Rising Dancehall sensation, Raheem ‘Valiant’ Bowes, recognizes the upcoming Island Music Conference as a sign of growth in the music industry. The event set for February 8th - 12th at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston, is the most relevant gathering of global music power in the region. All will be within reach of professionals seeking the resources to further develop their careers.
“This shows the growth in our industry. Having an understanding of how the business runs and having a team that knows, benefits everyone in the industry in the long run. It shows professionalism as well as understanding that this is not only something we love to do but a business that if done right can create generational wealth,” He said.
Valiant is currently one of the hottest dancehall artistes on the scene. Records like ‘St Mary’, ‘Siance’, and ‘Dunce Cheque’ have engaged tens of millions of views on platforms like YouTube; which won the artiste much notoriety in recent months.
Our IMC reporter asked Valiant if he believes the current generation of artistes is properly educated on the business aspect of entertainment.
“I think we have access to gain more knowledge and so we are educating ourselves. We are highly underestimated in our abilities and understanding of the music business, we have had to learn much of it ourselves as no one is out there giving the education we need freely. I think if you want to learn what is needed you can learn it and it’s necessary for us to do so if we are to maintain our independence.”
The DJ believes Jamaica is in need of more events like the IMC.
“I don’t think there are enough[events like the IMC]. I also think they should cater for everyone from all walks of life,” he said.
The ‘Siance’ artiste believes there must be some form of middle ground between the older generation and youth for there to be true progress in the business. We asked him what he thinks it will take to truly educate music professionals en masse.
“For the industry to look at the new generation as forward thinkers who are progressing our industry on an international platform and for those that have the knowledge to assist us in learning more.”
Chaired by Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell and co-founded by him and industry stalwarts Judith Bodley and Sharon Burke, the IMC begins February 8th at 10:00am with a full YOUTUBE day at the Courtleigh auditorium. A five-day affair, the conference will explore topics such as social media marketing, the pros and cons of owning masters, the art of event planning and copyright and publishing. Among confirmed speakers are renowned attorney, Lloyd Stanbury, international artiste, Gramps Morgan, as well as a slew of executives from the Reggae, Hip Hop & RnB spaces, including General Manager, Swizz Beatz Production, Monique Blake, and Director, Black Music & Culture, YouTube, Tuma Bassa, 300 Head, Nolan Baynes, Ineffable’s Adam Gross, Loretta Gadson from BMI, Madeline Nelson from Amazon, Steven Carless from Warner records and Richard Lue from V.P. to name a few. The conference is being held under the theme ‘Cari Culture’.
There is also and ALL DAY MARKET featuring Jamaican and Caribbean artisans open to the public 9am to 9pm daily at the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom.
Those interested in learning more (and or registering for the event) may do so on the official website at https://islandmusicconference.com/