Addressing copyright laws and the need for greater appreciation of local artistes-Jumo “Unruly” Primo
Jumo Fitzpatrick Primo is known for his devilishly enticing waistline. And combined with a commanding a raspy voice, this seasoned entertainer has been blazing a promising trail for himself not only in Guyana but regionally as well.
While he is also known for his affiliation with one of Guyana’s most entertaining duo groups – x2 ( Times 2), he is deemed as one who sets himself apart from the rest with his undoubtedly energetic performances.
In an exclusive interview with News Room, the Soca entertainer talks about being a father, copyright laws, the need for greater appreciation of local artistes and confronts his most hated rumour.
News Room (NR): Tell us about your journey Thus far as an Entertainer?
Jumo Primo (JP): Well, what can I say; music has been a part of my life since I was a little boy. Since my career took off professionally at the age of 14, life has been different for me. I have been fortunate to be a part of lots of bands and the experience I have acquired over the years is just overwhelming. The journey as an entertainer is always evolving. It is a metamorphosis. You are always learning something new and adding to what you are already doing. My journey has been satisfying and the further I go the more I realize that I have lots more to learn and to tell you the truth, the trials of the journey is what really keeps me humble at times.
NR: How successful have you been as an artiste in Guyana?
JP: Ha! Umm, that depends on what kind of success you’re talking about. I have been successful in developing a fan base but I’m no billionaire because of my music. Let me set the record straight. In order to be in the music industry in Guyana, you have to love it. And the success is in most cases an intangible one. You can’t come into the industry expecting to make a fortune. More importantly, there is no protection for artists in terms of laws. Of course, I am referring to the outdated Copyright laws. We get air play for our music but then you have to fight for that to be done because our industry is so stocked up with international music that it becomes really hard to compete with it but the support of the local people is what keeps me going.
NR: What is your take on the notion that artists in Guyana need to produce music that reflects originality and quality in its lyrical content and beat?
JP: I am all for that notion. Yes, it is true that some of our artists don’t produce music that reflects these very qualities but it is all a work in progress and I do hope that they advance to that stage. But while this is the case I would like to add that there is a great need for the improvement in the way local artists are treated. There is a need for the boasting of the package offered to us and local artists need to be encouraged on every level.
NR: Do you feel that local artists are not respected in Guyana?
JP: In Trinidad and Tobago, Machel Montano is a king in his country and he is local in his country and when you compare the kind of respect he gets with the way local entertainers are treated in our own country it saddens you. I have been treated better outside and it seems as though other countries have more respect for you. Promoters need to up their game as well.
NR: What is your impression of our local promoters?
JP: Simple—the always miss the big picture. They need to have local artists interact with the international performers that they bring into the country. These people come here and we don’t get a chance to interact with them. To share thoughts and ask questions and that would provide a really good platform for further growth and it is an important factor that promoters miss.
NR: How has fatherhood impacted your career?
JP: I am a proud father of three; one boy and two girls and it is my source of motivation. Everything I do is for them. They keep me grounded and it has made me a more conscious person in terms of everything I do in music. I now have to make a special effort not only to be a better entertainer to make my children proud but also to be a good example for my daughters. They ask a lot of questions (chuckles). Sometimes it is hard trying to find that balance. And it forces me to live a double life. I am Rubber waist on stage and Daddy off stage. It’s complicated but I love my double life.
NR: What is the biggest misconception about you?
JP: Ha! On the top of the misconception, list would be—Jumo is a womanizer. And that is so untrue because it goes against every grain in me. I am not perfect but I’m respectful to women. And that misconception has done a great deal of damage to my relationship but I try to roll with the punches. I have a lot of female friends but I’m no womanizer.