THE popularity of Solomon Islands integrated island and reggae music is increasing every year, thus attracting interest from many international artists to feature or collaborate in various music projects with local artists.
Over the past years, many local talents have had the opportunity to feature alongside some of the Pacific’s biggest artists, in the likes of Oshen, Twin Tribe, Vanessa Quai, George Telek, George Fiji Veikoso, SMR and even soon to visit the Solomon Islands, J-Boog.
Local talents such as Sharzy, Jah boy, Devande, DMP (currently on tour in Australia), Evin Rush, Blad Pitua, Taina Gee, Jeeno, Paeva, Black-Black, Onetox, Dezine and many others have all had that opportunity and have highlighted and shown their full potential tremendously in these collaborations.
Speaking to this paper, one of the upcoming local producers who has worked on many of these collaborations, Masilobo Ray Jack (Baka Solomon) said that the potential for local musicians to excel overseas is tremendous; however the only thing lacking is the avenue to market overseas.
“A lot of our musicians have collaborated with many overseas artists in the past and still doing so now.
“However they remain the same whilst international artists gain much more popularity, fame and money using our local talents.
“This shouldn’t be the case as many of our local talents should benefit a whole lot more through these projects.
“Excelling in such remains a big hurdle that we have to climb as much of our work is only done through hobbies and not contracts.
“We are exploiting our talents just for hobbies sake and not to actually benefit from. This needs to stop as with having proper copyright laws, we can do so,” he said.
Similar concerns were raised by musicians in the country who said that their talents and hard work has not at all paid off for them despite the many songs they write and produce.
“We work tirelessly to produce some very outstanding songs and yet these are done as hobbies.
“We collaborate with overseas artists through our own personal interest, whereas they take full advantage of such and excel way more than us,” local singer and song-writer, Mandre said.
Responsible authorities such as the now dysfunctional Solomon Islands Music Federation and also the government have been called upon to artist’s musicians with their dreams of prospering in their musical carriers.
By JEREMY INIFIRI