With Reviews ranging from ‘Incredible’ to ‘Informative’, to ‘the best music conference I’ve ever attended’, IMC 2024 is being hailed as successful, impactful and the best of its kind in the region and beyond. The Island Music Conference’s key objectives of being a facilitator, and gathering point to engage with artistes & Global industry practitioners, address pivotal questions that can significantly influence their careers, and ultimately propel Jamaica and the Caribbean’s entertainment sector forward as a cohesive unit, continued to be met in its sophomore staging.

The recently concluded conference, held in Kingston, Jamaica from February 21st thru 25th, featured an impressive line-up of influential figures, including WyClef Jean, Kes, StoneBwoy, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Spice, Teejay, Masicka and Jesse Royal. 

Sirius Xm’s Alex Tear, Audiomack’s Brian Zisook, Meta’s Brittany Johnson, Youtube’s Tuma Basa, S-Curve’s Steve Greenburg, Warner Records’ Steve Carless, United Masters’ David Melhado, Amazon’s Madeline Nelson, Grammy’s Len Brown and Ranch Entertainment’s Costi were just a few of the prominent music executives and practitioners who unravelled and provided insights into a slew of crucial global music topics, among them, the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the music industry, the nuances of publicity, branding strategies, artiste management, digital music marketing and effective money management.  

The five-day event was attended by over a dozen countries to include Guadeloupe, Trinidad, Grenada, Guyana, Dom Rep, SVG, St. Lucia, Costa Rica and Barbados. Zimbabwe and Ghana were represented from the Continent.  Canada was represented as well as 13 states of the U.S.

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In addition to the powerhouse convergence of top-tier artistes and key stakeholders, IMC this year looked at “Defining your Style” with Caribbean Lifestyle Doyenne Novia McDonald Whyte, Ayana Riviere, Keneea Linton-George, Carla Gittens, Neko “Bootleg Rocstar” Kelly and Paris Cole.

There was an immersive two-day song writing workshop on February 22nd and 23rd, centered on the art of crafting impactful punch lines and clever rhymes. The workshop was lead by songwriter/Producer Mikey Bennett who says in all his years of doing workshops and camps “This was the best one and the most fun”.

The final day saw the Premiere of the DocuFilm BAD LIKE BROOKLYN DANCEHALL – a riveting exploration of the rise of Dancehall in Brooklyn. It detailed the immigration, the soundsystem culture and those that set and fed the genre in the cold. A perfect end to a week of culture.

IMC Chairman and Co-Founders Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell, Judith Bodley and Sharon Burke are pleased with the turnout and the outcomes of 2024, though they still want to see more of the new and rising artistes attend. They’ve promised that just like this year, 2025 will be even better than the year before.

The 2024 edition of the conference was endorsed by the Ministry of Culture and supported by the Jamaica Tourist Board. Onboard with the project in a big way were Tastee Jamaica Limited, YOUTUBE, the CDB, Pepsi, IRIE FM, ZIP FM, SUNCITY FM, CVM Television and The Jamaica Observer Ltd. Other sponsors included IPrint, KFC, Kendel, KitKat and Hertz.

Photo Credit: Cowayne Benjamin from Buglyfe Media