Music fans have seen the public demise of relationships between reggae/dancehall artistes. Among many others, the relationships between Beenie Man and D’Angel, Bugle and Raine Seville, selector Foota Hype and Ishawna did not last.
According to artiste manager Kingy Lettman, like any other monogamous relationship, if there is no understanding between the two individuals it may be tricky. “Artistes will get together based on how they feel about each other and what they can garner from the relationships. In terms of schedules, in addition to the ins and outs of the career in entertainment, it is easier for artistes to understand each other, compared to dating someone on the outside,” said Kingy.
But there could be the matter of the manager getting involved, advising the artistes they are in charge of about the particular relationship. Industry professional Shelly-Ann Curran was cautious, expressing to The STAR that she is not aware of any in-house dating (between her own artistes) and, because of this, she does not know how it positively or negatively affects work interaction. “Honestly, if either artistes or industry players are able to separate work from personal, I would have no issues with them dating,” said Curran.
Dale Virgo, popular producer for local and international recording artistes, was irresolute, wavering between yes and no, although saying “everybody is free to choose who they want to love.” Similarly to how instruments are tuned and are in sync with one another for a live performance, or the way a production is co-ordinated, that is the kind of care that needs to go into artistes’ relationships. It is a sensitive situation, even if it has to do with an artiste and producer, dancer and dancer, DJ and artiste. Virgo said that “people who are working together can still have conflicts of interest and won’t be as objective as they need to be; that’s where the unprofessional behaviour, or drama, tends to occur.”
Drama between artistes, industry professionals, dancers or entertainers of any nature has the power to make one party appear stronger and more valuable than the other, but all that is based on the level of professionalism displayed. Kingy says when artistes are supportive of one another, the promotion can be good. He said: “Artistes in a relationship may want to share the stage with one another or make their audience aware of their lover’s new song. I would not say it is always appropriate; chances are the artiste may have a different audience.”
“People (family, friends and managers) have to give them space to interact, as well as solve their own issues,” said Kingy.