The Association Of Music Entrepreneurs Working To Expose Barbados Talent

Submitted by on behalf of the Association of Music Entrepreneurs Of Barbados

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.

“The combined NACA budget for talent is an impressive US$50 million and we intend to earn as much as we can for Barbados,” says Thomas whose organisation is the umbrella body for entrepreneurs involved in the export of Barbadian music.  Thomas further noted, “In light of recent statements by The Minister of Tourism regarding the development of new markets, NACA also provides an excellent opportunity for the promotion of Barbados’ tourism product to the lucrative Spring Break market and we believe the showcasing of local musical talent is a natural vehicle for encouraging visitors from the collegiate market whose decisions are heavily influenced by the entertainment offering of the destination.”

Armed with a strong belief in the quality of local talent, Thomas is confident that the acts chosen by The AME to attend NACA will be able to secure bookings at the event and earn direct foreign exchange for Barbados, as well as establishing valuable contacts and opening the door for the export of additional Barbadian acts in near future.  He is therefore appealing to government, private and non governmental sectors to ensure that Barbados is able to capitalise on this initiative which is a first time collaboration between NACA and an international representative of artistes.   A focused Thomas said, “The AME is committed and continues to do all it can in order to expose Barbados’ talent to the world of opportunity that NACA offers, and we hope that we will reap success in our efforts to secure the US$70,000 it requires to undertake the mission.”

Contact:  George Thomas – Phone:  246.233.8244
Byron Gibson – 246.262.8255

  • BU finds the following press release interesting in light of the statement quoted below which was delivered as part of the budget yesterday. Richard Stoute has made a sterling contribution but should government support be so narrow in focus?

    The cultural industry in Barbados has been neglected over the years. One would have thought with the emergence of several Bajans on the world entertainment scene some interest to piggyback on this success would have been grasped by government along private sector interest.


    Mr. Speaker, for the past thirty-four years the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Show has been the bedrock around which 136 vibrant performing arts industry has developed. Local music industry stars such as Edwin Yearwood, Terencia Coward, Allison Hinds, Anderson Armstrong, Rupert Clarke and Adrian Clarke have emerge from this veritable nursery of young talent in Barbados.

    Over the years however Mr. Stoute though doing the contest as a labour of love and a contribution to the young people of Barbados, has been finding it difficult to attract the levels of sponsorship required to truly take this completion to another level.

    Given the undeniable importance of this contest to the cultural, social and economic landscape of Barbados and the need to maintain and ultimately institutionalize its existence the Government of Barbados has agreed to throw its full support behind the creation of a Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition Trust to assist with the financial, technical and operations management of this national institution.

    The Trust, which will be funded by an initial investment of 400,000 dollars, will formulate and partnered by the Enterprise Growth Fund Limited which will establish a governing Board on which Mr. Stoute will sit along with other technical personnel specially chosen to develop and the show into a major instrument of tutelage in the performing arts. Further details on this initiative will be made known in
    the coming weeks.


  • This article has given rise to a number of images in my mind.Music in Barbados has not seen the full potential that can be attained. I believe that the private sector while doing the best it can, should be partnered with governments is helping entertainers to sustain themselves and in so doing, bring Barbados further to the fore.
    We have let so many of our artists slip through the cracks that one wonders why anyone who has achieved any merit without their country’s help should give back!
    The music industry has seen the lack of identification of any one particular music culture. Jamaica has Reggae and Ska, Trinidad and Tobago revels in Kaiso, the french caribbean has as its signature Cadance. Where is our signature?What has Spouge done us that it cannot be stamped as originally Bajan?
    How many times do we still promote the music of Fern Trail, Norma Stoute, Mike Grovernor,The BRC, The Electrons Combo, Bertie Connell, Sheryl Hackett,The Escorts and the list goes on and on….. The music legends of Barbados must be kept alive in persuit of upgrading and engraving their contributions. The merry men, The Sand Pebbles, The Merry Boys,Spice and company were all there.
    Barbadians seem to have a problem with their own original music. Writing original music should be encouraged. We must encourage promoters not opportunists to professionally take new artists to the next level.I am not convinced that T.C, Alison Hinds, Rupee, Adrian Clarke and Edwin Yearwood has really reached their true potential.So,I am thrilled to hear the Government is prepared to put its money where its mouth is by assisting Richard Stoute’s brainchild.He deserves it. Barbados deserves it.
    Ah well! Now we add a new association of music entreprenurs with the promise of international ventures. I wish George Thomas well but in the interim I think some open mike forums are in order-without limitations. Get my drift? There is money in music but I well recall a source quoted as saying”get a job first.”Music gets you to your soul and when it does its a wake up call for all with promise!There are persons too with talents just waiting to be discovered.Gospel is another story!!


  • Forget about spouge. You got to be kidding me. Most artists are adopting to the globalised trend of cross mixing different genre of music in order to remain relevant and have staying power.Generally nowadays most artists are one hit wonder. People like Rhi Rhi comes once in a generation.Allison Hinds has done a few collaberation which is the way to go and others must follow suit.


  • @zion

    Shouldn’t music represent the soul of a nation?

    How can Barbadians artists push R&B and expect to stand out on the global stage?


  • @ David. The music business nowadys is beyond sentimentalism and national pride. Its all about commercial success by whatever means necessary. Jackie Opel set the foundation and we should have raise the bar by now. Music knows no boundary and belongs to no nation exclusively. And music like most things in life are built upon the mixing and borrowing from other cultures.


  • zion
    Man how ya expek me ta faget bout my spouge man? wah dah is like tellin me ta faget my ‘firs kiss’. muahhhhhhhhhhhhh.


  • I am sorry Bonny .






  • zion
    me still luvs ya hunn. smoochhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


  • Is there any reason we couldn’t use the month of November to showcase our cultural industries? We need to operate and think out of the box.


  • AME – great idea, great cause – if they can fight the good fight like a pitbull with a bone. The may be able to get the support they need. Depending on whom they rely on the could raise it in a year in these hard times miracuously so – thinking outside the box will be needed by AME more than ever.

    @ KISSMYA – true story couldn’t agree more, its clear the fortunate ones escaped, the pull down .

    Also, I’m sure that without the national awareness that Richarde Stoute has garnered over the years. AME is going to have a difficult time with this … how many years Rishcard Stoute had hard times before this…


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