Grammy Award winner Sean Paul has emerged as the Caribbean’s biggest Spotify earner for 2022, according to CertifiedStreams.com.
The list of the top 21 Caribbean earners on the platform also comprises Bob Marley and Shaggy, as well as newcomers like Koffee, Skeng, Shenseea, Skillibeng, and Kabaka Pyramid.
Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service—controlling just under a third (31%) of the global market as of January 2022, a bigger share than its nearest rivals Apple Music (15%) and Amazon Music (13%) combined—according to research company MIDiA.
The list of top Caribbean earners on Spotify was compiled using estimated data points provided by BMAT, considered one of the music industry’s fasting growing music metric data providers.
Lloyd Laing, the conceptualizer of CertifiedStreams, who is also the music director at Edge 105 FM, says the list is a testament to a shift that has happened in the Reggae and Dancehall.
“Comparatively, most of the Grammy nominees in the Reggae category this year are from the Reggae Revival. It speaks to the fact that the elders have been holding on to Reggae and not providing pathways for the younger generation so there’s a generational transitional complex that the industry has been going through,” Laing told DancehallMag.
“They have solicited a transition, and we call it the ‘changing of the guards.’ We hear it in the changing of the sounds. We have to accept that this is the new sound of Reggae and what the consumers are buying. Of course, some people will still make traditional Reggae, but this is the future.”
Of the top Caribbean music earners, Sean Paul, Koffee, Protoje and Kabaka Pyramid are all nominees in the Best Reggae Album category for next year’s Grammy Awards Awards. They go up against Shaggy.
We previously reported that Skeng, Masicka, Squash, Chronic Law, Kraff Gad, Alkaline, Ai Milly, Bayka, Valiant and Intence are the most streamed Dancehall artists in Jamaica for the year 2022, across 22 streaming platforms.
Laing said that it comes as no surprise that the newer crop of artists are hinting at overthrowing veterans. In fact, he said that based on the pattern of the evolution of Jamaican genres, it was inevitable.
“We can say whatever want to say about the root of Reggae. They [the older artists] have stood the rest of time, but we have to give the youths dem credit. The shift is of natural order. Same as how we moved from genre to genre overtime—it’s the same thing that we’re seeing happening now. It is one of the paradigm shifts,” the musicologist said also admitting that the new age entertainers are at a bigger advantage because of their access to technology.”
He posited that with this advantage, artists need to pay closer attention to feeding their audience quality music.
“Technology does play a part in the creative process. A likkle man can just get up and record pon him phone. The industry has reached a point where it is dependent on the spaces that supports the music that separates the music from the pod. Availability of creative technology has not defined quality music. We have quantity, but we need quality,” he said.
When asked to summarize the climate of Reggae and Dancehall for 2022, Laing described it as strenuous and urges all entertainers to sink or swim come next year.
“The year was a challenging year. But as Jamaicans, we have found a sense of resilience. I see next year that a lot of people would have been shellshocked by the industry. For those who have not adapted, they better learn…fast!”
In This Story: Beenie Man, Bob Marley, Buju Banton, Busy Signal, Chronixx, Damian Marley, Inner Circle, Jimmy Cliff, Kabaka Pyramid, Koffee, Omi, Popcaan, Protoje, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Shenseea, Skeng, Skillibeng, Spice, Vybz Kartel
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