Reggae Star Factor is a new talent search platform, with a unique aim of discovering some of the UK’s most promising reggae artists. Having kicked off in July 2014, the live series took place at The Tabernacle in London, where approximately 400 hopefuls flocked for auditions.
Each person took centre stage, in front of a panel of judges: Lovers Rock Queens Carroll Thompson, Sylvia Tella, renowned singer-songwriter Kareem Shabbaz, former Aswad musician Clifton “Bigga” Morrison and Journalist Andrew Clunis. By the time the finals hit, just 24 contestants remained with the intention of battling it out for the coveted crown. This was hosted by radio personality Bobo El Numero Uno and is the brainchild of music professional Diane Black with Jack Reuben, Caroline Williams and Ken Martin also collaborating on the project. .
There have been some recent changes in reggae music within the UK such as its continued marginalisation on legal radio and decline of album sales.
Reuben said the following: “regardless of the changes, reggae music is alive and kicking. Talent is still out there and our aim is to expose it, in a way that programmes like the X Factor aren’t”. He continued: “we need to come together and build upon this industry so that, if nothing else, we can leave a legacy behind for the next generation”
Another concern of the Reggae Star Factor executives is the vast amount of artists who have to work full time jobs, in spite of their talent, as a result of a lack of infrastructure and governmental support. According to Reuben, this is akin to Restraint of Trade which is a legal doctrine that enforces restrictions on freedom to conduct business. He commented on the need to start an official body which represents the music.
It was only after the successful finale of this season’s Reggae Star Factor that many South London residents began to hear about it. However, by mid-season, the competition began to attract more audience members from across the Capital, setting a precedent for the next series.
The anticipated prize of an album production deal (Real Talk Productions UK), management (Launch Pad Arts) and a tour provided by MediaCom (Europe’s premier tour booking agency) was awarded to winner Chardel on Friday 7th November.
Check out http://www.reggaestarfactor.co.uk for information