Working in the reggae music genre in Canada is not the easiest or financially rewarding thing to do. It seems to be almost more about the love of the music than the money, but we do need that money to pay the bills. Unfortunately, the reggae genre is as far from mainstream as politicians are honest (lol).
Unlike in Jamaica, most reggae artists here in Canada have “Day jobs”. “Big shows, events, festivals” are simply just not a year-round occurrence in the north. Don’t always rely on the “same old, same old” don’t take anything for granted. Artists, producers and even promoters have to work that much harder in order to get their material/brand/songs heard outside their area code.
As much as I like to avoid “social media”, that is a must! A serious artist must be active on almost all popular social media platforms. Having a good manager or PR person is also a big plus. The music does not sell or get played by itself. You must spend money (and time) to make money.
There are several informative Reggae based publications such as ReggaeXclusive Magazine and on-line with Reggae North. Both are well established and professional publications, but news flash people! they don’t go out looking for things to “promote”. It’s up to the artists, producers and promoters to get it to them.
Of course, there are also many reggae shows on AM and FM radio, plus many great online radio show/stations, but same thing, they don’t do the looking. Effort will yield positive results once you have a quality product.
FYI, this topic was initiated from a conversation with reggae artist Tony Anthony and me just the other day. And he is one of the few who does make a real effort to promote his music across Canada. The fact that he drove to Montreal to personally promote his music made a lasting impression with me, and big-up to Blk Orchid who also did the same).
Now this article was not written to depress Canadian artists, producers and promoters but to encourage them to take it to the next level. I, personally know several good Montreal artists who seem content that their music just stays in a yard.
Let’s change that, let’s get that Montreal-Toronto connection (and across Canada) going, we will all be the better for it!