Nature Ellis calls for balance in songs played on-air
Reggae singer Nature Ellis is calling for balance in the type of songs that are played on-air and other mainstream platforms.
“Since the last five years, I’m afraid to turn on my radio,” he shared with The Gleaner. “It’s hard to find some nice songs. If it wasn’t for YouTube, some of us would go mad because every time you turn on the radio, it’s another murder song, chop song, and it’s destroying our spirituality. We might talk and it sound simple or silly, but it’s dangerous.”
While the Freedom artiste agrees with the argument that artistes are merely singing about what happens in society, he said there is still a responsibility to lead youths on the right path.
“If our stars of the day are proudly saying they are taking drugs, and we have to underline, molly is a drug – it is not a natural drug either. It’s not a neem leaf or herbs, for example, that someone can boil and drink ... . At the end of the day, it’s about striking the balance. We need to find more consciousness and play that, too, because there are people and children out there listening and children will live what they learn. If 90 per cent of the artistes that are playing in Jamaica more frequently on the air is about these types of topics and they’re not singing about it to tell you drugs will harm and kill you, they’re proudly singing that this is something you need to do, that’s the difference ... . The reality is children look up to our stars.”
He connected this to a personal experience of being a student at Glendevon All-Age School, now Glendevon Primary and Junior High School, in St James, when deejay Bounty Killer came to perform Book, Book, Book.
“Those things were influential and it’s still influential; that’s what makes Bounty Killer, Bounty Killer. Him nuh just get up a talk bout murder and rae; he’s still poor people governor by defending the rights of the people and education and all of these things. So, it’s not about being perfect cause I’m way far from that, no one is. But we have to do our best to create a better environment where children can learn to understand that they don’t have to take molly to feel like someone. Dem don’t have to put dem pants down a dem knee to be a man or looked at as someone trendy, and it goes on and on.”
Yet, he couldn’t help but fathom what kind of music and lyrics will be popular years from now, positing that every generation tries to outdo the other.
“If we listening to Bounty Killer Book, Book, Book, Garnet Silk Love is the Answer, Bob Marley One Love and it brought people like Chronixx and Jesse Royal, imagine these songs that are promoted, what it will bring? What type of artistes we’ll have in the next 10 years? If you’re singing about molly now and they’re making it sound like it’s cool to take molly, they’re gonna be singing some things that in your wildest dreams you wouldn’t believe.”