Reggae Nostalgia –  MPeggyQ Interview 2011

This recently popped up and I want to share. In 2011, I did an interview with Franco Forbes for his Reggae Nostalgia radio show. Listening to it again today, it was centered on my attempt to raise awareness and money for the Reggae Report Archive, and on discussing topics that are relevant right now in 2024.

We spoke out about the summer festivals – a popular topic going on right now – only then they were abundant in Europe, South America, & the USA. In 2011, I mentioned “Jamaican artists have to become more professional” and learn to” play the game,” i.e., contracts, deadlines, limitations, and pricing. We see now, 13 years later, summer fests being canceled way too often. Raising the question: “Is it the artist or the promoter?” 

I talked about young artists having to pay their dues and the importance of learning the Reggae business. In 2024, I am still calling out the need for guidance, education, and opportunities to learn the business, i.e., scholarships and corporate assistance. My question today remains, Where is the Bob Marley Performing Arts Center in Kingston, Jamaica? 

Franco played some of my favorites – Dennis Brown, Black Uhuru, and Beres Hammond – between our chats. Conversation turned to the differences in exposure and remuneration for male and female artists. My take then: no fair deal. I bragged about Reggae Report’s popular Women in Reggae issues, and the women we highlighted – legends like Marcia, Judy, and JC Lodge, and newcomers like Cherine, Etana, and Ifrica. 

When asked about awards shows and their longevity and importance, I mentioned that an awards show requires lots of lead time, hard work, and a team with a solid leader. I told the story of my 1986 Small Axe Awards. Winners were voted for by our fans and readers; featured performers included Dennis Brown, Black Uhuru, Judy Mowatt, Mutabaruka, and Mother Booker. I told how I lost a lot. Why? No sponsors – where were the corporations or government sectors? They wanted “to see it first.” Reggae was still considered “niche,” a “vertical market,” and now, in 2024, it’s the most popular music, loved and played in just about every country in the world. Niche, indeed. 

Franco asked if there would be a special issue of Reggae Report highlighting our best articles, interviews, and photos. I mentioned my vision of a coffee table book. Now, in 2024, I am working on exclusive eBooks, each featuring Reggae history with up-close-and-personal stories and photos of the phenomenal 80s & 90s, Reggae’s Global Era. The same way I talked about how the coffee table book would give “everyone a second wind, a burst of energy, exposure, and enthusiasm,” the soon-to-come eBooks will shine the spotlight back on the vanguard of artists, performers, singers, musicians, producers, writers, and photographers who were committed to planting Reggae music on the world map. 

I invite fans, friends, and fam to have a listen to the Reggae Nostalgia podcast and my incredibly nostalgic 2011 interview with Franco Forbes!

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