Sunday | February 25, 2001
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High school graduate choosing dancehall music as a career


DANCEHALL music is experiencing an insurgence of intelligence. Increasingly, successful high school graduates are moving into the music profession and are using the DJ idiom as their mode of expression.

Delgado Thompson calls himself Demo Delgado. He's a graduate of Jamaica College with six CXC passes.

"I believe that music today needs more educated people because the writing standard has fallen. I know I have the ability to write songs without looking to nursery rhymes. I can find words," he said.

Delgado is a 'singjay' (a cross between a DJ and a singer). He was introduced into the DJ world by his father who was a DJ in Clarendon known as Wackle Stick.

"My father used to mould artistes like Merciless. I believe my natural talent is genetic. From I've been aware of life around me I've had an interest in music. There is nothing else in the world that appeals to me as much. It has not been easy for me because my mother objected to my chosen career, because she felt that someone with a Jamaica College education should look to more traditional and secure careers. But music is my life," he said.


Delgado said that had he not become an artiste, he would have become involved in the administrative side of the music industry.

"The music needs bright minds in that area as well. Every institution needs good management and that becomes even more critical when the institution is in difficulty, as the music is right now.

"It is time that people with particular skills start seeing the potential of the music industry and invest their time and efforts there. If people stay on the sidelines and remain critical of what is happening in the business and don't make an effort to get involved, nothing will change. "We need a lot more people with particular skills to get involved. This will help in the overall direction of the industry. We need more people with good management skills and people with marketing expertise.

"There are just a few people like that around today. When artistes are forced to operate in a business-like environment, they are likely to adapt," he said.

Delgado has several singles out for various producers. He has also teamed with some top singers, appearing with Wayne Wonder on Out, and Girl It's Alright, Sanchez on I Was Told and Mr. Easy on Jack It Up. He also has Fool Har on the Scotch Bonnet rhythm and Penthouse is about to release Last Laugh which he hopes will take him to another level. Delgado is very critical of the many negatives in the dancehall today.

"There seems to be a great lack of creativity and a lot of the DJs are just pirating the rappers. We need to be more creative and help to get the music to another level. There are many positives as well, because for one thing, it is much easier for people to get into the mainstream of the business now. There are more doors opened," he said.

Delgado said he has felt pressured to succeed in the music business because the young artistes are not getting as much support from the media as they should.

"There are people who are trying to be creative, but they do not get the media support. A lot of good talent is being stifled while every day we hear the same old artistes over and over. The industry needs to evolve like in America where every day a new artiste is coming at you at a high level," he said.


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