Wednesday, August 5, 2015

When controversy is the song...

So I got this song to listen called "Teachers Love" off the riddim of that same name and produced by Electric Sticky Label, base in Michigan, USA.  The singer/songwriter is a Jamerican Dancehall/Hip-Hop and Electronic recording artiste known as King Jazzy (click to learn more about him). I was asked to give my honest opinion about it among other things. I Thought I'd share with you, the process, like how I arrived at my decision on rating a song,  'When controversy is the song." 

I'm always called upon to critique music and must tell you, I never hold back how I feel. The song has to move me from the get go, it has to do something to me almost immediately upon hearing it. Failure to do so would have left me feeling bored already but in most cases I will continue listening through to the end. Well for "Teachers Love" I actually liked what I heard but must admit the storyline is controversial yet funny. I wanted to say yes but something inside was saying no!

"Teachers Love," remixed by one of Dancehalls' long serving group member, Andre 'Suku' Grey of Ward 21, is the first track off a triple-medley project featuring King Jazzy. This medley features a collaboration with popular Dancer/SingJay Ding Dong, called 'Ride In' and a conscious reggae vibe track called "Hi Stakes." "Teachers Love," is story about a student's dream/crush for his teacher. It's summertime and he's about to explore the possibilities of living his dream. Sex and drugs they say, makes the world go round and music remains a source of controversial content within modern society. 

Music teaches us a lot about the artistes/character. Some sing about their lives while
King Jazzy
others sing about things happening around them. Whatever the case, we're often lead to believe or told to, "relax don't take everything seriously." But seriously, whether we should or should not take someone's words/expression as a true representation of their thoughts or feelings in music, is a whole other discussion. As it relates to "Teachers Love," I felt like the song captured a real life situation, one many can relate to, does not often speak about, and which never really go away. So o
n reflection I question myself in a real life scenario, what if a student felt that way and especially if encouraged by their teacher, should he/she not express his/her feelings? I also reminded myself that music is art-form.

In the case of public perception, I considered the scenarios, the worst case for me is promoting a song that encourages an unethical behavior. I really wanted to know what my colleagues thought about this song so I sent an mp3 copy to them to find out. Almost everyone who listened it felt it would not get aired on the radio. Truth is, it got them talking which is good for the song and how it will impact the general public.

It's now days later and my mind is settled, here's how I feel. "Teachers Love" is not sending a message, it's making a statement. While there are many other controversial songs out there, I believe strategic marketing can discourage any unethical behaviour it portrays (let me be quick however to add, that this might not be the case for all songs considered controversial), but in addition, 9/10 such relationships never really work. Creativity can reverse the thought of a student/teacher love affair.

Imagine this happening in the music industry everyday. Artistes, producers, managers, labels, music promoters, publicists etc. spends time considering what goes public, what is a good song, what people like and some just don't think at all.

Whatever the process, we get to see and hear musical expressions from different people of different background that impact our lives one way or the other, and that is really what the artistes works for. We do have a responsibility to ensure that what is fed to the public promotes good conduct and we're out here trying, we not perfect, but we love this thing call music. 

More often than never, controversy has been the song, that song you love. Our job is to give you what you want. Now you might want to listen this track or the entire 'Teachers Love' project. Go ahead, check it out, click the title highlighted here:- 'Teacher's Love'  and/or visit www.kingjazzy.com to listen/download the full project. Be sure to leave a comment if you wish to.

By: Sophia McKay