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Sacred calypso safe, says Andwele

Pic-O-De-Crop producer Adisa Andwele believes Barbados has a gem when it comes to the competition.

Speaking at the launch of the competition on Monday at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Andwele said he believed the competition was the best in the Caribbean.

“We still do have the biggest calypso finals in the Caribbean right now. Trinidad’s Calypso Monarch only attracts few hundred people, while we have six or seven thousand people. So it is by far the biggest finals,” the producer argued.

Producer Adisa Andwele

Producer Adisa Andwele

However, he said there was still concern about the decline in interest in social commentary over the years.

Pic-O-De-Crop, like all the other Calypso Monarchs across the Caribbean, is going through an interesting time with the demographic shift and  generation shift. Calypso across the Caribbean is declining. We feel that it is declining in Barbados too,” Andwele admitted.

But he quickly added the NCF, along with other partners in the industry, was doing all it could to save the very sacred art form.

“The NCF has taken this situation very seriously; and to address the situation, we did a songwriters workshop with Chalkdust a few weeks ago. We also held meetings with the tent managers, and so on. The media is making a concerted effort as well,” the producer said.

Andwele explained that in order for the social commentaries to become popular again, the music would have to be changed.

“It is not that Sweet Soca and Party Monarch have gone along and left the social commentary. It’s just the fact that there is a demographic shift, and obviously the music has to change. I have heard some very interesting
social commentary on the airwaves, and that’s all part of the process.

“We have to help make sure that the art form is sustained in Barbados and continues to grow, and also to sort of connect with the younger generation who may have a different perspective regarding social commentary that you  may have to overcome. But they are a lot of social commentaries coming out already.

Finalists of Junior Monarch.

Finalists of Junior Monarch.

“They are a lot of young people who have graduated from the Junior Monarch programme and are making it even to the finals. So it’s not an old people programme any more. It’s a young people’s art form that it is very much alive,” Andwele explained.

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