Wednesday 14 November, 2018

Billboard hails Bogdanovich as leading advocate of Jamaican music

Josef Bogdanovich

Josef Bogdanovich

Leading American entertainment publication Billboard has featured Downsound Entertainment boss Josef Bogdanovich and his role as one of the most prominent advocates of Jamaican music both locally and internationally.  

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style. It is also known for its music charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular singles and albums in different genres.

The piece, released on May 8, chronicles Bogdanovich’s professional life in the music business, going all the way back to his founding of one of the largest concert promotion companies of the 1970s, Los Angeles-based Pacific Presentations.

It wasn’t however until the early 1990s that Bogdanovich began visiting Jamaica, eventually starting a Jamaican branch of Downsound Records, and ultimately making Kingston his home in 1999. Since then, he has played a crucial role in the careers of several well-known Jamaican artistes including Jah Cure, Harry Toddler and Ishawna.

In addition to investing heavily in the development of Jamaican music, Bogdanovich also established himself firmly within the local business community by investing in several well-known and thriving entities such as the KLE Group, operators of the Usain Bolt Tracks and Records franchise, Hardware and Lumber as well as H&L Rapid True Value. He has also led successful philanthropic efforts such as the Caribbean Love Now initiative which collaborated with leading Jamaican companies to raise funds for islands in the Eastern Caribbean affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

The real highlight of the article though was Bogdanovich’s visionary stewardship of Reggae Sumfest. By 2016 when he acquired Sumfest it had suffered scale backs due to low investments and festival management could no longer afford the famous international acts to which patrons had become accustomed.

However, in only two years, Bogdanovich has successfully changed the festival structure to feature primarily Jamaican talent and transformed the once struggling Sumfest to the most anticipated musical event in the region. He has also modernised the festival, introducing digital HD streaming of the acts with an astounding reach of more than 60 million worldwide.

Despite his praiseworthy leadership of Reggae Sumfest, in the Billboard article Bogdanovich humbly credits his love of Jamaica and its music as his primary motivation.

“I want to highlight reggae and dancehall, to bring more business to Jamaica because it’s a great, blessed island. And I am doing everything I can to support it,” he said.

The full article can be found at: https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8455072/starkist-heir-reggae-sumfest-owner-josef-boganovich-profile