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Teens in the spotlight

The teens show their excitement.

Teen Stars is no ordinary teen show — it is a showcase with a difference.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY one of the organisers, Andy John, said the show was designed to create a platform to give teens an avenue to showcase their talent and not create rivalry.

“This is not a competition, no disrespect to anybody’s competition, Teen Talent or any other competition, but the young people not into that. I find competition creates a lot of rivalry — a perfect example would have been Soca Royale, and we don’t want to create that type of environment. Mikey win, Li’l Rick come second; Mikey people leave the venue happy, Li’l Rick people left cursing them. Remember there was the Digicel Rising Stars now they are no more, competition does that. It creates a whole anti-vibe.

“Our slogan for Teen Stars is ‘Give them a stage; listen to their voice’. Basically we are empowering teens. There are a lot of talented teens in Barbados and we just want to give them a platform. All of the young people get along, they lime with each other, they support each other, we’re just creating an atmosphere for them to perform at the highest level,” he said.

Auditions for the event were held in June and 32 prospects tried out.

The final 15 artists range from ages 11 to 21 years old. They are expected to perform a variety of genres that included rap, dance, gospel, pop, reggae and rhythm and blues at the inaugural show to be held at the historic Kensington Oval on August 26.

John, who was a former organiser at the National Cultural Foundation; along with David Jordan, were responsible for bringing Machel Montana, Pitbull and Li’l John in for the 2008 Cohobblopot. He said his aim was for the show to be of a similar standard. One way to achieve that, he said, was to implement a production allowance.

“One of the things we did back then was to give a performance fee and a production allowance to the artists. The production allowance which only local acts got, was to enhance the show. They brought a script of how they wanted to present their song — like if they wanted to do pyrotechnics, a video before the show and costuming. So for this show we will be doing the same thing.

“We will give them an allowance to have a production. It is okay for them to come on the stage and sing but the production is what enhance the show and that is what we are working to do.”

Rehearsals are held three days a week and there are also workshops to improve the each artiste’s talent. Two members of Cover Drive are scheduled to speak to the performers, Indra Rudder is running the singing workshop, Rachel Mayers is dealing with interviewing techniques, Barry Forde trains them on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and Ji Young, a Korean designer, will create the outfits, John added.

Next move for the show, he said, was to make it an annual event, later expanding throughout the region. (KC)

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