Lloyd Stanbury Talks Reggae Roadblocks

There is no secret that Jamaica’s culture is a major attraction for tourists. Reggae music, especially, has the potential to be a larger foreign exchange earner for the country- if only the players get over some roadblocks. I had a one-on-one with entertainment lawyer and author of the insightful book ‘Reggae Roadblocks, A Music Business Development Perspective”, Lloyd Stanbury, who shared the inspiration behind the book and some thoughts regarding removing those roadblocks.

“The book was written to highlight, clarify and discuss solutions to remove roadblocks to business development in Reggae,” he said. Pointing out that after over 20 years of research, conferences and stakeholder discussions about Jamaican music conducted by local, regional and international academics and creative industry experts, there is now increased interest in music industry development in Jamaica.

Stanbury stressed that enough remedial action has not, however, been taken.

As an entertainment lawyer and business consultant, Stanbury has a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of the music industry business. “The book identifies inadequate music business management skills as the biggest roadblock to music industry development in Jamaica. To address this deficiency we need focused attention to be placed on music business training programmes at both the formal and informal levels, through appropriate tertiary level training as well as through specialized professional development workshops,” Stanbury pointed out. He also noted that appropriate use of modern tools, such as social media, for marketing, requires special attention in Jamaica.

To overcome the roadblocks that are preventing the music from becoming the foreign exchange earner that it should be requires a careful examination of how our music has evolved and what has made it popular around the world.

“The studies, training workshops, and other related projects implemented over the years, also served to highlight many of the challenges faced by our international trading partners, as they seek to collaborate to expand and service the global demand for Reggae music,” he said.

“There is evidence of significant decline in the business success of some Jamaican based Reggae artistes. During the 1980s and 1990s more than twenty Jamaican Reggae acts had international recording contracts with major and large independent record labels in the USA, UK, and Japan,” he said, pointing out that by the beginning of last year the number had reduced to fewer than ten.

“There are also some peculiar features to the development, creation and promotion of Reggae music that have caused additional roadblocks to business development and the realization of greater economic and social benefits to primary music producers, and the Jamaican economy as a whole,” Stanbury said. These areas also need special attention in order to move forward.

Part of fixing the business is learning what’s ailing and that’s what the book is all about!



Cecelia Campbell- Livingston - Contributor
Cecelia Campbell-Livingston has over 20 years of journalism experience. Her career started as a writer for the now defunct Jamaica Record, before moving on to The Jamaica Herald/XNews. Later, she served as Coordinator for the teen publication, Teen Herald. In 2008 she joined the staff of the Jamaica Observer as an entertainment writer. Since December 2014, she has been the Clarendon correspondent for the Jamaica Gleaner.

The views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of JAMPRO

3 thoughts on “Lloyd Stanbury Talks Reggae Roadblocks”

  1. Is it possible that because Jamaican artists have fewer major label contracts, there is a new opportunity for indie labels to step up and fill the void? Especially, in view of cost structures that currently favor the owners of right? I bought Lloyd’s book, but haven’t finished yet. Maybe the answer is there. By the way, all should buy it. It contains some insightful commentary.

  2. Cecelia says:

    Thanks for your comment, I totally agree with you on the insights offered in the book. I part agree with you on the fewer label contracts but still think if the players get themselves more organised and professional in their approach a lot can happen. More doors can be opened.

  3. aj cormier. says:

    I just bought the book and waiting ’til I’m back on the island (in 9 days), relaxing on the beach to read it. I have several reggae artistes friends that have left the island and have done it their own way, independently for several years in Europe and the USA. They are unknown on the island but big artistes on the Europe Reggae Scene, playing at major reggae clubs and festivals.

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