Written by 3:27 pm Music

Junior Monarch contestants ensuring calypso artform thrives

By Kimberley Cummins

Although some might argue that the political tradition of critique in calypso may be waning in Barbados, a cultural official says the long run of the genre is in good hands with the up-and-coming juniors.

And Music Officer on the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Kevin Moore, is crediting the talented children in addition to the guidance being imparted by the Foundation. During an interview with Barbados TODAY recently, Moore noted that through sustained developmental programmes he was optimistic about calypso’s continued growth and continuity.

“It’s an artform that may and can survive so long as the right exponents are developed and proceed to keep up themselves. What’s crucial is for good material to be continued to be written.

“We now have some excellent arrangers, some excellent writers and excellent musicians and what’s crucial is the support from the general public for the artform. I feel that the artform will proceed to live and the NCF will proceed to support and develop the artform,” he said.

His comments come ahead of the July sixteenth Scotiabank Junior Monarch final to be held on the Wildey Gymnasium. Speaking concerning the readiness of the kids, the officer expressed confidence about their preparedness as he noted that the NCF had invested much time to make sure they’re well-trained and developed to grasp the artform generally reasonably than simply being trained for competition.

So, for example, the kids have taken part in mentorship sessions in the shape of vocal training and stage presence and on Thursday a seminar was conducted by Scotia Bank which shared financial planning advice starting from saving to investing their winnings.

As well as, a workshop was conducted at which Cultural Ambassador and 10-time calypso king Stedson “Red Plastic Bag” Wiltshire and former Party Monarch queen Terencia “TC” Coward-Thompson shared encouraging words and advice concerning the on and off-stage facets of the music business.

Cultural Ambassador and multiple Pic-O-De-Crop monarch Anthony “Gabby” Carter and Dr. Stefan Walcott are also expected to have interaction the participants over the weekend concerning the history of calypso.

Because of the interpersonal assistance, Moore reports that the NCF has witnessed a large improvement within the contestants from their video applications to the current. For him, mentorship is very essential not only to make sure longevity but additionally if Barbados is to keep up high standards within the artform.

“We usually are not frightened about taking out the organic since the training is just not in a way that you need to do that and try this. But more suggestions based on, ‘should you are doing this you may try doing this to reinforce what you might be already doing or getting it to attach a bit higher’.

“So, it is just not a situation where we would like to create robots or a particular type of the deliverer of the artform. We are only attempting to make sure that when an artiste chooses how one can deliver their song, they do it to the perfect of their ability, knowledge and data that guides them on how best to attach with the audience,” Moore said.

He continued: “It’s okay on one hand to say the artistes in Barbados are doing this and doing that, but when we don’t guide the young artistes within the direction they need to go or how they need to develop, then we will’t quarrel about how they present themselves.

“So, the aim is to guide them and provides them the tools crucial so once they make the choice within the direction they wish to go within the industry in the event that they decide to stick with it, whether it’s calypso, soca, bashment soca, whatever, it’s to the perfect of their ability, in an expert way that gains them the perfect representation publicly.”

Next weekend throughout the Scotia Bank Junior Monarch, defending champs Kenaz “Mighty Bit Bit” Walker and Shontae Alleyne-Clarke will seek to defend their crowns against 15 others.

Within the category of soca: Joshua Blackman, Joshua Oxley, Kiah Shurland, Milka Goodridge, Revenn Moseley, Sephon Sealy and Trinity Clarke. Those within the calypso category are: Alyssa Harris, Danesha Davis, Dondria Forde, Ethan Edey, Kadarius Allen, Kari-Anne Holford-Sam, Yahandje Daniel and Rimiya Wilson.

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