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Lloyd A.W. Stanbury, Author of Reggae Roadblocks

By November 5, 2015Articles, Interviews, Magazine

Lloyd Stanbury is hailed as a Caribbean pioneer in the field of Entertainment Law. His expertise and experience span a wide range of related activities in the entertainment industry, including the practice of law, artist management, music production, event promotion, research, creative industries policy development, and lecturing.

Mr. Stanbury started his journey in the business of music in 1983 when he organized and presented the Sly and Robbie 10th Anniversary concert in Kingston Jamaica. His impact on the international music scene began in 1990 with his role as co-founder and vice-chairman of the world’s first all-reggae radio station, IRIE-FM, established in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. From 1988 to 1994, Mr. Stanbury had specific responsibility for the station’s legal and business affairs, the supervision of its music-programming department and the coordination of the IRIE-FM concert series “White River Reggae Bash.” In 1999, Mr. Stanbury established the Caribbean Music Expo (CME), and served as Executive Chairman. Between 1999 and 2004, the CME staged a series of international music business conventions and training workshops, which resulted in participation from hundreds of musicians, music and media business representatives, and organizations from more than 40 countries. Mr. Stanbury has also acted as CEO for a number of international live music concert events, including the Reggae Academy Awards.

His consultancy services include research and presentations to and on behalf of Jamaican, and international entities, such as the Government of Jamaica; the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) Secretariat; the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM); the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the Organization of American States (OAS); the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and Culture et Developpement in Grenoble, France. As an entertainment attorney and artist manager, Mr. Stanbury has represented such top artists, music producers, and corporations as Robert Livingston, Super Cat, Chronixx, Protoje, Half Pint, Freddie McGregor, Steely and Clevie, Da’Ville, Queen Ifrica, Busy Signal, Arrows Recording, Garnett Silk, and Ce’Cile. He has travelled extensively and participated in several music business conventions, including MIDEM in Cannes, France; WOMEX in Rotterdam, Holland; A&R Worldwide in Los Angeles; the New Music Seminar and the College Music Journal Conference, both in New York City; the National Association for Campus Activities Conference in Atlanta; the Music and Internet Conference in New York City; South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Conference in Nassau, Bahamas.

As a champion for structured development within Jamaica’s entertainment industry, he has been instrumental in the establishment of a number of music associations and copyright collection societies, including the songwriters agency, Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers (JACAP); the music producers agency, Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS); and the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (RIAJam), a trade association that represents corporations in the businesses of production, distribution, and publishing of music.
Mr. Stanbury served as a member of the RIAJam board of directors from 2003 to 2009, and as President of the Jamaica Arts Development Foundation, Inc. He is an affiliate member of the USA based Association of Arts Administration Educators, and has lectured in law and entertainment management at the University of Technology and the Institute of Management and Production in Jamaica. In 2011 he was selected by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a member of its Pool of Experts in the area of culture and governance for developing countries


REGGAE ROADBLOCKS, on the road with Lloyd Stanbury

Interview: Sista Irie

Sista Irie: Lloyd, you have been an active member of the reggae music industry at many different levels not only as an entertainment attorney but co-founder of IRIE FM, artist manager and advisor as well as many other functions. Throughout this time, you must have considered writing a book. What prompted writing and publishing the book at this point in time?

Lloyd: From a Jamaican perspective, I think we are fast running out of time to move local music industry development to a level where greater social and economic benefits will accrue for the people. I decided to write this book to capture and present my perspective on the challenges regarding the development of the business of Jamaican Reggae globally. The book is a reflection of my experiences as an industry practitioner working with artists, music producers, event promoters, artist managers, local and international government departments and industry organizations. My visits to several African countries in recent years, gave me a new perspective on my prior experience working inside Jamaica, the USA and Europe, and was a significant driving force to writing the book at this time. 

Sista Irie: Explain your selection of the title “Reggae Roadblocks,” what are you specifically referring to and who is the audience being targeted?

Lloyd : The title “REGGAE ROADBLOCKS” is a reference to the barriers along the road to business development. The title speaks to barriers that are self imposed by persons within the industry, as well as barriers from external forces within the Babylon system. 

Sista Irie: You refer in the book to the fact that the Jamaican government has not done its share to support the growth and development of the reggae music industry. Are they the biggest roadblock?

Lloyd: We can’t depend entirely on government, but it does have a significant role to play in terms of education and supportive institutions and infrastructure. There has not been enough support for institutions within Jamaica that try to provide education for musicians and artists such as the Edna Manley School for Visual and Performing Arts. The government and private enterprise should come together to create national strategies and policies for further development of the creative industries. There have been many studies done that have brought this to light. There has been a lot of talk but not enough action. I am hoping my book may generate more action by those who are more receptive to the idea of creative industries development and can make a difference. We must keep pressing.

Sista Irie: What chapter was the most difficult to write, and would that imply there is a lot more to be analyzed and discovered?

Lloyd: The Chapter on Women and Reggae was by far the most difficult for me to write. In writing this chapter I tried to incorporate the views of the women themselves, but found that many were reluctant to speak, and when they did speak they tended to hold back on their views. There is definitely a lot more to be analyzed and exposed regarding the challenges facing women in Reggae within a Jamaican context.

Sista Irie: What outcome are you hoping to accomplish with the publication of Reggae Roadblocks?

Lloyd: It is my hope that REGGAE ROADBLOCKS will serve as a guide for persons within the industry, the government and private sector of Jamaica, in our collective efforts to build a better industry locally and internationally. I would like to see our professors/researchers and policy makers taking a more practical and relevant approach to their contribution to music industry development.

Sista Irie: You and I worked collectively on various projects including interviews for this book. Were there any significant surprises that came from interviews with Copeland Forbes, Billy Mystic, Prof I and Roger Williams from Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts? Do you plan to continue collecting interviews from key music related icons that will lead to the evolution or volume II of Reggae Roadblocks?

Lloyd: First, I must express my gratitude and appreciation for the contribution made by you Sista Irie, in photography as well as in collaborating on several of the interviews done for REGGAE ROADBLOCKS. I would not describe any of the information gathered from interviews as significantly surprising. I did however learn from each person interviewed for the book, and would like to thank those mentioned above as well as others such as: Neville Garrick, Chris Blackwell, Dermot Hussey, Tanya Stephens, Etana, Wayne Jobson, Pam Hall, Warren Smith, and Elliott Leib, for their contributions.

Regarding a volume 2 of Reggae Roadblocks, there are several chapters in this first volume that could be expanded into future books. I will see how things progress, but for now there is a great deal of work ahead of me to promote this first book so that as many persons as possible will have a chance to be exposed to the contents.

Sista Irie: Without giving away all the details in the book, what do you see as the most significant obstacle preventing reggae from getting the acknowledgement and support it deserves?

Lloyd: Reggae music is acknowledged and supported globally in terms of its popularity and public demand. The popularity of Reggae continues to grow around the world. It is the “business” of Reggae that needs to be addressed so we can build an industry from within Jamaica. Without a structured local industry with supportive infrastructure and services, Jamaicans will continue to lose out to Reggae artists from other countries who benefit from more supportive infrastructure and access to professional management services. In my view the two most significant obstacles in the way of Jamaican Reggae industry development are:

(1) Inadequate and ineffective management for artists, events, music organizations and other service
providing entities, and
(2) a lack of commitment from the Government of Jamaica to
place culture at the forefront of national development.  

Sista Irie: Now that the book is published, how do you plan to sustain the topic and to broaden the attention to the knowledge brought forth?

Lloyd: My first task is to publicize the book and bring it to the attention of as many influencers and industry participants as possible, including persons inside and outside of Jamaica. I also intend to participate in relevant activities at conferences, music festivals, and on the international university/college circuit where the issues raised in the book can be presented and discussed. The sky is the limit as far as how the contents of the book will be utilized in future. I intend to explore the production and presentation of audio visual excerpts from the book, and also a documentary.

Sista Irie: There are various ways to buy the book, where and how are they available?

Lloyd: A limited number of physical copies of the full color version of the book, signed by me, are available by ordering through my official website at Otherwise the book is available in physical copy, both black and white and full color versions, and digitally from Amazon.

Sista Irie: You are a co-founder of the Reggae Business Network. That organization was formed after leading a panel at SNWMF. How important are panels at festivals, how do they serve the industry and what is your plan for creating more panel opportunities at future festivals.

Lloyd: The Reggae Business Network was established as a Facebook page seeking to bring together like-minded professionals with a view to providing information and guidance for the further development of the international Reggae business environment. It came about following a panel discussion on the state of Reggae in the USA at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in 2014. I also had the privilege of participating in the Reggae University panel at the Rototom Sunsplash Festival in Spain in August 2015. One of the first lessons I learned on my entry to the music industry was the importance of music business conferences, seminars and panel discussions to industry development. The international Reggae music community needs to place much more emphasis on activities of this nature if we do want to grow an industry. I think Reggae festival organizers around the world could learn a lot from the Rototom Sunsplash festival model. 

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