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Shaggy Says Better Work Ethic Would Make Jamaican Artists ‘Unstoppable’

Shaggy  says that younger artists have to step up their game and focus on their work ethic if the genre is to advance into future generation...

Shaggy says that younger artists have to step up their game and focus on their work ethic if the genre is to advance into future generations, as he spoke about his own experiences, which included losing his Universal Music label deal because he chose to do a dancehall project.

The reggae and dancehall legend was giving the keynote speech at the opening of the Island Music Conference, which he co-founded with artist manager mogul Sharon Burke on Wednesday night.

During his speech, Shaggy spoke about the attraction of foreigners to Jamaican music, something he called the "cool factor" that Jamaicans have. However, he was very candid, saying the 'cool factor' alone won't cut it.

"If you take the cool factor and talent that we have and merge it with some work ethics, we're unstoppable," Shaggy said. He explained that it's now easier for artists to access information about the music business, touring, and publishing through their devices, something that is kept hidden by gatekeepers to be in charge of artists' income.

"Now you can pick up your device and fact-check anybody that's selling you bullsh*t, and you can learn it and stay on top of your game," he said.

Shaggy also said it is easier for artists to be independent now, a move that was far more difficult for him and other artists decades ago as he revealed that he wanted to do a dancehall record, but his then label Universal was not in favor and dropped him as an artist.

"You should not be scared betting on yourself…the last major label I was signed to was Universal, and I remembered the minute I was dropped from that label- I was dropped because I insisted that I wanted to put a dancehall record out, and they really didn't see eye to eye on that," Shaggy said.

Shaggy said he went on to have his first hit as an independent artist with "Church Heathen," which spent 19 weeks at no. 1 on the charts.

Shaggy also said that he believes that Reggae artists do not have the vast opportunities as other genres, so they experience much "injustice" and fear of speaking up. He said artists needed to unite to combat this if Jamaican music is to advance for future generations.

"What we have to start doing is realizing our value, and the only way we get value is to create a movement. It can't be Sean Paul and Shaggy alone. We are not the future. I'm sorry, the future is the artists coming up right now, and they gotta be armed with knowledge and work ethic to take this sh*t on," Shaggy said.

The Grammy-winning artist also said he preferred to work with younger rising artists because he was inspired by their talent and work ethic and local artists who had good energy.

Shaggy also seemingly complimented Spice and her work ethic as he revealed that she often recorded her parts in "one go."

Shaggy on the importance of a good team

Elsewhere in the conversation, Shaggy also advised younger artists regarding having a good team behind them.

"Stars represent culture. Superstars shift culture. And there is always a culture shift, and it takes a superstar. It's here, but you don't want a superstar to come up now and do his or her thing, and you don't have the right team… you nah go make it, it's impossible," Shaggy said, adding that professionalism was vital for all team members.

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Frequency Gang : Shaggy Says Better Work Ethic Would Make Jamaican Artists ‘Unstoppable’
Shaggy Says Better Work Ethic Would Make Jamaican Artists ‘Unstoppable’
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