Local musicians and artistes are feeling the impact of the global recession resulting in the shrinking of international bookings and performance revenues. This has come from the newly elected president of The Association Of Music Entrepreneurs, George Thomas. Mr Thomas however believes that AME is well positioned and committed to play an effective role .in helping earn foreign exchange and stimulate economic growth through the export of local music.
Speaking on the heels of their recently held AGM, Thomas indicated that the non profit organisation is finalising plans for a range of initiatives aimed at increasing the promotion and export of local music that will result in Barbadian artistes and music finding new markets overseas. One such planned activity is a trip to The National Association For Campus Activities marketplace (NACA) in February 2011, where the AME expects to showcase the talents of local musical acts to the largest collegiate gathering in the world. NACA is a 50-year-old organisation and the largest campus activities marketplace in North America, where representatives of more than 500 colleges convene annually to book a variety of entertainment acts for their campus entertainment and activities calendars. Next year’s showcase will be held in Missouri, and according to Thomas, provides an unprecedented opportunity for Barbados music export sector to build new markets for local artistes and musicians who have been hard hit and seen a steady and significant decline in revenues even from traditional bread and butter Diaspora markets.
Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist
I understand the rationale but I am not sure I agree with those who call for a removal of so-called “smut” from soca or calypsos. What really is the “smut” persons are referring to? Are we talking about sexual connotations? If so, then why pick only on the calypsonian?
Seventy per cent of the songs I hear on non-gospel stations in Barbados include some element of implicit and explicit sexual reference. Indeed, I marveled a few weeks ago in the midst of the Movado/Vybes Kartel hullabaloo, when, in banning two Jamaican artistes from coming to Barbados to sing smut, our society then authorized a radio station to send two probable teenagers to the United States to see smut. This writer has a fundamental problem with that!
I was all for the banning of the Jamaican duet because I objected philosophically to the notion that they had a role to play in helping to shape the thought processes of our youth. There are far too many role models in Barbados for me to accept that a Jamaican dance hall artist is required to point out right from wrong and lead our youths along the straight and narrow path. I also have a difficulty in these tough economic times, of our encouraging low income earners to assign hard earned resources each week to what, to my mind, is low level entertainment. I therefore supported the ban on Movado/Vybes Kartel.
Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist
“Boy, I hear Colin Spencer putting some blows in wunnah this year”. That was the refrain of the self declared independent commentator, whom I know to be an ardent supporter and financier of ‘the other side’.
He was thrilled that a known supporter, indeed a former candidate of the ruling Democratic Labour Party, had penned and was actually singing a song he, the observer, deemed critical of the government. As for me, I had not heard the tune. Indeed, in this, the third week of June, I have not heard many of the tunes for the 2010 season, but I guess that has to do more with my listening to the wrong stations. My daughter tells me I ‘have to get with it’, as there is much more to radio in Barbados than VOB and CBC. Truth to tell, I hardly turn my dial away from those two flagship stations; so that which is not played on either is not likely to be heard by me, unless someone calls and says ‘turn to so and so and listen’.
So I was not alarmed and still am not fazed by the fear of what could be contained in Colin’s song. I know Colin Spencer! He is a man of immense character and integrity and therefore he cannot be bought out or bought into. I have not heard the song, but I am sure it is solid social commentary, the likes for which genuine kaiso lovers yearn.
Pop R&B song bird Barbadian Rihanna’s popularity continues to propagate as she promulgates her bad girl image. Despite the haters she continues to scorch the music charts across the globe. Many Barbadians have expressed concern about how her handlers have managed her image since her break-through Pon de Replay single. The sweet innocent 17 year old Combermerian is no more.
Her recent video (above) confirms once again that Rihanna is committed to wearing the bad girl Madonna like image. Babadians could like it or lump it, Rihanna’s image is about making money and she seems to be doing a good job at it. The question to be asked against the background of the recent banning of Movado and Vybz Kartel, are we practising double standards given the bad girl image being portrayed by Rihanna supported by her naughty lyrics? Whenever we question how our youth ambassador is managing her career the haters surface. Given her global popularity and the fact she happens to be Bajan translates to many young Barbadians idolizing her.
Should we talk about banning some of her music as well?
The minibus situation in Barbados has grown unbearable for some of us. Recorded music is not supposed to be played in these PSV’s (Public Service Vehicles), only the live radio stations. However, there are several Dance-hall CD’s in circulation featuring Father Crab, who shouts profanity and vulgarly throughout the entire CD. Passengers are subjected to hearing Father Crab “large off” all of the men who carry their own gun, and cannot be told what to do, while playing songs like “Press Trigger”. This not only promotes violence, but rebellion against authority too.
On one occasion, while Father Crab was encouraging this type of rebellious behaviour, a male passenger on the bus threatened to assault a female passenger, and when the conductor and driver forced him to disembark, he tried to break the window next to the aforementioned female passenger. When the conductor expressed concern about the window, he proceeded to brandish a knife, telling the conductor that he was prepared to kill him. I found all of this ironic, because the male passenger was simply acting out the music which was being blasted in the bus throughout this incident.
Rihanna poses topless in Italian Vogue
Let us be clear, BU wishes Rihanna well in her chosen career. She has done well if we measure success by the penetration she has made in the world of pop. The BU household has watched her progression with admiration and interest. The recognition which Rihanna has brought to Barbados was rewarded by the government of Barbados last year. After the material possessions were received, she was given the official papers to be Ambassador for Youth and Culture.
In light of her recent indiscretions and now her topless pose in Vogue Magazine, the question asked by BU and others remains. Should the government of Barbados ask Rihanna to quietly relinquish the post of Ambassador for Youth and Culture? Perhaps given her schooling at the Waterford University she should have the awareness to not wait to be asked.
Since the Chris Brown incident it seems Rihanna has been on a hunt for publicity by any means necessary. We understand these PR stunts all do wonder for her career but what does it do for her image in the eyes of young Barbadians who currently worship her? Rihanna finds herself in a position where she can trod the worn trail or she could use a hoe to chop a new path. She now has the popularity which equips he to make a positive difference. It seems she is allowing the American pop culture to quickly reel her in.