Entertainment
CARIB | Jan 15, 2022

Regional musicians get boost from Caribbean Export Development Agency

/ Our Today

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Performing artistes from the Caribbean region have got a new platform to share their talent with the introduction of the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase (CRS), a virtual outlet through which their work can be seen with the hope of taking their careers to the next level.

This initiative is being developed by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the regional trade and investment promotion agency focused on building a resilient Caribbean by providing cutting-edge and high-impact support to the private sector, with funding from the European Union, under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development programme.

S.H. Allyson Francis services specialist at CEDA.

S.H. Allyson Francis, services specialist at CEDA, said the wider aim of CRS is to build out the creative economies of the region so that they can become greater contributors to the gross domestic product of the individual countries.

“The execution of this Caribbean Music Showcase is imperative to the development and exposure of our regional artists,” Francis said.

“As music exports continue to grow internationally year after year, the Caribbean possesses the talent and creativity to capitalise on the digital music space. Caribbean Export supports the need for this digital pivot as it is crucial to innovate with our existing exports and identify alternative avenues in the music industry.”

Aisha Noel performs ‘One Dance’ during the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase 2021.

Francis reiterated that CEDA is committed to providing sustainable development support for regional talent.

“In addition to showcasing our regional artistes, the business-to-business meetings with buyers, promoters, production and distribution companies, publishers, major record labels, and music industry executives within the European, United States, Latin American, Asian, and African markets will help our artistes gain business, increase exports, create jobs, and generate foreign exchange.

“At Caribbean Export we are committed to providing the necessary support to help build the capacity and showcase our regional music practitioners.”

How exactly did the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase work?

The organisers made a regional talent call to artistes throughout the region whose genre of choice is soca, reggae, dancehall, Caribbean pop, rap, cadence-lypso and zouk. Approximately 100 responses were received, of which 27 selected to participate in the showcase are required to register on the CRS website and submit a performance video for assessment. The acts selected were featured in the showcase, recorded and shared on YouTube.

Jerome Hamilton, managing director of Headline Entertainment.

Jamaica’s Headline Entertainment was selected to execute CRS, which aired on various platforms on December 20, 2021.

Jerome Hamilton, managing director of Headline Entertainment, said he was excited at the opportunity to work with new and emerging talent from the region and to assist with the development of artistes and economies.

“Headline Entertainment was honoured to be afforded the opportunity to produce this showcase of regional talent by Carib Expo,” Hamilton said.

“In addition to showcasing the talent we have invited buyers from different countries to participate. We hope this leads to a greater level of exposure to the variety of Caribbean music, so they see that there is a wide range of talent out there, not only reggae and soca. We are hoping as well for some possible connections from the very artistes themselves who are part of the showcase so they can find a way to collaborate on different projects. We just hope this augurs well for the future of the artistes, the music of the region and the economies.”

Caribbean Rhythm Showcase is one of several initiatives coordinated by CEDA to support regional creative sectors.

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