Reggae artiste Sizzla Kalonji has received his first Grammy Award nomination after releasing 70 studio albums.
However, according to head of Sizzla’s management team, Homer Harris, the Grammy nomination team seems to know little about reggae music, hence, their decision to select and award the same set of artistes repeatedly.
“We don’t know who makes up the committee for the Grammys and what they really know about reggae music. Because year after year, we see the same reggae artistes over and over get nominated as if they are stuck on those artistes, and don’t recognise the hundreds of reggae artistes making great music in Jamaica,” Harris said.
According to the manager, reggae music has underachieved because of lack of financial backing and effective marketing. He believes in order for the genre to compete fairly with other genres on the international scene, money must be pumped into marketing in order to make the product more commercial.
“More reggae artistes need to have major budgets to market them to compete on the commercial scene without having to water down the music. Reggae music has contributed to so much in the world … towards social justice more than hip hop, but the genre is not treated fairly. We don’t have resources for marketing the artistes and making big budget videos to propel them into mainstream markets, and the result is, they don’t sell in comparison to the other genres,” Harris said.
He also disclosed that the only thing Sizzla did differently this time was to actively participate in the literal production process of The Messiah album.
“We have been working with the same people for all these years. VP, Greensleeves, Koch Records, Jet Star, Zojak and other companies have always worked hard to promote Sizzla’s albums. The only difference this time around, Sizzla Kalonji is the executive producer of The Messiah. With Richard ‘Breadback’ Bramwell producing alongside the musicians from the Firehouse Crew, they were able to create a synergy, left in the hands of Jah.”
Harris also revealed that Sizzla, who was recently denied entry into the United States despite having previously booked his winter tour, was in high spirits, following his Grammy nomination.
“Sizzla is grateful and thankful for the nomination. He continues to put out albums throughout the year and is working on an acoustic album to be released in 2014. We feel obliged that he has been nominated for a Grammy. He has been part of the Top 50, before, but never part of The Top five. We should have been in there quite a number of times due to classics like Black Women and Child, Da Real Thing, Praise Ye Jah, Rise To the Occasion, Good Ways, Crucial Times, Scriptures, Ghettoyouthology, Chant and so many great albums over the years. We thank the Grammy committee, VP Records, Kalonji Muzik staff, and the world at large for supporting Sizzla over the years. No matter who wins, all the nominees are winners,” Harris said.
The list of nominees for the reggae category is rounded off with Beres Hammond, who secures nomination with hisOne Love, One Life double album; Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley in Concert, and Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters with Reggae Connection.
For the original report go to http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20131212/ent/ent1.html