The best way to Preserve Singer’s legacy is by embracing Liberian Music, Supporting Local Artists
THE RESPONSE THAT FOLLOWED the death of Quincy Burrowes, the celebrated young Liberian singer and producer is drawing new light on the recording industry in Liberia.
BURROWES popularly known as Quincy B was on his way from a night out last Friday, March 3, 2017 at a local when the car he was driving crashed killing him instantly and injuring two others.
THE CRASH took place opposite the Monrovia City Hall when the singer lost control of his vehicle, swerving to the left and right sides of the road before applying brakes which resulted to the somersault of the vehicle sliding with Burrowes’ head dragging out before coming to a halt.
QUINCY B EMERGED on the music scene at the age of 19 when he was discovered by recording engineer, Infectious Michael Dennis. He released his first track, “My Dream” which he featured the maestro Ghana based Liberian rapper, Scientific.
SINCE THEN, his single releases have been gold, drawing praise, a massive fan base and admiration in and outside Liberia.
IN THE MOMENTS after his death, Quincy’s songs have been heavily downloaded and streamed on social media for free by so-called sympathisers and friends.
ARTISTS LIKE Quincy although hugely popular have barely been able to get by due to lack of support from the government and lack of support from Liberians who prefer to stream the artists’ music for free instead of buying or patronizing their efforts.
THIS HAS BEEN the case for a very long time. Artists and musicians before the current generation of Hipco and Gbema music stars produced some of the finest music of their day but got very little in return except for radio airplay.
FROM THE LIKES OF Princess Hawa Daisy Moore, Fatu Gayflor, Nimba Burr, Tejajlu, Morris Dorley, Yatta Zoe and Anthony Experience Nagbe; to Gebah Swaray, Kandakai Duncan, Miatta Fahnbulleh, Tecumseh Roberts, T. Kpan Nimely and a host of others, the list goes on.
IT IS ENCOURAGING TO NOTE that the current generation of local talents have created their own style of music dubbed Hip-Co which is usually in the Liberian English or local vernacular.
HIPCO IS IMMENSELY popular amongst youth, adults Liberians in the Diaspora and deals with all aspects of life in Liberia.
A FEW YEARS ago, a star-studded line-up of HIPCO artists collaborated for the hit song Pot-Boiling Remix which drew attention to the plight of ordinary Liberians struggling to make a living and feed their families.
THE SONG was a hit and even used by some companies as promotional materials and commercial with little or nothing going to the artists.
TODAY, THE LIKES of Luckay Buckay, Takun J, IamDred, Bone Dust, Red Rum, Kenny Da Knowledge, Noy Z, Real Mighty, Mighty Blow, Picador, Benevolence, Sundaygar Dearboy and T-Five are putting out hits after hits and after hits with nothing to show.
WHAT QUINCY’S DEATH has shown is that Liberia has a lot of real and talented musicians. All they are looking for is a shot and an opportunity to feel and be appreciated.
LIBERIANS CAN start by patronizing local talents and not just downloading their music for free or for cheap on the streets.
THE GOVERNMENT too must offer protection for local musicians and artists by ensuring that radio stations pay musicians each and every time their music is played on the radio or on television.
MUSIC, LIKE SPORTS can be a unifier, it can bring people together more than any medium. It can also serve as a trumpet to address burning issues of our generation.
IT IS GREAT that Liberians are showing their appreciation to Quincy B’s music. But the only honour we can give a young man who was undoubtedly one of Liberia’s greatest musical talents is to preserve his music and reward him by supporting his music through purchases and not just downloads.
LIBERIA IS EXPERIENCING a culture shock of immense proportion. In the past decade or so, we have lost our cultural centre to a fancy hotel at Kendeja and Bushrod Island which once served as a haven for some of the best cultural display has become a relic.
THIS IS WHY it is important for local artists to make their presence felt more than ever through unionization. It is only through the establishment of a proper organization that a lot of these issues can be addressed.
TODAY, EVERYONE is playing Quincy B’s music and thousands are downloading his many hits without making any contributions to his family. What happens when he is finally laid to rest? Will the music stops? Will his legacy flounder? These are questions that will continue to linger even after his death. The scores of other artists he has left behind should take cue from what Quincy tried to do as an artist and work extra hard to fight for their rights in an industry that needs all the support it can muster in a bid to keep his spirit alive and the music industry in Liberia forever relevant.