A few weeks ago while listening to the highly entertaining and informative Fireworks Show on VOB radio, kudos to Dennis Johnson and Carol Roberts (in the PM), Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley called the program. During his contribution he voiced his displeasure at the low level of local music being played by local radio stations. BU is onside with the minister, we definitely need to make some ‘earth moving’ decisions about how we leverage the power of the airwaves to kickstart a revolution in local music which continues to endure labour pains.
It boggles the mind why a minister of government in 2012 should have to plead for Disc Jocks et al to play more local music for several reasons. The two reasons at the top of the BU pile:
It is approaching near 40 years since Crop Over was restarted and synonymous with the festival is the making of music, usually calypso. Through the years local entertainers have produced some wonderful music which to this day continues to thrill the locals and others abroad. BU conservatively estimate if we have produced 250 songs in the near 40 year period there is a calypso/soca repository of songs of about 9000+. Perhaps Dennis Johnson can tell us if this is not sufficient music to adequately fill the airwaves should we decide to make the push to GO 95% LOCAL. Imagine our horror to listen to the government owned station pushing hip hop two weeks ago by none other than Admiral who should know better!
Does any one remember a few years ago we had local entertainers in great demand in the land of calypso? It was so noticeable it was dubbed the ‘Bajan Invasion’. Of late we get a few acts invited to the land of the Humming Bird and the music is hardly played on radio. This is especially so during Carnival. Interesting to read about Socafest scheduled for Barbados during the climax of Crop Over 2012 with Baron and David Rudder invited. Does any believe Bajan acts and music dropped of the radar by accident in T&T? Does anyone believe Bajan music would ever get priority play on Jamaican radio? Right!
Why is it Trinidad, Jamaica and many of the other islands see the need to defend indigenous stuff. Barbadians on the other hand are always willing to compromise this position. All it should take is for the Minister to facilitate a meeting between Starcom, CBC who represent the significant marketshare and agree to an MOU to GO LOCAL 95% of the time. By playing more local music it should fuel local demand, create more awareness and taste for local music at home and abroad; local radio has an Internet presence.
By turning up the dial for local music this is a necessary component to interact with government’s thrust to rollout the Cultural Industries Bill (CIB). Despite the dithering and the politics so far BU remains hopeful that a relevant CIB will be proclaimed in our lifetime..
Come on people, we can do this if stakeholders understand there is the urgency of now. The building out of new industries will threaten the power structures of the establishment, the only way to force a seat at the table is to to rally as one. Be united.
It is time to GO LOCAL!
What is this nonsense comparing countries that export commodities to Barbados? Let us pick Guyana for example. Do you know Guyana’s debt