Someone asked me a few days ago, "Where is the clash industry going and where do you see it in the near future?" I can't lie! It was a tough question. I gave a strong answer, but deep down I knew there was very little facts to back up my argument. If the roles were reversed, I would have shot bullet holes in the answer I gave that person. Never-the-less, the point remains -- there was no "positive truth" to the question! None at ALL! At this stage in the game, it's SAD to say that it's really not clear where the industry is going.
One, new sounds are not living up to the standard set by their forefathers, which of course doesn't make it easy for today's sound clash patrons to support events not involving "ELITE CLASS" members.
Two, clash fans continue to dwell in a 90's bubble, expecting things today to be exactly how they were decades ago. We, the lovers and supporters of the sport MUST realize that ALL things in life have to evolve. Such understanding also holds true for the clash arena and the sound industry as a whole. Changes have to be made to the sport of sound clashing to gain the interest of the younger generation.
Three, we MUST all realize that the sound industry is taking a huge beating in ALL sectors. It time for both the clash sounds and juggling sounds to unite and move as one unit. The time has come for there to simply just be one sound system industry, consisting of all sounds/selectors. Once such unity comes forward, then dancehall fans will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Imagine a world tour with Jaro and Stone Love! Madddd! or Bass Odyssey and Fire Links! The barriers of egos and sound system politics that prevent such combinations MUST be dismissed in order to regain hype.
Four, young sounds need to recognize their responsibility to the arena! Their role is to bring forth a new generation of dancehall lovers to keep things going. What makes very little sense is the fact that today's young sounds are having trouble attracting their peers. I can't understand this! You would think that they (young sounds) would have the formula to reach young future dancehall lovers because they share similarities in regards to their interests and life styles. But, this has not been the case. Young sounds need to understand strength of marketing and the key role they play in the upkeep of the arena.
Five, veteran sounds must be willing to except and endorse upcoming selectors/sounds and their talents. The older sounds must understand that the music is bigger than us ALL. Therefore, it's their job to help to prepare these young sounds by passing the torch. Veteran sounds that refuse to recognize that their reign is over and continue to act as if the arena is all about them hurts us ALL.
Six, young sounds need to recognize that the contributions of the sounds and selectors before them are the building blocks of today's sound arena. Without such effort, there would be no industry to enjoy. Therefore, respect is due! Yes, the rules of the GAME have changed over the years, but one rule that remains the same in the GAME is .. Respect for your elders.
I can go on for days with a list of the things that should be instilled for the improvement of the sport.. Never-the-less, I said all that to say -- at this point, none of us know where the industry is going!! What a sad reality!