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Wingie: 'Jamaicans are trying to emulate the foreign stars'

THE MAIN MAN IN ACTION: Wingie and Seani

TEAMWORK MAKES the dream work, so the saying goes. And history has countless examples of where this can be proved to be the case.

Within the realms of our own BrukOut team, nothing exemplifies our ethos more than that statement.

You may see me on stages, on the mic or running up and down, but I am one part of a wider team that have the beliefs and mantras of the company as central to what we do.

We aim to drive each other on, and help each other to maximise our potential personally and collectively in anything and everything we do.

Avid readers of this column will have heard me mention one of our team quite regularly. Wingie is effectively BrukOut JA – our general on the ground and very much in the streets.

He is the man who can definitely make it happen, as the likes of BBC 1Xtra and Drum and Bass producers Chase & Status can confirm.

PICTURED: Wingie with Jamaican legend Beres Hammond

His ability to spot and hone new talent is incredible, and this week we give him his much-overdue spotlight.

So what does it take for a new artist to be on the radar of someone like Wingie?

“The business down here is competitive – you have to come with something relevant, a good style, top appearance and bags of persona,” he tells me from what sounds like a windy and rainy Kingston.

“You have to have the right team around you. It’s very hard to break over here. There are so many talented artists you really have to stand out to be seen as special.”

Being on the cutting edge exposes Wingie to much of the raw talents in the streets of Jamaica, and he is very aware of its importance to the building of the business.

“The street circuit is crucial, it’s the foundation of where the music comes from. It has grown a lot recently and is a big tourist attraction, but it had to grow,” he says.

“It plays a wider importance to people who use it to make a bit of money to send their kids to school, or just to live day to day. We shouldn’t under estimate how vital this is for the community.”

The pressures of street dances has increased over the last few years, and been in the news in JA this week. Wingie says it is making it harder for the everyday man or woman.

PICTURED: Wingie all smiles with Tracks and Records’ Gary Matalon

“The police say there can’t be dances in the ghetto. It’s hitting those people who just want to better themselves,” Wingie adds. It seems that the Jamaican flag isn’t flying as high as it could or should be, and it is something Wingie has strong opinions on.

“What I have seen that has hurt me is that Jamaicans are trying to emulate the foreign stars rather than keep their own style,” he added.

“The government need to do more to promote the music – they should build a studio for young artists to develop their craft. A lot of people just watch what the foreigners do and try to copy it. Last night I was watching Rising Star on TV (like a JA X Factor), and there was no visual pride of being Jamaican shown by the artists.”

Wingie hails from Arnett Gardens in Jungle, Kingston, which has a notorious reputation, but is a hub of creativity as well. It has played home to the likes of Eek A Mouse, Junior Demus and Bob Marley (who used to be driven by Wingie’s dad.)

“I was born and bred into this music thing – I used to go to studios as a child, and have always just loved working around talented people,” he explains.

Being the ”go-to” guy for people who want to be at the heart of the Jamaican music industry comes with its own pressures, not that he feels it.

“Nah man, it’s not pressure! You always just want to put your best foot forward.

“I love the music and want to show the island in a good light to people from other parts of the world who want to see how we do things here.”

Seeking out the next one is how he stays on top of his game. So the burning question is, who is next?

“Man, there are so many. Look out for these three – Kempo from Montego Bay, who is part of the 6ixx camp. He is very talented and I like his work. Next would be X3myst who has a big tune called Smooth Criminal, and also a very good artist called Don Roze.”

There you have it – remember where you heard it first. Every team needs someone like Wingie – hard-working, honest, energetic and about his business.

Final word to the man himself… “Big up family and friends in UK…love, everytime!

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