Dancehall artiste Dotta Coppa says the coronavirus pandemic has been more gruelling on newer artistes as entertainers who have been in the business longer can eek a decent living from royalties alone.
Dotta Coppa told BUZZ that many new artistes have been forced to diversify their income, with some even returning to 9 to 5 jobs because the music business cannot pay all the bills at this time.
“Currently, in this time, music cannot pay all the bills. So we have to always find new ways to make money. We have to survive. We have to put food on the table and I have a child so that’s more mouths to feed, it’s not just me,” said Dotta Coppa.
“So we have to think and be creative. You know, as my granny use to tell me seh me haffi use mi hand an mek fashion,”added Dotta Coppa.
While noting that he has not joined the content platform, OnlyFans, popularised by the pandemic, Dotta Coppa said he can understand why many artistes are turning to such platforms, as he added the pandemic brought the entertainment industry worldwide to a standstill.
“Well, for me, and for many other artistes, I think , you know, it has been really difficult, because, you know, artistes make the money from live performances not from streams,” said Dotta Coppa, who explained that for the dancehall and reggae genre of music consumption patterns differ .
“A big fraction of the money comes from live performances and dub plates for sound systems. In this pandemic, there are less dub plates being cut, you know, and no shows,” he added.
Dotta Coppa said while he is on the popular streaming platforms, it is not necessarily a business model that benefits newer artistes but is better for more seasoned acts with extensive catalogues.
The business model is such that it is a meagre per-stream payment for artiste, though he notes that some platforms are better for newer musicians than others.
Dotta Coppa, who currently resides in Germany, began his musical career in 2009 as part of the Portmore Empire.