LONDON, England, Friday August 30, 2013 – Jamaican-Brit star Maxi Priest, who is currently promoting his latest song “Easy To Love,” is urging reggae’s new generation to take a leaf out of American hip-hop stars’ books and manage their affairs aggressively.
In a recent interview with Hazelann Williams of UK-based The Voice newspaper, the 52-year-old lovers’ rock singer spoke out on the negative impact of ineffective management on the reggae scene in contrast with the successful model of the US hip-hop industry.
“America and the hip-hop scene has been massively successful because they have lawyers, accountants and business people as their peers – they haven’t had to go to another race of people for information,” Priest explained.
“They work with their own brethren who have gone to university to do marketing or law and all the bits and pieces that build a good business, so they can sit down and casually put together a plan as to what they are going to do with their music. When you put all those pieces together you have a solid business and reggae needs much more of that.”
Hip-hop has cashed in on the expertise of heavyweights like Jay Z, 50 Cent, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Kanye West and Russell Simmons among the trailblazers who have built multimillion-dollar empires through strategic power moves.
Priest, whose ninth album will be released by VP Records in September, was born in England to Jamaican parents.
He broke into the music business on sound systems in London before hitting the British reggae charts with such songs as “In The Springtime” and “Should I?” in the late 1980s.
His big commercial breakthrough came with the album “Bonafide,” which topped the US pop charts in 1990. It contained the hit song “Close To You” which paved the way for other big US sellers including “Housecall” with Shabba Ranks.