Dubplates a ‘tek life’ in COVID
Behind every dark cloud there's a silver lining, and that's true, even for the COVID-19 pandemic. Well-placed entertainment practitioners say that here has been a renewed demand in dubplates, and veteran artistes are enjoying the spoils.
Oneil Famous, owner of Music Town studio in St Andrew, told THE WEEKEND STAR there has been a lot of events online since the pandemic, and the interest in artistes, who would not normally be requested for 'specials', has peaked.
"There are Internet clashes on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms all across the world, and the thing is that the selectors are cutting a lot of dubplates. Before COVID, it was the hot artistes that were in demand, but now things change up a bit and it is the veterans who are getting the special work," he explained.
The Silvertones, the Jays, Mighty Diamonds, the Heptones, Josey Wales, Bunny General, Lone Ranger and Tristan Palmer are some of the veterans who are getting calls for dubplates during this time.
Happy that "the thing spread out and more of the older artistes can eat a food", Oneil Famous reasoned that things are rough for those entertainers whose touring dollars are now almost non-existent.
"The COVID thing put a dent in the business otherwise, but we still have to be thankful. The artistes come here and do their thing and sometimes stay and hold a vibe, but we lock up by 6:30 p.m. because you know there's the curfew, and we try as best as possible to get things right with the protocols. But what is happening for us with the virtual clashes is a good survival outlet for the studios, as well and even my daughter, Pinky Famous, is doing well out of it," he said with a laugh.
Pinky Famous, the singer, who now goes by her given name, Trishana, told THE WEEKEND STAR an interesting story. When she was about 15, a soundman asked her father to let her sing a song by '70s artiste, the late Phyllis Dillon. The teenager sang Win or Lose and it went over so well that she has been singing Phyllis Dillon songs ever since.
"I didn't know much about her and I did my research, because more and more people started telling me that I sound like the late, great Phyllis Dillon. Now, when the selectors want a Phyllis Dillon special, I am the one who they ask for, because she hardly did any dubplates during her lifetime. But I make sure to say in the intro that 'this is Trishana, aka Pinky Famous', and then sing Perfidia, or whichever song the sound wants," the singer said.