Jamaican prime minister urges artistes to promote peace and love through music

Andrew Holness

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has urged recording and performing artistes to play an integral part in the fight against crime by using their music as a source of inspiration to promote peace and love in the society.

Holness, who was speaking at a Reggae Month reception last week said while music sometimes serves as a means of entertainment, it is also a powerful tool which can be used to minimize incidents of crime and violence, through the messages that are conveyed in songs.

“Jamaica is going through a particularly difficult time with crime and violence but this is not the nature or culture of our people, so I call upon the cultural icons and ambassadors who use music as a means of edifying and uplifting the people, that we need to do more with our music to get our young men and women to be less violent, and to be less willing to participate in criminal activities.”

He added that music is a powerful source of uniting people and getting them to think differently.

“Sometimes the music can become our anthem, it can become our theme, and it can tell us what to do. What we say in the music can be so powerful, and so tonight I am speaking to the people in the industry who make the music…we have to use this powerful tool. We have to tell our people to be peaceful with each other and to love each other,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

He commended members of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), producers and persons integral to the industry, “who continue to make us proud with your music,” and encouraged them to continue being productive and creative.

The reception, which was hosted by the Prime Minister, is expected to become a yearly event on the calendar of activities for Reggae Month that is observed in February.