The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) boss has defended the controversial decision to have a junior bashment soca monarch this yr, suggesting that the way in which children will likely be exposed to the sub-genre could change its image.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carol Roberts-Reifer has subsequently urged the general public to attend and see what the young artistes produce.
“I just ask for slightly indulgence. Give us a few weeks and see what we give you lyrically, layered on top of what’s a basic bashment rhythm,” she told Barbados TODAY.
The NCF announced on Wednesday that for the primary time, soca and bashment soca monarchs can be crowned within the Junior Monarch Competition. The choice sparked public debate over whether it was appropriate to have children perform bashment soca songs which are sometimes accused of being lewd.
Roberts-Reifer told Barbados TODAY that while the NCF can be concerned that the lyrics and themes in bashment soca “usually are not as healthful, or not as inclusive, or as tolerant as we would love”, it has some merit.
“We could regulate it, we could ban it. But, again, if you happen to are a student of history, you’ll know that anytime popular culture is suppressed or banned, it goes underground, it festers, and it fosters much more expressions in that genre or sub-genre,” she said.
“Or you may determine that that is a well-liked expression that comes from the people and you may determine that you will change the main focus and you’ll tackle it at the basis, which is with young people.”
The NCF CEO added: “If there may be any entity supremely able to getting our young people and harnessing their creativity in a positive way, it’s the National Cultural Foundation. I can’t consider every other entity that may manage this process well. So, I encourage everyone to provide us a few weeks and allow us to see what these young people will throw up.”
Outlining in a press release on Wednesday that there can be a junior soca and bashment soca monarch together with the normal calypso monarch this yr, the NCF said the three-tier Junior Monarch Competition which was previously categorised by age, will now be done in line with genre, leading to three separate competitions with three different genre monarchs.
The preliminaries will likely be conducted by video submission after which those chosen will progress to a rehearsal and mentorship phase, which is able to conclude with a straight final on July 16 on the Garfield Sobers Complex, the discharge stated.
The addition of the bashment soca component triggered debate on call-in programmes radio on Thursday.
Several callers contended that young people shouldn’t be singing bashment soca, because of the negative connotations related to the term ‘bashment’. Others, nevertheless, argued that bashment was simply a genre of music and said they didn’t imagine the NCF would encourage children to supply songs with lewd lyrics.
Roberts-Reifer contended that so as to engage the eye and participation of all demographics and age groups, NCF must meet people where they’re.
Nonetheless, she said, this didn’t mean accepting whatever was produced and presented.
“It isn’t that they will create the song that they need and submit it once they want, and so they are only allowed to compete with it. There may be a mentorship process, there may be a social skills and development process. All of those components are built into the Junior Monarch programme this yr,” she said.
“The very fact of the matter is that bashment is a sub-genre of calypso. You can not protect your kids from it. You can not even claim that they usually are not exposed to it, not with the way in which our world currently runs.
“Actually, when my son was young, I didn’t allow bashment soca in my automobile. Nonetheless, he was in school, he was on the road, he was playing cricket, similar to other children you will have activities and you might be exposed to it,” Roberts-Reifer added.
Musician and music lecturer on the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus and Barbados Community College (BCC) Dr Stefan Walcott said he had no issue with bashment soca within the Junior Monarch Competition, based on the incontrovertible fact that it’s a type of how young people communicate.
He said it was vital that the NCF give the youth the choice to sing their sort of music.
Walcott gave the peace of mind that the contestants wouldn’t be allowed to sing lewd content, but would primarily use bashment soca rhythms to get positive messages across.
“The NCF has taken on the responsibility of constructing sure that none of that comes through while they get a likelihood to perform in a voice that’s natural to them, of their Bajan dialect. They’re using the rhythm but talking to the consciousness of what they wish to see in society. People considering bashment soca has a method of coping with things, music is music,” he said.
Musical icon, Dr The Most Honourable Anthony Gabby Carter also agreed that the inclusion of the sub-genre within the Junior Monarch Competition was fitting, because of its popularity among the many youth.
Nonetheless, he expressed concern about how a bashment soca song, which he said lacks melody and lyrics, can be judged.
“So, there have to be room for melody, and melody have to be certainly one of the fundamental components in any singing competition. [In] bashment, a variety of times, individuals are out of key, out of all the pieces except out of time. The timing is gorgeous more often than not,” the veteran calypsonian said.