Written by 9:08 pm Art

Support for bashment in Junior Monarch competition

Head of the Barbados Association of Creatives and Artistes (BACA) Sean Apache Carter has applauded the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) for having three separate genres judged within the 2022 Junior Monarch Competition.

He described the choice so as to add soca and bashment soca to the normal calypso category as a progressive step, despite criticism in some quarters that children mustn’t be encouraged to sing bashment soca due to the lewdness normally related to it.

Carter agreed with the NCF’s Chief Executive Officer Carol Roberts-Reifer who, in defending the inclusion of the genre, said the kids being involved in it could change its image.

“I believe that when you start bashment at that young level, you’ve got a possibility now to develop it and take it within the direction that you must take it in,” Carter told Barbados TODAY.

“Bashment doesn’t necessarily must be the content. For these kids, it doesn’t must be the content that you simply would hear coming from the established Bajan dancehall artistes or [what people in the] current bashment soca arena could be singing.

“I believe it’s progressive, I believe it’s an excellent move and I believe it will be good for bashment soca. It could bring more creativity by way of writing and bringing more stories,” the BACA head added.

He also identified that it made no sense for the NCF or every other stakeholders to bury their heads within the sand and ignore that the youth are involved in bashment soca.

So far as the structure of this 12 months’s competition is anxious, Carter said that the dynamics of soca, bashment soca and calypso are completely different and may rightfully be judged using different criteria.

Nevertheless, he was not in agreement with the choice to eliminate the age categories when the competition returns next month after a two-year break, and as an alternative judge by genre only.

“It’s a welcome change to have the three sections. The one thing I don’t necessarily like is that there isn’t a longer the categories so far as age is anxious. I don’t think a seven-year-old needs to be competing with a 17-year-old.

“I might say thumbs down for there being this one open thing without the age, but thumbs up because it pertains to separating the various categories or sections of the music,” he said.

The reigning Junior Monarchs within the 6 to 10 and 11 to 14 age categories – Kenaz The Mighty Bit Bit Walker and Shontae Alleyne-Clarke, respectively – have confirmed participation on this 12 months’s competition.

Cultural Ambassador, Dr The Most Honourable Anthony The Mighty Gabby Carter, who mentors Walker, said the now 11-year-old might be returning to the calypso category.

He said the pre-teen’s social commentary piece has already been penned and rehearsals have began.

Meantime, Alleyne-Clarke’s mother, Shontelle Alleyne, declined to say in what category her daughter could be performing.

Nevertheless, she said the young calypsonian was “excited” and able to compete again after winning her title in 2019.

“We’re already prepared for the competition. We’ve been waiting for some time – two years has been an extended time. She desired to get back on stage and now she has the chance to,” she said.

Alleyne said she had no issues with bashment soca being added to the competition, as she noted that the world was changing and young people weren’t exposed to calypso alone.

“It’s a possibility for them to showcase their talent and art. Let the young people shine. Once they will not be being lewd, let the young people shine. In the event you have a look at the opposite Caribbean countries the young people will not be being restricted to simply calypso,” she said. (AH)

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