5 questions with Gussie Clarke
What are some of your plans for 2018?
We are going to deliver a new musical innovation that has never been done in music before. We are doing an EPX which will be 10 or 11 remixes of the same song, done by the same artistes. We will be featuring a host of entertainers including Shaggy and Pam Hall. The idea came about after constant demands from the fans that I should go back fully into production, but I knew I had to come with something different. We are currently working with a new artiste called Kevy the Artiste, and his song, Even a Gangster Falls In Love, is done in 11 different remix styles. In addition to reggae, there is jazz, afrobeat, dancehall and pop style to name a few. The world will be excited about it.
What are some of the issues in music that annoy you?
I am really irritated by how the primary creators of the music, that is the original writers of songs, are treated and exploited. The songwriters sometimes don't have any other means to make their money and not everyone is willing to go through the right and legal channel to ensure that the songwriters are compensated for their work. JAMMS (Jamaica Music Society) and JCAP (The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers) are now trying, but they have barely scratched the surface in resolving this issue. Sadly, those who do this are oftentimes persons from the music industry who keep entertainment events. If you see an entertainer get destitute, sometimes it's because he or she is not adequately compensated. There are primary creators of music who are not necessarily the singer and they are facing it financially. Something needs to be done!
Where would you like to see the genre in the next five years?
I would like to see reggae go back to where it was decades ago. We created the genre, but we really don't own it. The world has been doing better than us. We need to go back to basic, research and find out what made it great. More than three decades after his death, Bob Marley is still making a lot more than a lot of artistes who are alive and well. Some of these young generation of entertainers need to get out of the 'me' factor. Nowadays, one person is the singer, producer and engineer. Back in the days, it took a collaboration of different efforts to make a song. They also need to cut out this thing where they are refusing to sing a song that they don't write. Only in Jamaica this happens. In other countries, an artiste just wants to hear a good song ... they don't have to be the songwriter. They have to remember that it is a song that makes the singer and not the artiste that makes a song.
If you were not a music producer, what would be your other career choice?
I believe in hard work and it's all about creativity, so I would probably choose a career in information technology.
What would be some of your advice to the security ministry as it relates to curbing Jamaica's growing crime rate?
They need to get the people to start trusting the police again. Crime cannot be solved without the help of the general public, but a lot of persons are fearful to report a crime because not every police can be trusted. Video cams can be installed in the dashboard and rear of cars. This way, drivers can easily catch a crime on camera.