NY selector creates online artiste clash for up-and-coming talent – Dovey Magnum, I-Octane, Kemar Highcon and Tifa show support | Entertainment
Markus ‘DJ Markus’ Gavin, co-founder of Bronx-based sound system Platinum Kids, believes up-and-coming dancehall entertainers are feeling the strain more, now that in-the-street promotion is limited.
“There is not enough new blood getting the rotation needed to survive in the business,” he said.
DJ Markus, who started the sound with his brother Paul, told THE STAR that as a disc jockey and promoter, it can become monotonous to have the same music or artistes appearing on a live stage, and there have been requests to inject some new talent into the mix.
“With everybody trying to keep their name relevant, in particular so many disc jockeys already flooding Instagram Live playing music, I wanted to try my hand at something innovative,” he said. “So we set up a series where up-and-coming or emerging artistes from all over can audition in the first hour, and the best 10 are selected to clash until we get to five, then three, and so on. It’s a good platform for producers and artiste managers to discover people, too.”
One of the popular editions of the artiste clash, which is dubbed Pon Di Sound, was the Battle of the Sexes edition.
Dancehall entertainers Dovey Magnum, Tifa, Kemar Highcon, Darrio, Shane E, Trabass and I-Octane have all been featured as hosts and judges.
According to Dovey Magnum, she has long believed that there needs to be more opportunities for up-and-coming artistes.
“At first, we were playing around with the idea but found out people shared similar interests, and I honestly love the energy,” she told THE STAR.
The artiste clash has received close to 6,000 viewers with industry players involved, and entertainers and producers giving musical mentorship, she said.
Some have also offered collaborations as part of the reward. The prize also includes a cash component.
“The up-and-coming artiste need help, so the whole money part come in from persons recognising this. Persons start pledging to give until they request the CashApp and PayPal accounts,” Dovey Magnum shared.
The largest amount accumulated was little more than US$1,000.
“Money is motivation and I wish we had sponsors, but what we have so far has pushed the artistes to work harder,” the Bawl Out artiste said. “My advice to anyone who participates is to have an open mind, no thin skin to the thing, because we give proper and honest criticism. I also believe persons should find their own sound, introduce it to us and stay real in sticking to their own sound rather than copy.”