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Maggie Brooks
Alfmar Records
By Sounni de Fontenay
(more articles from this author)
1999-06-19
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[Sounni] You are the Executive Producer of Alfmar Records, what are your responsibilities?

[Maggie] Production, promotion, management, advertizing, and distribution.

[Sounni] How long have you been part of the Alfmar family?

[Maggie] 15 years

[Sounni] How did you get started in the music business?

[Maggie] My husband Tonca is a reggae artist, and I began helping him develop his career soon after we met.

[Sounni] How did Alfmar Records get started?

[Maggie] Alfmar Records was conceived as an independent label to promote Tonca & Friends around 1984.

[Sounni] What genre of music do you specialize in?

[Maggie] Conscious reggae (roots reggae)

[Sounni] What makes your music different?

[Maggie] Tonca's voice is unique and raspy, while his conscious lyrics don't focus on rastafarianism, but on promoting global unity and peace.

[Sounni] How many artists are signed to the label?

[Maggie] One act: Tonca & Friends

[Sounni] Does the label have any new releases out now?

[Maggie] The latest was Committed to Jah, released in '96 - another is due out very soon.

[Sounni] What message if any do the artists try to convey through the music?

[Maggie] Love, togetherness, living life the best way for humanity and our precious resources, and seeing through the political movements of our leaders to their underlying objectives.

[Sounni] Has Alfmar records had the success anticipated?

[Maggie] It's looking more fruitful all the time.

[Sounni] Alfmar Records is based in St. Maarten, is reggae the preferred genre of music?

[Maggie] Reggae is one of the preferred genres, along with many others such as soca, calypso, cadance, zouk, merengue, salsa, hip-hop, jazz, and R&B.

[Sounni] What is the music scene like in St. Maarten, is Hip Hop well accepted?

[Maggie] Hip hop is well accepted by the youth - otherwise the music scene is most lively and energetic around Carnival time (mid April to early May), and then quiets down during the rest of the year, with the odd visit by such stars as Goofy & Red Rat, Beenie Man, Buju Banton and Bounty Killer. We often host a Jazz Festival here as well.

[Sounni] What do you look for in singing an artist?

[Maggie] Potential and quality of message and music.

[Sounni] Where do you see reggae heading in the next few years?

[Maggie] Picking up - it seems that every band nowadays has at least one reggae tune in its repertoire.


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