IT HAS taken Bahamian artists just eight weeks to write more than 170 songs for entry into the Bahamas Carnival Song Competition, and tomorrow is the day we finally find out who won the contest and the $20,000 cash prize.
Scores of artists lined up to submit their demo recordings and applications before the deadline on July 21, the Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) said.
“The music is the driving force of any Carnival,” said Ed Fields, chairman of the Bahamas Carnival events committee.
“We were trying to promote Bahamian music, to get more Bahamian music on the world stage and to encourage Bahamians to write more Bahamian music.
“I am sure that no one has ever heard of a scenario where, over an eight-week period, 170 songs have been written in the Bahamas. I really do not know if that has ever existed before.”
“This is a proud moment for us,” said BNFC Chairman Paul Major. “This committee has worked extremely hard. Special thanks to Freddie and Ed in particular; they have really exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
“Every time we have a stroke of progress like this, with over 100 songs in an eight-week period, that just has to be historic.”
“I am truly excited because we have new music,” Roscoe Dames, CEO of the BNFC said. “People have been writing and it is unpublished work; so it is truly amazing.”
“The whole purpose of this initiative as mandated by the Prime Minister is an economic initiative of the cultural and creative community, to get a ‘jump start’ once again,” said BNFC and song competition committee member Fred Munnings, Jr. “So, the injection of over 100 songs in eight weeks is truly a magnificent feat. On that one point alone I think we have been successful.”
Mr Fields added: “This interaction is aimed towards aspiring Bahamian artists to be able to produce traditionally Bahamian music for the international market, as well as mainstream genres.
“This is big,” he said. “This is the start of something big.”
Ancient Man, local recording artist and Bahamas Carnival Song entrant said: “I want to contribute to the body of Bahamian music and I want to stimulate more creativity in our local community. This is not about individual agendas, this is a national thing.”
When asked about their expectations of the Bahamas Carnival Song Competition, Kendall Richardson said: “I hope to win obviously, but to also help take Junkanoo to another level. I want to fuse the Junkanoo sound and create something everyone will enjoy.”
Keva Wilchombe, a Grand Bahamian entrant, said: “I hope that the judges will appreciate my song. I want international people that hear my song to be enticed to come and enjoy our culture and also to participate in our Carnival.”
The top 25 semifinalists will be selected for the compilation Bahamas Carnival album, while the top 10 will compete in a live concert during the Bahamas Carnival May 2014.
Carnival Bahamas is powered by Junkanoo and the rhythms of the Bahamian people. The vision of BNFC is to be the catalyst for sustainable economic growth in the cultural industry sector. “We are committed to executing expanding our tourist product offering, to provide benefits across the Bahamas,” the BNFC said.
For further information, visit www.thebahamascarnival.com.