Little presence of Jamaican musicians on Billboard Reggae charts
Only two current songs from Jamaican artists currently occupy the Top 50 of Billboard magazine’s Digital Reggae Singles chart, according to newly-released figures by Nielsen SoundScan.New York-based newcomer, Kranium is the highest placed Jamaican on the chart
at number 32 with his hit single, Nobody Has to Know, which has sold just under 18,000 copies. The song is also on Billboard’s Next Big Sound chart. Reggae superstar, Jah Cure is at number 45 with his cover of All of Me by John Legend, which has sold just over 1,000 copies.
The chart is dominated by American acts, but is topped by Canadian Reggae fusion band, Magic! with their single Rude, which has sold over 2.4 million copies and topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for several weeks while their song, Let Your Hair Down is second, selling over 48,000 units.
The Billboard Reggae Albums chart is more of the same as only Ziggy Marley’s album Fly Rasta hails as the only album by a Jamaican artist to hold a top 10 spot on the chart. Amid the Noise and Haste by American Reggae band, SOJA tops the chart while Count Me In by Rebelution and Easy to Love by Maxi Priest also occupy spots in the top five while the rest of the top 10 is dominated by compilation albums and other foreign acts.
Albums such as Chronixx’s Dread and Terrible which topped the chart earlier this month and Popcaan’s Where We Come From which debuted at number two have both fallen out of the top 10.
One would think that with the low sales in Reggae, Dancehall and Soca music the artiste and their management teams would be inclined to bring the cost of bookings down, but it is the exact opposite. The average price of contracting an artist has been on the up-rise in the past years. Top Jamaican reggae artists have not been able to fill night clubs and venues in the rural and some suburban areas of the United States for years. One promoter said, “these artists are demanding prices as high as hip hop and American artists.
In my opinion most Caribbean artist care more about making a quick buck, instead of patiently exhibiting their talents to a broader forum and eventually reaping the benefits of a career filled with longevity.
Does Caribbean artists need to charge less for bookings and gain more exposure through tours in order to grow and sustain their relevance?
Sound off bellow.