Selectors play an extremely central role in dancehall reggae music. Dancehall reggae selectors are parts of sound systems - in fact, they may be the most powerful and recognizable figures within sound systems. The duties performed by a selector by can differ from sounds system to sound system and can depend on the event. Generally speaking, you can think of a selector performing two roles at a dance:
- DJ - In dancehall music, a selector literally "selects" the records to play at a dance. They work very hard to create a mood with the progression of songs they play and pay close attention to how the songs work together.
- MC - Selectors are often very vocal and keep the crowd at an event engaged.
Selectors have a great deal of power in dancehall music to break new artists. Selectors are well known figures, and they can help new artists find their audience by playing their music at dances and hyping them up to the crowd. Many selectors have strong relationships with particular artists in which the artists provide the selectors with exclusive material in exchange for support by the selectors at dances.