5 Ways J’can artistes have reinvented themselves to stay afloat during the pandemic

With the onset of the coronavirus forcing radical changes on society, the entertainment industry is no exception and has faced severe setbacks as it tries to adjust to what has been described as a new normal.

Among those severely affected are the performing artistes, who have seen their income stream impacted, as shows and other events remain prohibited due to social distancing regulations. In light of this, a number of entertainers, especially artistes have been looking at alternative ways to supplement their income.

Here are a few ways in which some entertainers have been working around the COVID blight.

1. Content creation

A number of artistes have started to create exclusive content during the pandemic and have begun publishing them on various platforms. These platforms such as OnlyFans, allow the creators to charge fans a fee to access this content. Dancehall acts Ishawna, D’Angel, Macka Diamond and others have been using this as a means to earn more money, with Ishawna insinuating that it has been quite lucrative for her so far.

2. Selling branded merchandise

It seems that a number of persons have also started selling clothing and other items under their own brands. Dexta Daps is one of the latest to join the venture, selling shirts, hats and other items. The list has become quite long but probably top of the list is dancehall heavyweight Spice, who has been aggressive in pushing her Gracie Nior clothing line, which is selling faster than she can get it manufactured.

3. Farming

Yes farming, there are a few that have recognised the importance of protecting our food security and have delved into farming as a means to earn some money. Leading the line is probably Khago, who has started planting Jamaica’s most popular staple, yams, at his Manchester residence. He has also been raising chickens as part of his latest venture.

4. Branching out into Cannabis 

While a fledgling industry, a number of artistes are now climbing aboard the Cannabis train as they seek to further expand themselves. In recent times, dancehall act Popcaan has revealed that he is building what seems to be an empire out of the product. He has so far released his Unruly Cannabis Tea line, with plans to build a factory to process the plant and its byproducts in the near future, in his native parish St Thomas.

5. Starting new businesses

There are some dancehall artistes who are now looking at opening businesses to boost their income. Just recently, Tifa opened a restaurant in Florida, while Yanique ‘Curvy Diva’ Barrett opened a restaurant in Kingston. She had expanded her pop-up kitchen.

It seems that while things remain constrained, several artistes have recognised that there are other ways in which they can earn. While they have been earning through streaming and other means connected to music, it’s safe to say that they have lost a great deal being unable to tour and perform in the usual manner.