The victory of Dubtonic Kru in the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) competition indicates that Jamaican music is globally competitive despite its controversy and lack of resources, stated stakeholders.
“Not only does it prove that we have the talent, but it says that we can compete outside of dancehall and reggae,” stated local GBOB franchise holder, Seretse Small about the fusion of reggae and dub music which defines Dubtonic’s psychedelic sound. “We now have proof on an international level. It says to me that there are other markets that we need to explore. We love Bob Marley but there is more to come.”
Smal,l elated by the victory quipped that he could happily “lie down and pass away”.
Dubtonic’s victory puts the stoplight on the band. In contrast to Jamaica which celebrates the solo artistes at the expense of the musician.
“Jamaica ended up on top and that is where we belong because that is our culture,” said Dubtonic drummer/singer Jubba. “We are humbled by the experience because there was a lot of great bands. But its a notch-up for Jamaican music, “he added on arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport from Malaysia on Monday afternoon.
The event held in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, over the weekend saw the local band beat 16 others to win a development deal valued at US$100,000, a world tour and the title Best New Band in the World.
The win, balanced the recent negative industry news of the bottling of deejays Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel at a concert; and the guilty verdict in a US court for popular deejay Buju Banton on three charges including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.
Dubtonic said that they would go into the studio to record a follow-up album. They however noted that sponsorship was needed to support local bands engaged in similar ventures.
“A lot of times musicians and artistes don’t get the time to showcase much. So we need more corporate support in a big way. We have the talent. I don’t think there is a place that is as talented as Jamaica in terms of musicianship,” stated Horace ‘Kamau’ Morgan Dubtonic percussionist/vocalist.
“The authorities should see what is happening on the live scene and get involved and get things together so we can take reggae music to the next level.”
The full complement of the 15-year old band includes Jubba drummer/vocialist , Kamau vocalist/percussionist, bassist/vocalist Strickland Stone, guitarist/vocalist Omar ‘Lanzo’ Johnson, and keyboardist/vocalist Luke Dixon.