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End soca diet

Radio stations are again being called on to play local music in an effort to break the youth of a soca diet.

The President of the Barbados Association of Tent Managers Sinclair Gittens is making the request to help the stymie the demise of the calypso artform and the tents. In an interview with Barbados TODAY he said that the radio stations have not been helping the tents. Thirteen have been registered with the NCF this year.

“The radio stations have not been playing the social commentary. Tents comprise 90 per cent social commentary. If the radio stations are not playing the social commentaries, then the people are not hearing them. I know for a fact that some tents record their social commentaries very early, some individuals also record their social commentaries but the DJs determine which one or two to play but they go for the party [music].

“We have appealed to the radio stations for years [and told them] that they need to play the social commentaries but it is left up to the DJs. The rotation is another thing.

You have one artist getting 10 [plays] in one day and some persons don’t get any but then when you hear them get into the semifinals, people want to know how they did, and what songs are they singing because nobody hears them,” Gittens asserted.

He is hoping that the situation improves during this Crop-Over season which begins unofficially with the first Cavalcade on May 11 at the Dover playing field in Christ Church.

The BATMAN president suggested that the state agency responsible for the running of the festival, the National Cultural Foundation, record the tents’ offerings early.

“It [the lack of social commentaries] affects their product, it affects the semi-finals and the finals. It is all about marketing, and they need to place greater emphasis on marketing their product, Crop-Over. If you look at the Cavalcades, look at who performs. If they have forum one dedicated to the veterans, the rest are to the new and upcoming artists, party music. There’s no blend. The NCF has not been able to bridge that gap, blend it.

“This year I would like to see the social commentators getting some of those gigs too, don’t just wait for Pic-O-De-Crop. Let them perform at some of those gigs and get the music out.

“If you feed the young people a soca diet they will never love calypso. You have to get it out there so they will appreciate it,” Gittens said.

The official start of Crop-Over is June 29. (DS)

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