FIRE in the dancehall

From left: representative from sponsor Kick, Cheryl Armstrong, Kevin Henry, Renaissance Stephen Bennett, MC Hard Mout Bling, and Super Star.

by Kimberley Cummins

Renaissance Entertainment is determined to see Barbadian music and artistes elevated.

So, in association with Hott 95.3 and Banks beer, on October 27 they will present a Bajan dancehall showdown called FIRE.

The purpose of the event is to highlight the overabundance of Barbadian talent right here in Bim. Artists like: Shut Down Comittee, Tumpey Dan, Snappah, Matrix, Most Wanted and Nyree Lee, Disturbia, Daba, Lil Bling, Get Dark, Anarchy, Banana Clip, Brutal Crankstar, Baby Quin, Celebrity Face, Prosperity, Poly Dan, Lady Essence and Fari will clash to see who had the best skills with hope of earning bragging rights and $5,000 in cash and prizes.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY at the launch of the competition yesterday at The Marina in The City, one of the owners of Renaissance Entertainment, Stephen Bennett, said Barbadian music had made significant progress and as a result the time was ripe to put on display the best of what was here giving the public what they were longing for- more local music.

He said in the past few years they saw the advancement of many local acts, including Mr. Levi, who, for about 17 times so far for the year, was back and forth to Trinidad performing, and it showed that a Barbadian artist, singing Bajan style could actually do it overseas and take it global.

Bennett encouraged other promoters to also get on board and push the local talent. Though many have said that local acts do not “draw crowds”, he disagreed. Furthermore he said that Barbadians would in fact come out and support their own if given a chance.

“I would say Bajans can’t get enough of Bajan, it is just a question of where to get it. You would find the dubs or street jams would have a lot of Bajans because it is the only place that would have the [Bajan] music. Every single day I get emails, I get songs sent to my inbox, I get people who want to book artists all the time — this Bajan music is a huge thing.

“A lot of organisers need to know that we could crack off shows with Bajan artists — it is easy, all they got to do is have the will to do it. It depends on the promotion of the show because there are a lot of Barbadians who like the music. It is just that these shows tend to be not as well promoted because of the money behind it.

“Like Renaissance, money is small money, but imagine if I had some proper money we could buy real nuff radio slots and we would be in your ear like Hennessey Artistry.

“It is only through repetition that some people stick onto things, so therefore we have to try and do that, we have to drum it in people heads that this is Bajan. Keep it here, spend the money here and let us grow as a country, that is what we need to do for sure. What is the point of paying these guys to come here all the time get $50,000, when you can go have a Bajan artist who gine spend $50,000 in the country and help so many other people.

“All Popcaan gine do is go home, breeze and spend the money. [I’m] not saying that Vybz Kartel and Popcaan aren’t great but we could really promote ours and do we thing. Renaissance does spend money we got, we does spend money we don’t got, we does beg for money, we work hard and try to push Bajan ’cause, at the end of the day, it is ours,” he said.

The show was originally planned for the Colgate-Palmolive complex, but because of limited sponsorship it has been moved to Club 360, which can accommodate 3,000 people. Bennett insisted the show would be huge and had already began planning for next year’s competition.

“The sponsors gine know what going on though because right now, when this show kick off on October 27, the sponsors gine see what going on. People talking bout the show and imagine if a Banks artist win it, if a Mackenson artist win it, this is an opportunity for them to push their brand.

“We is simple people in Barbados. You don’t have to give we a million dollars, just show a little love. It is really a sponsorship game. Once the sponsors come on board next year … it gine be bigger because all we need is more investment.”

Guest performers include King Slim, Super Rueben, Blk Noize, Prosperity Yout, Kid Site, Daddy Plume, Kullard, Hygraid Band, Mark Cristal, Brimestone, Full Moon and Cinga Blinga.

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