Jamaican Artists Are Not Making Songs Says Nigel Staff
Updated: Jan 23
Producer musician and songwriter Nigel Staff declares that the Jamaican music scene needs good songs as the current songs are not making it. Speaking on the television programme On Stage, the musical director of the popular band Ruff Cut noted, 'why are we so hung up on genres? My thing is, no matter the genre, the songs have to be great songs. The people decide what will be a hit songs you cannot write a hit song.You write a good song, a purple song, a cultural song, a mama song, a gun song, it's the people that choose the hit, and what has been happening in the last I dare say ten years, we have not been making songs. Whether it's trap dancehall, whether it's dancehall, whether it's reggae, whatever it is, when you look at the rest of the world when you look at reggaeton, they are making solid songs, songs that have intros, songs that have choruses.'
He continued, 'we are not doing that; we are a bag of lyricists. We have succumbed to lyricism. We are suffering from two things, we are not making songs, and we don't have our own industry; we don't have our own ecosystem, we don't have our own microcosm.' Staff was responding to a question from the host about the current debate about the state of genre confusion and controversy currently ongoing in the Jamaican music scene.
Some pundits and industry insiders have been critical of the quality of the current music output, lamenting that we are in an identity crisis and too much of our music is of low production values. Staff also lamented that Spice could not dent the Billboard charts with her 'Go Down Deh,' although her record company spent heavily on promotion, and the song had two of the top Jamaican artists, Sean Paul and Shaggy, as featured acts.