Senior producer at Downsound Entertainment Cordell ‘Skatta’ Burrell is baffled as to why Romeich Major would prevent his artiste, Teejay, from gracing the stage at Reggae Sumfest next weekend.
Teejay, the Uptop Boss, closed dancehall night last year alongside Rygin King. Having distinguished himself on stage, the Montego Bay-based artiste opted to join the Romeich Entertainment camp.
One year later, promoters of the ‘Greatest Reggae Show on Earth’ sought to engage Teejay for Sumfest.
Burrell said that negotiations to book two artistes from Major’s camp, Teejay and Shenseea, started in February, but it soon hit a stonewall.
“He wanted a million each for three acts (Ding Dong being the third) and he did not like that we only wanted two, but when he said three of them together and gave us an ultimatum, we said let’s negotiate that,” Burrell told THE WEEKEND STAR.
“We cannot pay $3 million for three, you’re gonna have to come down on your price. We understand that you have a brand and it’s good to showcase your brand, one behind each other, but you have to come down on your price. Let us negotiate and work together and do a good production and good showing right in front of all of these corporate people and after that your brand is gonna gain more off this festival than a few hundred thousand dollars,” Burrell insisted.
According to Burrell, the amount offered to Romeich’s acts ranged from J$300,000 to J$400,000 each. He said Romeich declined the offer.
But Romeich said that the figures quoted by Burrell are not true.
“It is a lie, I did not want $1 million for Shenseea and Teejay, I did not ask for nothing like that for none of them. Me nah go guh inna di price dem, but a lie dat. And even if I wanted that, my artistes are valued that because he is paying artistes that is not in their calibre at this moment, more than that. Him a pay artiste weh nuh double hotter than them, triple dat so even if a dat me did want, a dat mi fi get,” Romeich responded.
Meanwhile, Burrell said that Teejay appearing on the Sumfest stage would have been beneficial to him. Burrell said Teejay has been performing on the show for the past few years, and now has something to prove since getting his big break last year.
He also wanted to book Shenseea, noting that Ding Dong has appeared at the festival for four consecutive years.
WILL AFFECT THE SHOW
“He gives praises to the show for letting him acknowledge Teejay’s talent so he could be able to sign him, but he didn’t wanna give back to the show by saying let’s negotiate for him to have this appearance now that he has a string of hits. Let’s do it for the fans,” Burrell said.
Event principal Joe Bogdanovich does not believe the trio’s absence will affect the show.
“I don’t think it will in no way at all. We give young artistes opportunities and the ones we give opportunities, they get a big boost and they have the talent and go far like those artistes who did well in the past,” he told THE WEEKEND STAR.
“We broke Rygin King last year and he has been working all over the world as a result. Teejay was on the show same time as Rygin King and he is doing well also,” Bogdanovich continued.
Last week Romeich appeared on TVJ’s Entertainment Report and said he was told that his three acts, Shenseea, Teejay and Ding Dong, were not worth his proposed booking fee, and, as such, will not be appearing on this year’s festival.
Bogdanovich, meanwhile, said the show remains committed to presenting a varied line-up.
“We try to keep the festival vibrant with contemporary, current songs and artistry and there has always been the criticism that it’s the same acts every year. What we have done is taken the advice of the patrons who want more variation but you can’t please everybody,” he said.