ABOUT: “E- PICK ”
“E- PICK ” is a weekly Saturday post on www.mckoysnews.com, where Amber Crowl (Radio Personality, Host, Writer and Activist) discusses happenings in Jamaican Music, Entertainment Topics and Cultural Ideas. Amber welcomes your questions and comments on Mckoy’s News. and you can send e-mails to [email protected].
WELCOME TO THIS WEEK’S E-PICK. IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK IS ALKALINE’S RETURN TO THE JAMAICAN STAGE. RECENTLY HE GAVE JAMAICA HIS FIRST PERFORMANCE IN KINGSTON AFTER 4 YEARS!
Prior to Alkaline’s return on March 25, it was quite noticeable that he was not taking shows in Jamaica and his fans, entertainment industry insiders, and the media had a lot to say and many wondered if it was deliberate or simply circumstantial. Regardless of why, not doing shows in Jamaica for a while did something good for Alkaline. The event at which he performed in Kingston was jam-packed with Thousands of “Vendetta” fans, which shows that Alkaline is in demand and has more fans than what some people would want to accept.
Alkaline is one of those artistes who came on the scene with his mind made up to be outstanding and controversial. He knows that he is talented and that he has the ability to produce music which appeals to younger listeners, especially. I have watched and listened to his progression from the time he burst on to the scene with his alleged tattooed eyes to his unveiling the truth about his eyes. And just when his critics thought that the sensationalism associated with his eyes would fade, Alkaline began to deliver song after song and garnered a wide cross-section of Dancehall fans. Fans faithful enough to turn out in their numbers for his very rare appearance in Kingston on March 25.
Another observation about Alkaline’s return to the Jamaican stage is that when an artiste makes himself/herself scarce for whatever reason, public interest and market value of the artiste rises. The artiste negotiation stakes are higher and better price are offered, compared to an artiste who appears at events more frequently. Deliberate strategy or busy schedule? either way Alkaline has used the time away to grow his audience overseas and leave a void in the Jamaican dancehall that only he can fill. A sort of exclusivity is attained from what we have seen Alkaline do, and it seems to me that his fans would wait another 3 years or more to see the “Formula” DJ.
Now I do think that all the controversy which surrounds Alkaline has somewhat influenced his absence from the local scene, and that he is in demand overseas, which makes it harder for him to do shows here.
I know that Shows overseas usually pay more, introduce the artiste to new fans and allow him/her to discover new grounds. But when an artiste has a fan-base in one place he/she should make space on his/her calendar for the loyal fans. It cannot always be about making more money or travelling to cover new grounds. Artiste must take stock of themselves and understand that the original fans deserve some attention and time, regardless of how much money he/she stands to make overseas. People become attached to music and, by extension to the artiste. So it is no wonder that after hearing all sorts of rumours and reasons why Alkaline was not performing at shows in Jamaica, he decided to “break the fast.” He was well received and it seems that despite the odds, Alkaline is standing out just the way he saw himself, from when he was a boy. It is no secret that he has dreamt of being an artiste from an early age.
For the critics, I am sure that Alkaline will keep them talking and, for his fans it seems that there is no loss of interest or disappointment for them as long as the “Vendetta” DJ keeps making the music they love and show up every now and then for performance in Jamaica. That’s it for this weeks guys. Thanks for stopping by. Join me next week for another edition of E-PICK.