Teach the youth about the music business – Delly Ranx
With a career spanning more than two decades, multitalented dancehall veteran Delly Ranx has managed to build an enviable music catalogue. Known for songs such as What A Gyal Can Whine, Headache, Sexy Attitude and Pelpa, the entertainer has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the music industry.
Not only has he released countless hits as an artiste, but the all-rounder says he has also worked on several hits for other entertainers as producer and songwriter. Still, his name will perhaps not be among the first uttered in everyday conversations about the industry. The latter, he reveals, is something he takes no issue with but admits that more could be done to teach up-and-coming artistes about the trailblazers from the genre who paved the way.
“Fi tell yuh the truth mi nuh complain about getting respect and recognition innu because I am alive and well. Mi grow wid mi Granny and she always a tell mi say nothing nuh happen before the time and what is yours will always come to yuh so mi just continue work. From mi a work and a get paid mi good wid dat, satisfied completely,” he said.
“But, I think we can do more as an industry to pass down the musical history. Maybe we can have classes for the younger generation so dem nuh come face dis (lack of recognition) weh people woulda say artiste like mi self a face. We need to have more music history class so whenever a younger artiste step inna di business, dem step inna it wid knowledge of where they come from and the elders that paved the way for them. That way they can show manners and honours where it is deserved,” Delly Ranx told The Gleaner.
Pointing out that some of the lack of recognition comes from veterans like himself choosing to ‘curse’ the missteps of younger artistes rather than offer guidance, Delly Ranx says it would benefit the entire industry if older artistes would seize more opportunities to share their wealth of knowledge.
“Most of my peers weh mi would call veterans some a dem nuh take time out to teach the youths. Dem rather curse dem but for me, I just reach out to as many of these young acts as possible and try to share my knowledge of the business. Dem cant respect weh dem nuh know,” he said. “It is largely our responsibility as veterans to teach them the way. We affi make dem see say respect due and the way to do that is to gi dem the history.”
The generational gap between 90s dancehall artistes and today’s crop of creators has long been a topic of discussion on the local music scene. The now generation is often brought under scrutiny for not paying enough homage and respect to the veterans who paved the way for them. When presented with these arguments, however, the younger generation of artistes usually counter that rather than offering guidance on how to manoeuvre the industry, they are often criticised by the veterans for not following the dancehall blueprint.
They also lament that because of their tendency to deviate from some of the core dancehall styles, older dancehall artistes do not make themselves readily available to share the knowledge they have acquired over the years.