A Port Harcourt-based showbiz personality and Reggae artiste, Ras Arthur Umeh has expressed delight over the vibrant entertainment industry in Rivers State, particularly the music clan which he said has produced notable musicians in the country.
He said “our artistes are doing very well and are competing favourably with their counterparts in other states”.
Ras Umeh who spoke with The Tide Entertainment recently, contended that reggae music in particular had not done well in recent times, because most music fans in the state prefer Hip-hop, RnB and Gyration music which he said had taken centre stage, while Reggae is facing serious decline.
According to him, Rivers State can boast of good reggae artistes, but due to lack of funds and encouragement they have not been able to release new albums or to organise regular shows which will help to revive the music genre and make it more appealing to fans and music lovers in the state. He maintained that a Port Harcourt-based reggae outfit, Isroko Sound Production has done a lot to promote reggae music in the state through various concerts and urged others to emulate the organisation.
On his exploits in the industry, the Rastafarian said he started playing reggae music in 1981 at the age of 13 years and through the music he had visited 18 countries in the world including England, Holland, Germany, Australia and Ghana amongst other. He also speaks nine languages which include English, Arabic, Shanty, French etc.
The reggae master also has some albums to his credit such as “Voice of Zion released in 1997, under the defunct New Dove music label and ‘Voice from the Ghetto among others. The Okija, Anambra State-born reggae star stated that today he is into music production and assisting to bring up budding reggae artistes through promotions and recording of their songs.
He said as a Disco Jockey (DJ) he has played in many nite clubs in the Garden City such as the defunct O.J. Maroni, Studz Aristo House Emma Chez and Tariebi Gardens. Others are Lulus, Nite Bus, Bootleggers, Maxi class, Mr. Smith Muriela, Rollingstone and D-Daniels amongst others.
The showbiz personality stressed that before now, one could easily count 20 nite clubs within Port Harcourt metropolis, but today most of them have been closed down while only a few are now functional. He however, remarked that though nite clubs business in the state had declined, the state is still a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
The seasoned musician enjoined musicians in the state not to relent in their chosen profession because there is always light at the end of the tunnel. He stressed that music is an enviable profession and musicians are well respected all over the world. He said apart from the fame and wealth it gives to the artistes, music also contributes to the economic development of the country and generates employment opportunities.