Jamal: big voice and big things
For sometime now, he has been known as the little boy with the big voice, but Jamal Slocombe is much more that a big voice. In fact, in the entertainment industry in years to come, he will be a grand force to be reckoned with.
Jamal describes himself as a “creative executive”, and judging from all he does, this title seems quite fitting.
Apart from appearing onstage at many events across the country, Jamal has been working behind the scenes on product branding, creative productions, media development event production and management.
“A good friend of mine, Rico Durant, and I started the Project X series last year November. Prior to that, I have been co-producing the Coleridge & Parry Pageant at one point with Kelvin Harewood. Last year, I produced and directed the pageant . . . with the assistance of Kelvin Harewood and Randy Woodroffe who are both teachers at the school.
“We did Project X last year and also Project Summer Sundays; and that was a series during the summer –– basically teen-oriented events,” Jamal explained.
He told Bajan Vibes that getting into the production of pageants was due to his love of being on stage.
“I don’t know what drove me to produce pageants; . . . it’s [probably] about being onstage. I guess assisting persons in finding their truest potential through pageantry is something I really enjoy.
“Kelvin Harewood is who really drives that spirit in me to want to produce pageants,” he added.
Jamal’s latest win was in Beviny Payne who was victorious at the Barbados Talented Teens Pageant. Jamal said he was very proud of his latest achievement.
“She was successful and she won almost all the segments within the show. That was months of rehearsal and training. She’s a very good person to work with. Fun!
“For the last two years, the Runway Blitz winners I would have trained. And this year I’m looking for another winner in Lonia Hinds,” he said proudly.
He believes in bringing out the best in all those he works with.
“Personally I was exposed to the fundamentals of being a performing artist, being trained by Carlyn Leacock.
“I just want to afford persons the opportunity to see something similar, to have that experience that I did. People may question, ‘Oh, well, he’s your age’ or ‘He’s just 18’. But it isn’t about that.
“I’ve been in the industry over ten years now. I’ve gained great experience and have done extensive research on the industry,” Jamal said.
The 18-year-old added: “For Barbadians to make their way to the top, we have to lean on each other’s shoulders.”
But amidst all he is doing, Jamal is not forgetting his music, and is in fact working earnestly towards fulfilling his goal. He is already looking to doing big things next Crop Over.
“I am working with Dennis Cadogan of Equity Insurance. He came on board last year, through Admiral, for me to work with him. He’s a great person to work with. Since then he has been the executive producer
of my music.
“Right now I can say that we are working with Chris Alman for the next Crop Over season. Right now we are outsourcing music from some of the best writers in the region –– persons who would have worked for Destra Garcia and Bunji Garlin,” he revealed.
He said to date he has three very memorable performances.
“I sang Bridge Over Troubled Waters with the Royal Barbados Police Force Band. That was an amazing performance. Just having a full orchestra behind me was amazing. The RBPF Band is one of the best bands there is.
“When I met Carlyn Leacock at a show, that was great as well. And Love Poetry And Song,” he said proudly.
Apart from all that, Jamal is also doing big things at his alma mater.
“I recently introduced a theatre arts programme at the school, focusing on the first-year students. Mr Fergusson, the principal, has been very open to that, and also Mrs Blackman who coordinates that activity.
“The first-years are fun, and they really enjoy that programme. I think it is something which should be introduced across all secondary schools. I worked with Marlon Legall and the school choir for their NIFCA pieces –– and we are heading for gold,” he explained.