Soca station needed
Poonka calls for local music to be played 24/7
A veteran player in the local entertainment industry is calling for a radio station to be established that would play only local music.
Wayne Poonka Willock said he wanted more opportunities to be created so that soca, calypso and folk music, among other local genres, could be heard locally and internationally, outside of the annual Crop Over season.
“Imagine [Red Plastic] Bag put out a CD with ten songs and throughout the whole of Crop Over three or four might play and the other six gone by the way side. And if you play one of those in 2015 you would swear it is a new song because people never heard it,” he said.
“We need a radio station that will play our local music all the time. We have enough music on record and in the archive that you don’t have to play the same song twice in a year. We have enough music but will we get there? Will we get the support of the persons with the funds in Barbados to fund a radio station that will have Barbadian music all the time?”
Speaking during a media conference where the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Producers (COSCAP) announced a new project –– Calypso in Berlin –– aimed at giving local calypsonians a chance to penetrate the lucrative German market, Willock suggested that education was also important in the effort to get Barbadians to embrace locally produced music.
Musician Charles Lewis echoed similar sentiments, saying that while there was a market for calypso in Europe, “we first need to believe in what we do”.
“Here in Barbados our music is really seasonal and . . . I don’t think we believe in it enough to export it. Believing in it first and foremost, and playing it could give it . . . the push. It would evolve, giving us probably a little more opportunity to export our music . . . . This goes out to radio stations, it goes out to the people playing it, it goes out to the audience. We need to believe in ourselves,” he said.
Meanwhile COSCAP’s chief executive officer Erica Smith lamented the lack of specialized skills to help develop the music industry into a viable business venture.
She said the requisite talents were somewhat missing, and there were some managers “in theory” but “no publishers”.
“From a business perspective, if we did an inventory we don’t really have many resource people. And many of the persons who do try to undertake this activity, to be honest, really lack the depth of knowledge and network,” Smith noted.
“So there has to be training specifically targeted at that group, and then you need other programmes to target performance skills and then songwriting skills, for example.”