Friday, February 17, 2017

#Reggaevibe - Find Your Own Sound

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One of the toughest things about being an Indie Artist is trying to stand out from the crowd. One way is to find your own style and sound. This is not the only way. A lot of artists go down the doing covers road. This is a good way to get noticed and if the cover takes off can lead to the opportunity to then release your own songs. However, I have decided to release my own songs with my own feel.

One of my releases ' Innocent'  was reviewed and when I saw the lead title ' Miss Tun Pickney Expands the Reggae Genre' this meant a lot to me as trying to add your own twist to a genre in a meaningful way leaves yourself open to self doubt especially if this is viewed negatively.

Innocent Review by Indie Band Guru

However, the music industry is now a place of opportunity for many. But with this comes the fact that trying to be visible to music lovers is hard work. There are many factors that can make your music different in a crowded market place and one of those is to have a different sound. There is an insatiable appetite for new music. So although trying to have your own sound is risky, if you get it right, it can make a big difference to your path to success.

I draw inspiration from my musical influencers and the things that I like to hear in songs. As a musican you can then add 'yourself' to the song. What I mean is, for example, you could give 10 guitarists the same guitar and you would hear 10 personalities being portrayed when they play the guitar. This personality is what needs to be added to the musical ideas to finally end up with your own sound. It doesn't have to be a dramatic difference to be recognized, it could just be a matter of emphasis.

If you follow my blog you know my genre is #reggae but there are always things I like in great songs from other genres, the things that make you remember the song. My biggest influences were Bob Marley and Sly & Robbie. The pioneering rhythm section, that Sly & Robbie were, is something that always stayed with me and during my days with 'The Instigators' had a strong influence on our songs. Bob Marley, on the hand, was a supreme storyteller and the power that good lyrics have to transform a song is understood by all music fans.

However, it takes courage and belief to put your personality into your music rather than make it sound like someone else's. Especially, if you are looking to make a living from making music. But. nothing beats the feeling when others appreciate your musical style and productions, that is a flame that can keep fires of self belief burning for a long while.

So I am going to keep trying out ideas and try to expand the reggae genre in my own way. If your music doesn't contain any of you, then, it's somebody else's music (sounds like an idea for a song..hmm?)

You can hear my productions on my website  Dingazz Music the home of Miss Tun Pickney.

Innocent Review by Indie Band Guru

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

#ReggaeMonth Jamaica - Good Idea!

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February is #ReggaeMonth in Jamaica. This is a recognition of the importance of reggae to #Jamaica socially, musically and economically. It is being celebrated across the island and is supported by artists and the government alike. Check out the twitter handle @reggaemonth and the hashtag #reggaemonth. It is great to see the people of Jamaica and the government recognizing the impact reggae music has made to enhancing brand Jamaica.

Jamaica is the home of reggae so, it is right that it is celebrated. The music has spread from a little isaland in the Caribbean all over the world. It has been a vehicle for people to express important human issues like injustice, equality, peace and human rights. This is probably the reason main stream radio shies away from having much reggae on their playlists.

Though the music still struggles to get the recognition it deserves, there are now other 'centres' of growth and expansion of #reggaemusic like the USA, Europe and even Japan. Where new artists from differing backgrounds are expanding the boundaries of reggae and building large followings. Reggae now has sub-genres, like Dub, Dancehall, Lovers Rock and each of these sub-genres is expanding. It will become more and more difficult to ignore reggae music.

Reggae month, therefore, is a good way for Jamaica to advertise that Jamaica is where it all began. That is something that will never change and cannot be taken away.

rastaman and Jamaican flag

In the UK, the reggae market seems to have shrunk compared to mainland Europe where, you will find many international reggae music festivals like #Rototom Sunsplash #ReggaeJam and #Garance Festival. In fact there are reggae festivals all over the world. This is confirmed by the number of Jamaican artists that may well tour Europe without visiting the UK or just make a token appearance.

This is a shame as I was fortunate to experience what I believe was a golden era for reggae when Bob Marley was at his peak. In the UK, at the time,  reggae was a voice for change and I clearly remember the 'Rock Against Racism' movement of which reggae played an integral part. So, maybe the UK reggae industry could put its weight behind a reggae month in the UK (maybe #reggaemonthUK) to re-energize the reggae scene and maybe give the music the critical mass, focus and exposure it needs.

We see for a few days in August each year how the Notting Hill Carnival gets a lot of exposure and is now recognized  the world over. A countrywide celebration of Reggae annually could achieve the same thing. We have the tools to make this happen WE JUST NEED THE WILL!

Anyone for #reggaemonthUK
                                                              ------   oOo  -----
How good is your Jamaican Patois?
I came across the hashtag #reggaeAFilm on twitter. Where you add a reggae / Jamaican twist to a film title. There were some really good contributions like the ones below:

Lord of the tings
G'wan with the Wind
Irie Potter
Dial M fe Murdah
Dutty Dancing
The Gruffalo Soldier

My contribution:
Spar Wars
Godfaddah tree

A bit of fun got any ideas of your own?

Link to