Lashley, Morris singing same song

The red carpet has been rolled up, lights are out, and the show is over.

And according to Barbados Music Awards producer Ronnie Morris and Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, last Sunday evening’s affair was a success.

Morris said the tenth annual show, which was in jeopardy of being cancelled, came off well and he was very pleased with the support from the Barbadian public.

“I’m very very happy with the turnout. Very pleased to see everyone coming to support the music industry. This event is a business-oriented event; it’s all about the business of music. So to see people coming out enjoying themselves ten years after the debut is really fantastic,” Morris, said with a sense of pride.

Lashley echoed the show producer’s sentiments saying: “I enjoyed it thoroughly!”

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley enjoying himself  at the awards on Sunday.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley enjoying himself at the awards on Sunday.

He added: “I think the Barbados Music Awards, as Ronnie has said, over the ten years or so has gained a lot of credibility, not only locally but also internationally. We have a host of talent here in Barbados, so any opportunity we get to showcase that talent is good.

“And, also to give thanks and give recognition are very important. The artistes work extremely hard during the year. To say to them that they did an exceedingly good job, an awards ceremony of this kind is something that I believe they are very much appreciative of. And I think that goes a long way for Barbados and our own people.”

Morris told Bajan Vibes he was very thankful for all the financial support he had received.

“This is what we call a net foreign exchange event. Our financial sponsors were actually from Jamaica and Canada. We had tremendous support from them.

“We had visitors here from Denmark, France, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. It was fantastic. I think that with the support we have had coming into Barbados, we can only grow from there.”

And it looks as though the success of this show was the motivation Morris needed, because he confirmed right away that the show would go on next year.

“There will be an Awards next year. I’m very heartened by some things. I’ve seen the support from the BTMI, and, of course, the Minister of Culture, and to know that the two entities, which benefit the most from the cultural industries, because Crop Over is huge . . . . Tonight you would have seen the soca artists at their finest . . . .

“So to have the minister’s support during this time when so much is happening, and the BTMI with us, it means we are in the right place and we have the support we need; and we are ready to move forward,” Morris declared.

At the end of the awards show, American actor Boris Kodjoe, who was one of the hosts, made a plea for tax incentives to be introduced to allow Hollywood film-makers to make movies in Barbados. Lashley was proud to announce that plans were already well under way.

Kemar Saffrey (right) posing with American actor Boris Kodjoe.
Kemar Saffrey (right) posing with American actor Boris Kodjoe.

“The Cultural Industries Development Act will be proclaimed hopefully this month. We expect to have everything in place; and in that legislation we have a number of incentives for the film industry in particular. So it could not have come at a better time. This legislation is really revolutionary,” he stated.

Lashley said he was looking forward to what was to come, given the amount of talent on the island.

“. . . People who come here to film movies don’t have to go anywhere. The skills are here. People who want to record РР  the skills are here. That’s one of the things I think we were blessed with. I believe that we stand out in the region,” Lashley said.

And now that the BMAs are over, the focus is on the next big thing: The Queens Of Gospel show to be held next month at the Wildey Gymnasium, featuring several international gospel artists, including Michelle Williams, CeCe Winans and Yolanda Adams. Morris revealed that this would be the biggest show he has ever undertaken.

“We are expecting 13,000 people over two nights and its going to be a massive event. One church in Atlanta booked 80 persons to come. So it’s really heartening to see where it is going.

“Tickets are moving very fast, and we are looking to sponsorship and so on now. Certainly from a tourism perspective, two nights at the Gymnasium give the scale we need,” he said.

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