BIDC boost for gospel artistes

indigenous services unit giving 0artistes the chance to expose talents

Efforts by a number gospel artistes in Barbados to promote and market their music overseas, are in for a boost.

While acts such as the Nazarene Silvertones, Paula Hinds, Promise and until recently Joseph Niles have been pushing their individual music, these artistes can now capitalise on a much stronger source to do the job.

The Indigenous Services Unit which was recently transferred to the Export Division of the Barbados Industrial Development Corporation, is mandated to assist practitioners of the creative industries.

This trade avenue for services that include singers and musicians, has been provided under the European Partnership Agreement with CARICOM.

Officials with the BIDC are telling performers there are “tremendous” opportunities in Europe to expose their talents.

Until now, the local gospel acts previously referred to, have to a large extent been depending on the goodwill of certain church organisations overseas to pave the way for them to perform in their countries such as the US and Britain.

Almost always, the local contingent, even though they would have been invited by these churches, still had to pull their pockets to raise money, or at least a large portion, in order to travel.

The performing opportunities were often limited to the host congregation and even though they would have work well within that context, the EPA arrangement provides a far wider audience.

This opportunity will also be great for the 100 voice St. Leonard’s Boys’ Choir, which travels annually to perform overseas.

Earlier this year, the head of the Nazarene Silvertones, Harold Britton, had appealed to local artistes to travel overseas as a rule so they could network and increase the possibilities of getting business.

The Silvertones is the one group which has been benefiting significantly from its regular travels.

For example, the group, which now focuses on Caribbean music, had been spotted by an influential entity and invited back to the US to perform at a major show.

This group, along with other Barbadian artistes could now leverage the technical and financial capabilities of the BIDC’s Indigenous Services Unit to boost their existing arrangements with overseas church organisations.

Those artistes which have not yet made the effort to expand their local musical audience, should connect with the BIDC sooner than later.

It is well known that the godfather of gospel music had made a name for himself and Barbados across the world with his inimitable style of music.

But this was achieved over some four decades of personal blood, sweat and tears and incredible sacrifice.

The way is now clear so the current and future artistes should not to have to endure such.

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