Shaggy to link up with Ambassador Marks

WASHINGTON, DC, USA – Award-winning international reggae artiste Orville “Shaggy” Burrell will join Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks as her special guest on the monthly chat series, Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks , on Thursday May 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm EDT.

In announcing Shaggy as her special guest, Ambassador Marks stated that the upcoming online fireside chat will not only update on current areas of interest or concern in Jamaica, but will explore the concept of monetising Jamaica’s culture on the international market.

She noted further that “many persons other than Jamaicans are benefiting financially from marketing our cultural offerings in the international sphere. Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora should be able to monetise the Jamaican culture — our food, our music, our dance, our fashion, our athleticism, our language and sense of humour, all the unique things that make us Jamaican. If you think about it, we are all ambassadors for our country, especially its culture, which has so influenced the world stage that people are constantly amazed at our geographical size”.

“When I speak about the potential for ‘monetisation’, I’m not simply talking about becoming the next famous industry star, but about all areas of creating value including the new and hottest value proposition on the market today non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can really be anything digital, such as pictures or music, which your brain downloaded and turned into an AI [artificial intelligence]… or just about any unique creative work for which there may be a buyer. We have seen millions being paid for NFTs — US$69 million for pictures put in a digital collage, US$3 million for Jack Dorsey’s first tweet etc, etc.”

It is against this background that Ambassador Marks has invited Shaggy, known for not only his music but, more importantly, his understanding of the business of branding, to chat with members of the Jamaican Diaspora about monetising Brand Jamaica in their own interest and that of the country.

In commenting on his invitation to connect with the Jamaican Diaspora, Shaggy said, “As a proud brand ambassador for Jamaica, Let’s Connect is an ideal platform for the Diaspora to engage openly on such important matters as presenting and spreading our culture.

“Jamaica is one of the most vibrant destination brands in the world and our culture is as unique as it is popular. I am looking forward to participating in these discussions with Ambassador Marks,” Burrell added.

Ambassador Marks commented that “we have to start looking for opportunities post COVID-19, and the creative industries is a low hanging fruit to transform our uniqueness, resiliency, creativity and commitment to turn the best of our culture into real economic opportunities”.

She emphasised that a key to harnessing Jamaica’s creative industry is an active collaboration between connected members of the Diaspora and the talented local creative industry community.

Let’s Connect’ with Ambassador Marks offers members of the Diaspora the opportunity to speak directly with the ambassador about issues that are of interest to them, as well as to be updated on the Government’s policies and programmes as well as the embassy’s activities.

From time to time, the ambassador will be joined by various guests including ministers of Government as well as key members of the Diaspora, US Government and key players in various agencies.

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