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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » “THE UNITED KINGDOM NO LONGER HAS A VIBRANT REGGAE MARKET” SAYS ONE OF ITS LEADING PROMOTERS!

“THE UNITED KINGDOM NO LONGER HAS A VIBRANT REGGAE MARKET” SAYS ONE OF ITS LEADING PROMOTERS!

 Pauline Stephenson—-

THOUGH it is home to thousands of people with Jamaican heritage, the United Kingdom no longer has a vibrant reggae market.

 According to Pauline Stephenson, a Jamaican publicist who lives in London, that slump continued in 2015.

Stephenson is principal of Magnetic Energy Promotions which helped organize the One Love Festival and shows by singer Lukie D in the UK this year.

Lukie D

Lukie D

“The most fulfilling thing in terms of what I do was the One Love Festival, which embraced reggae across the board in relation to patrons and artists from various countries,” Stephenson told the Jamaica Observer. “It exposed the unity that can be instilled when people communicate, share a true love and passion for the genre.”

There was no increase in the number of shows featuring Jamaican artists, especially contemporary acts. Freddie McGregor, Romain Virgo, Beres Hammond, Bunny Wailer and Marcia Griffiths did package concerts in London, Manchester and Bristol, but Stephenson points out that younger artists “need to step up their game”.

Freddie McGregor

Freddie McGregor

“Given the most recent press regarding the massive decline in the sales of reggae, it’s no longer enough to come out with one hit single, which is all the rage in Jamaica, and expect to be booked,” she said. “I expect to see artists coming with more authentic music as that is what people want to hear — less covers and more original lyrics.”

Frankie Paul

Frankie Paul

An educator by profession, Stephenson has produced and promoted shows in the UK for the last three years. Bugle, Vybrant, Frankie Paul and Khaliah Rose are some of the artistes she has worked with.

— By Howard Campbell

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