all the countries of the region came together it would provide a power base that cannot be ignored. As individual nations we can only offer a few million in audience. However, collectively we can provide over 40M people, that is a huge consumer marketplace. Labels and strategic partners respond to earning potential. If the Caribbean can demonstrate a comprehensive region of fans who consume the music, provide a touring base and provide a cultural incubator for incredible musical/cultural movement… the world will take notice” (Nolan Baynes)

IMC sat down to talk Caribbean music with the entertainment marketing executive, media visionary, and production veteran.

Question: Our major mainstream artistes are pretty much a Shaggy or a Sean Paul where it concerns our Global numbers and our Global strategy out of Jamaica and out of the Caribbean… Is there a formula would you say that we’re missing?

Answer:I have a long answer but will try to be concise. Our artists aren’t able to “break thru” because they/we tend to only cater to the educated dancehall fan. The music for the most part is niche. Shaggy, and Sean Paul have a digestible sound (by global standards) and their music tends to be more pop-centric (popular/larger audience) … Dancehall’s path went a bit more hardcore and restrictive. Music is a language

and if the language is hard to comprehend, global fans won’t be able to embrace it. Afro beat artistes used dancing and JOY to sell their brand of music. Now that is reason one… if the music is not global, digestible with the potential to have a large TAM (Total addressable Market) and able to grab the imagination of a larger audience, it will be difficult for strategic business partners (labels, management, agencies, etc.) to risk on us. Those partners help us to scale our business but a lot of them don’t understand or appreciate the heavy lift of promoting our music. The solution is simple… we have to start by making music that is INCREDIBLE by anyone’s standards. We have to make sure the music stands for something. It must be emotive and inspiring … we need movements. Our artists must be invested in the craft. When we do that, we can provide the world with something different and exciting. We can’t make singles; we have to think about a comprehensive body of work that provides a narrative that anyone can buy into. Until we do that, labels and strategic partners will not invest. Shaggy and Sean for the most part created their own creative movements, attracted larger partners and never strayed from that path. After you achieve that, there is still another level to go… taking your brand beyond entertainment …”

Nolan Baynes sits on the “Content Evolution Panel” at IMC on Friday February 10th and is also open to one-on-one meetings with artistes and their teams from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Be a part of the conversation and move your career to the next level – Register Now for IMC 2023!

Baynes was a founding member of the development team that launched MTV Tempo, a network dedicated to Caribbean culture and lifestyle in the 90s. Currently he is General Manager for 300 Studios & IAS Agency. He has been Director of Music Marketing (Tours and Events) for VIACOM MTV Networks. He is an Experienced Entertainment Marketing executive with a demonstrated history of working in the Media industry. Strong media and communication professional skilled in Music Marketing, Content Creation, Experiential Marketing, Digital Strategy, Integrated Marketing, Advertising, Strategic Partnerships, and Television.

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