Kingsley Cooper

CEO, Pulse Investment

We have been a leader in the entertainment and creative industry in Jamaica and the Caribbean for almost 40 years. We have pioneered a number of areas, the main one being the modeling industry. As a result of Pulse, over the years, Jamaica has produced many international supermodels. We will introduce a number of new faces into the market in 2018, as we look to expand the agency again at that level. Also, in the music industry, we held the Peter Tosh Music Festival, which has been well received both locally and internationally for the past two years. We are involved in many other areas of the entertainment business, such as fashion television, and Caribbean Fashion Week, which we own and produce. There is something special about Jamaica and what it represents; it captures the imagination of people all over the world. This is something we need to leverage and use to grow our tourism business, as well as our entertainment business. Kingston is where the Jamaican music experience evolved; a great deal of creative energy emerged from Trench Town, and other inner city communities. In terms of the creative industry, Kingston has become a magnet for tourists, not only because the talent is here, but also because we create “in demand” products from that talent.

Renee Robinson

Film Commissioner, Jamaica Film Commission

The creative industry is a competitive advantage for Jamaica. People around the world know about Jamaica—its reggae music, the cuisine, the dress, the attitude, the athletics, the culture, and so on. It is this ideology that drives the long-term vision of how to utilize the creative industry as a driver for economic growth. However, there is a level of infrastructure and policy that is required in order to realize true growth. Our research shows that the creative industries, more so than other sectors, can change an entire economy in as little as a decade. We have been reviewing models and examples and looked at best practices to determine what we can learn, borrow, or adapt for Jamaica, as we go about advancing the structure of our ecosystem. The animation industry is important in terms of framing what is happening here at the moment. The World Bank has provided Jamaica (through the Ministry of Science, Energy, and Technology) with a USD20-million loan to develop the animation sector. The World Bank did an economic impact assessment and validation to come to the conclusion that animation and the digital industries are transformative for urban renewal because of the speed of digitization and millennials working in the digital industry, making this a gamechanger in a developing economy.

Josef J. Bogdanovich

Chairman & CEO, Downsound Records

In the past, dancehalls were out of control; no one could get support from major sponsors for dancehall music because the crowds were unruly and uncontrollable. I developed many dancehall artists, and through my concert involvement, we have managed to clean it all up. Now, Downsound Entertainment has the full support of the largest conglomerates in Jamaica for the Reggae Sundown Festival. I feel great about that, though we do not know how long that will last because everything is unpredictable here. The reason I got into concert production is because I love concert production, I love events, and I like doing things that are bigger than life. We have the biggest brand in dancehall and reggae music, and it is loved all over the world. We have revitalized the brand and are opening our doors to Africa. They are the ones who really want to be here and not take advantage of the Jamaican name, to pay respect for what Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Dennis Brown have done in the past. That is what Reggae Sundown Festival is all about. We are an international brand, and we know how to do reggae and dancehall music in a way that others do not, like sunshine reggae in Europe. We are the real deal.